than 50% of women will have at least one urinary tract infection during their
life time. Many will have recurrent episodes of UTI. It is heralded by burning
while passing urine and can lead to lower abdominal pain, vomiting, fever, tiredness,
back pain and rarely kidney dysfunction. It is very common in sexually active
understanding of its cause and knowledge about preventive measures are required
for every woman. Normal urine does not contain any bacteria. However, vagina
contains good bacteria like lactobacilli. Before a UTI, harmful bacteria grows
near the vicinity of urethra and in vagina. Once they enter the bladder and
stick to its walls, it can cause inflammation of bladder wall (cystitis). If
still not treated, they can ascend along urinary tubes (ureter) to enter kidney
and cause pyelonephritis or kidney abscess, which are life threatening
following simple and proven measures will keep UTI at bay and make your life
healthier and peaceful. Please do follow and share among your loved ones.
Drink a lot of water
plenty of water can help to flush out the bacteria which do enter the bladder
once in a while. Always watch your urine color. If it is getting dark yellow,
it means that you are dehydrated and you need to increase your fluid intake.
2. Don’t hold urine
for a long time
If you hold urine for a long time, bacteria can multiply
and cause an infection. Passing urine frequently, flushes the bacteria out and
prevent UTI. Pass urine at least once in 4 hours. If you are getting recurrent
UTI pass every 2 to 3 hours.
Pass urine after sex
During intercourse, bacteria do enter into the urinary
bladder. It gets flushed out while passing urine. Clean your genital region
before having sex. More importantly, always make it a habit to pass urine after
sex. If you still get UTI after sex, your Urologist may advise you on
antibiotic prophylaxis to be taken after every intercourse.
4. Proper toilet hygiene
Always wipe from front to back. Bacteria are naturally
abundant near anal region. If these bacteria enter the genital region, they can
multiply and enter into the bladder, causing UTI. So, never wipe from back to
front. Use two toilet papers, once for cleaning urine first and other for rest
of the cleaning. If you are using water also, always keep the flow of water
from front to back.
to remove tampon while passing urine. It can impede the flow of urine.
5. Avoid artificial feminine products
Douche can washout the health vaginal bacteria and
natural protective substances from vaginal lining and make way for harmful
bacteria to enter. Avoid douches. Also avoid other scented feminine hygiene
sprays and bath products.
These can irritate
urethra and cause urethritis.
6. Choose your birth control method wisely
Use of diaphragms and unlubricated
or spermicide containing condoms, can lead to bacterial overgrowth. Spermicides
alter the natural vaginal pH. Try other safer methods of birth control if you
are getting recurrent UTIs.
7. Avoid regular use of bathtubs
It is preferable to take a shower than use a bathtub
if you are getting recurrent UTI. In a bathtub, water will contain bacteria
from all over the body along with chemical. These can easily enter vagina and
8. Take natural remedies
Cranberries contain proanthocyanidins which prevent
bacteria from sticking onto bladder wall. Though it cannot treat an active UTI
by itself, it can supplement the treatment and help in prevention of future
D-mannose is another natural remedy which helps to reduce
UTI. Apples, oranges and peaches are naturally rich in this sugar.
Take curd or yogurt, which are rich in lactobacilli,
regularly. These ‘good’ bacteria will then colonize the vagina and prevent the
growth of ‘bad’ bacteria.
9. Take Vitamin C supplement
The acidity of urine is nature’s way of preventing
infection makes the urine alkaline.
vitamin C supplementation of about 500 to 1000 mg per day can further acidify
urine and reduce bacterial growth. 10. Role of estrogen cream
Estrogen is required for a healthy vaginal lining.
Low estrogen in postmenopausal women
leads to dry and unhealthy vaginal mucosa which then leads to growth of harmful
bacteria. Use of vaginal estrogen creams in patients without a history of
breast cancer or uterine cancer can help to restore healthy vaginal lining and
helpful vaginal bacterial flora and thus prevent UTIs.
11. Choose appropriate underwear
Poor aeration and moisture promote bacterial overgrowth.
Choose cotton inner wears and loose fitting clothes. Avoid tight jeans and
nylon underwear. These will trap moisture and help bacterial growth. After a
workout or swimming session, change wet clothes quickly and keep the local
parts dry and clean.
12. Prevent bladder prolapse
Regular Kegel’s exercise (training for pelvic floor
muscles) can prevent a prolapse of bladder and uterus which can then obstruct
urinary flow and cause UTI.
In spite of all these measures, if you are still getting
recurrent UTIs, consult your Urologist for a detailed evaluation and appropriate management.
Doctor Dr. Raguram Ganesamoni, 2016021213:40:00