UTIs occur when bacteria invades the urinary tract. It can begin in the kidneys, but most often bacteria find its way up the urethra into the bladder. This is because the urethra is an open channel to the inside of your body.
Women get UTIs more often than men do simply because men have a longer urethra, its opening is further away from other body parts, and bacteria have a longer trek to the bladder.
Symptoms of a UTI
Urinary tract infections are painful. Bladder infections cause pain upon urination and urgency. You may feel like your bladder is not emptying, or like you need to go every few minutes. Kidney infections cause abdominal and back pain, though you may have both symptoms at the same time. You can also run fever. Chronic UTIs can cause irreversible kidney damage.
UTIs are completely preventable and treatable. Go to your physician at the first symptom. Once they begin, they only get worse and can really put your life on hold.
Prevention of UTIs
One way to stop and prevent UTIs is to acidify your urine. Bacteria cannot live in this environment, and it’s an easy thing to do. Drink two glasses of cranberry juice per day. If you don’t like the taste of the juice you can buy cranberry concentrate capsules that work just as well.
You can also increase the acidity in your urine by increasing your Vitamin C intake on a daily basis.
Drink lots of water. Diluting your urine and flushing your urinary tract out helps get rid of any bacteria, and it’s just good for you.
Keeping Bacteria Out
Bath water is full of bacteria. If you are having problems with reoccurring urinary infections, take showers instead of baths.
Women should always wipe from front to back to avoid introducing bacteria toward the vagina and urethra. A very high percentage of UTIs are caused by E-coli found in fecal matter.
Wash well after having sex. Consider changing sexual positions during sex that won’t introduce as much bacteria to the urethra.
Urinate often. Don’t hold your urine while trying to complete a task. The longer your urine is held, the more time bacteria have to replicate and grow.
Chronic Urinary Tract Infections
Some people have these infections as a chronic condition no matter what they do. In these cases, a doctor will prescribe a low dose antibiotic to take daily as a preventative. Even so, you may also benefit from following these guidelines. None of them will interfere with your prescription medication.