Have you ever experienced the discomfort and pain of a Urinary Tract Infection, or UTI? It's not a pleasant experience, to say the least. UTIs are caused by bacteria that invade the urinary tract, which includes the urethra, bladder, and kidneys. Unfortunately, women are more prone to UTIs than men due to their shorter urethras.
But don't worry, there are some easy steps you can take to help prevent UTIs from occurring. Want to know what they are? Let me tell you!
Poor Wiping Techniques After Toileting
Did you know that poor wiping techniques after toileting can be a common cause of UTIs? It's important to always wipe from front to back, especially after a bowel movement. Bacteria that belong in the bowel can cause problems if they get into the urethra and bladder, leading to an uncomfortable UTI. So be sure to practice good hygiene habits to keep yourself healthy and prevent UTIs.
Bacteria on Your Hands
Did you know that bacteria on your hands or other surfaces can lead to UTIs as well? That's right, if you come into contact with the urethra or continence aids, you could be at risk. That's why it's important to know the correct cleaning techniques when using catheters and to use single-use catheters whenever possible. If you're a caregiver or a healthcare worker, it's also important to wash your hands thoroughly and wear gloves during intimate care to prevent the spread of bacteria. By taking these simple precautions, you can significantly reduce your risk of developing a UTI.
Broken, Wet, and Fragile Skin
If you're dealing with incontinence, it's crucial to take good care of your skin. Broken, wet, and fragile skin is more vulnerable to infection, which can lead to uncomfortable UTIs. By maintaining good skin care habits and using the right continence aids, you can help keep your skin healthy and better protected against infection.
When it comes to intimate areas, it's essential to use gentle products that won't irritate your skin. Avoid harsh soaps and powders that can cause dryness or irritation. Instead, opt for mild, fragrance-free cleansers and moisturizers that are specifically designed for intimate use.
It's also essential to use continence aids correctly to help prevent UTIs. Make sure you're using the right type of product for your needs, and be sure to change it regularly. If you use catheters, be sure to follow proper cleaning and hygiene techniques, and consider using single-use catheters whenever possible.
By taking these simple steps, you can help protect your skin and prevent UTIs, so you can stay comfortable and healthy. And if you do experience any symptoms of a UTI, be sure to see your doctor right away for prompt treatment
Poor Fluid Intake
A good flow of urine can wash away any stray bacteria that may be in or near the urethra, therefore preventing an infection. Drinking about 1500ml of fluid a day ensures a good amount of urine.
Not Emptying Your Bladder Fully
When you hover over the toilet seat instead of sitting properly, you might be unintentionally putting yourself at risk for a UTI. This is because some urine can remain inside the bladder, which can encourage bacteria to multiply instead of being flushed out. Incomplete emptying of the bladder can also be caused by constipation or prostate enlargement. If you're experiencing incomplete emptying, it's important to speak with your doctor to determine the underlying cause and how to address it to prevent UTIs.
How to prevent a UTI...
Take Cranberry Supplements
While cranberry supplements have not been shown in studies to prevent UTIs, there is a reasonable biologic mechanism that using them could be helpful. If you would like to try this option, consider a concentrated over-the-counter cranberry supplement instead of cranberry juice. It likely provides more benefit and reduces extra sugar typically found in juice.
Do Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises
Pelvic floor exercises, also known as Kegel exercises, help hold urine in the bladder. Daily exercises can strengthen these muscles, which can help keep urine from leaking when you sneeze, cough, lift, laugh, or have a sudden urge to urinate. These exercises also may help avoid infections by strengthening the muscles that help empty the bladder.
Wear Cotton Underwear and Loose-Fitting Clothes
Wearing loose, cotton clothing will help keep the area around the urethra dry. Tight-fitting pants and nylon underwear can trap moisture and help bacteria grow.
Physical activity can help prevent bladder problems as well as constipation. It can also help maintain a healthy weight.
Watch What You Eat
Some people with bladder problems find that some foods and drinks, such as sodas, artificial sweeteners, spicy foods, citrus fruits and juices, and tomato-based foods, make bladder problems worse. Changing your diet may help you feel better.
Drink Enough Fluids, Especially Water
Did you know that over half of our body is made up of water? That's why it's crucial to make sure you're drinking enough fluids throughout the day. The amount of water you need can vary depending on your body size, activity level, and the climate you live in. As a general rule, it's recommended to drink at least eight glasses of water a day, but you may need more if you're very active or live in a hot and dry environment. Dehydration can lead to a host of health issues, so make sure you're staying hydrated by drinking enough water and other fluids.