Chances are, if you’re reading this article, you either currently have a urinary tract infection and you want to get rid of it, or you’ve had one in the past and you want to find ways to avoid another one in the future.
Either way, you've come to the right place and we can offer some information to help.
First and foremost, it’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of a UTI. If things don’t really seem right down there right now, your hunch is probably right.
Symptoms of a Urinary Tract Infection
- A strong urge to urinate
- Despite frequently feeling like you really need to go, only being able to urinate in small amounts
- A burning sensation when you urinate
- Your urine appears cloudy
- Blood in your urine
- Fowl scented urine
- Pelvic pain
If you are currently experiencing any of the above symptoms, you should contact your gynecologist so that he/she can see you immediately and treat you, if needed.
While men can get a UTI, they are most common in women. UTI’s occur when bacteria enters your urinary tract through the urethra and begin to multiply in the bladder.
Types of Urinary Tract Infections
Cystitis: This type of UTI is an infection of the bladder. It’s caused by E. coli. You can get Cystitis if you are sexually active. However, even non-sexually active women can get this type of UTI due to our anatomy. (The distance is rather short from the urethra to the anus and from the urethral opening to the bladder, for instance.)
Urethritis: This is an infection of the urethra and happens when GI bacteria spreads from the anus to the urethra (for example, if you wipe back to front.) STD’s also cause urethritis.
How to Prevent a Urinary Tract Infection
Here’s what you can do to decrease your risk of contracting a urinary tract infection:
- Drink water. Water dilutes your urine and if you drink the recommended amount (64 ounces per day is ideal), you’ll be flushing out bacteria each time you urinate.
- Always wipe from front to back. This helps to prevent the spread of bacteria from your anus to your vagina and urethra.
- Drink cranberry juice. Old wives tale or true remedy? While the medical community has not confirmed this truly works, there are plenty of women who swear by it.
- Make a trip to the bathroom after you’ve had sex and urinate in order to help clear your vagina of UTI-causing bacteria from your partner.
- Avoid irritating feminine products that contain chemicals and synthetic fragrance, like douches or powders. These can irritate your urethra. freshie’s feminine wash is natural, uses essential oils and is free from synthetic dyes and fragrances. It’s safe to use externally to help you maintain a healthy pH balance between 3.5 and 4.5.
- Switch up your birth control method. Diaphragms, or unlubricated or spermicide-treated condoms, can all contribute to bacterial growth.
Having a urinary tract infection is never pleasant, but if you follow the above steps, there are ways you can avoid it.