Medily - Evolving Wellness & Immunity

Understanding Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)

Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) are a type of infection that develops in one’s urinary tract or system. Such an infection affects the bladder, urethra, and urinary tract. 

UTIs are more common in women than men. This happens because females have a shorter urinary tract (urethra) than males. So, bacteria enter much more conveniently. Additionally, the anus region in women is much near to the urethra, which is why females are more prone to such infections. 

Here are some factors that increase the chances of developing Urinary Tract Infections (UTI):

  • Menopause
  • New partners
  • Urinary surgeries or treatment 
  • Congestion in the urinary tract
  • Indulging more frequently in sexual activity
  • Poor immunity 
  • Peculiarities in the urinary tract
  • Using birth control methods

Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infections (UTI):

  • Smelly urine
  • Increased urge to urinate
  • Burning sensations while urination
  • Pain in the pelvic area 
  • Occurrence of blood in the urine
  • Cloudy, or soapy urine

Since prevention is better than cure, you must try to prevent any kind of infection before it affects you. Here are 5 ways to prevent Urinary Tract Infections (UTI):

  • Drink a lot of Fluids: When you drink more liquids, you tend to urinate more frequently. This helps in flushing away the bacteria present in the urinary passage. This also helps in keeping you hydrated and healthy. Drinking water is the best way to stay hydrated. You must drink approximately 3 to 4 liters of water each day. Apart from water, you can also add milk, tea, coffee, herbal drinks, and healthy smoothies into your diet, to increase your liquid intake.

  • Eat Cranberries: Consuming cranberries can prevent urinary tract infections. These berries are rich in vitamin C, which naturally restricts the growth of germs and bacteria, by increasing the acidic nature of urine. Cranberries also contain a natural compound called proanthocyanidins, which is known for preventing infectious bacteria such as E. Coli from entering the urinary passage. 

  • Pee before and after sexual activities or intercourse: Women have greater chances of developing UTIs than men, hence to lessen the risk of developing such infections, you must pee before and after sex. Doing this will prevent bacteria from entering your partner’s body, and also remove the bacteria that might have got transferred from your partner’s body to your body. You should also wash your genital area, to keep it clean.

  • Don't hold in your Urine: Do not hold in your pee. Holding in your pee increases the risk of developing bacterial infections and diseases in the urinary tract. Try not to exceed 2 to 3 hours of holding in your pee, in order to be on the safer side. You must regularly pee to empty your urinary bladder. Other than this, holding your pee also leads to other diseases and complexities, which should be kept in mind.

  • Wipe the Right Way: Make sure that you wipe your genital area the right way. The area around your anus is more prone to carry bacteria- E. Coli. So, if you wipe the wrong way, the bacteria may enter and spread to the other areas. The best way to wipe your genitals is to wipe front to back. This prevents bacteria present in your anus, to reach your urethral opening.

  • Avoid Using Fragrance-based Products: The female vagina is built up in a way, that it cleans itself by discharging harmful elements. However, many females still use cleansing products which often contain chemical fragrances, that are extremely harmful to your genitals, as they set a stage for bacterial and yeast infections, leading to UTIs. Avoid using any kind of scented soaps, oils, pads, tampons, and sprays for internal use. 

Note: Pregnant women must be extra careful, as they are more prone to UTIs.

When to See a Doctor?

A UTI can easily spread to your kidneys and infect them. Thus, it is important to detect such infections and take action at the earliest. Serious infections may cause fevers, unusual discharge, vomiting, and fatigue. If a proper cure is not arranged for immediately, it may even lead to permanent kidney failure, infections, and sepsis, which is a very dangerous disease.

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