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Our body is constantly challenged by all kinds of bacteria, both commensal (as a part of our normal flora) and pathogenic (infectious). At the same time, antimicrobial molecules, constantly secreted by our innate immune system, protect the body from bacterial overgrowth and keep in balance our microbiota – all micro-organisms and viruses coexisting in the gastrointestinal tract.
It is a very complex and sophisticated defense mechanism, as our normal flora contains approximately one hundred trillion bacteria covering the entire body and living in our gut.
When bacterial microbes get through the urethra into the bladder an infection occurs. Nearly all urinary tract infections are caused by a few strains of E. coli bacteria, called uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC).
It's said that some women are more prone to get E. coli infections than others, because they - for some reason - don't expel bacteria well enough from the urinary tract.
Although some doctors say that there's no good way to prevent infections - they just occur, it is worth to know and remember that incorporating healthy habits into your lifestyle can greatly reduce your risk of UTIs.
As an old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In other words, a little precaution is preferable to a lot of "fixing up" afterwards.
Here's the age-proven advice for preventing UTIs that is well worth memorizing and practicing, and consequently being added to the list of your good habits.
Keep the genital area clean. Less than careful hygiene, especially after developing loose stools or diarrhea, is one of the most frequent causes of recurrent bladder infections. Although some doctors argue that hygiene is hardly the issue with UTIs. Some women have bacteria in their urine, but it does not necessarily means that they have an infection.
Drinking enough water, preferably purified and room-temperature, keeps the bladder empty and free of bacteria. However, there are three general rules of thumb to follow; therefore, you should drink:
By doing so after you go to the bathroom, it helps prevent bacteria around the anus from entering the vagina or urethra. It is very easy to contaminate your fingers when wiping yourself with toilet paper. And if those contaminated fingers come anywhere close to the opening of the urethra, there is a high likelihood of infection, especially you are predisposed to infections.
It is especially important, because the urethra is closer to the anus. So, if possible, urinate before and - within ten minutes - after sexual intercourse. If not, drink 10-12 ounces of water immediately after. It will cause you to urinate later and help flush the bacteria out.
Do not resist the urge to urinate, especially if you have a history of frequent UTIs. Holding in pee for too long can cause bacteria to multiply. If you do not drink enough liquids the bladder is not telling the body to pee often enough. This can cause bacteria to spread through the urinary tract, leading to infection.
While water comes from above from the shower head and drains into the drain, so there is a continuous flow of water. Avoid prolonged baths as sitting in a tub allows bacteria to reach the bladder opening area.
Use only white unscented and, preferably, unbleached toilet paper that is thick and doesn't shed particles.. You may react to the dyes and chemicals in the other toilet papers. By using unbleached paper, you’ll reduce any possible chlorine exposure and the environmental contamination that comes from the bleaching process.
Wear loose pants. Clothes that are too tight can increase the spread of bacteria.
While you likely won't get an infection from a wet bathing suit, you are more likely to be affected by prolonged wear of a damp swimsuit.
Nylon and Spandex clothing promote moistness and irritation of the meatus (urethral opening). Wear cotton underwear instead, as it is less irritating and provides more ventilation than nylon.
The synthetic material in pantyhose retains warmth and moisture, which allows bacteria to thrive. Also, if you don’t wash your hosiery regularly, you could be more prone to UTIs
Feminine hygiene sprays, bubble baths, strong soaps and douches may irritate the urethra. Skip then deodorant sprays, scented powders, and other feminine products with fragrances or chemicals. Also, keep your soap bars in a tray with perforations in the base. It prevents bacteria from accumulating on them.
Slash the vulva, hands and/or dildo with soap and water prior to vaginal penetration. This will reduce the risk of introducing bowel bacteria into the vagina and urethra. If condoms are used during anal contact, make sure condoms are changed.
Choose the position that causes less friction on the urethra.
It will decrease urethral irritation.
You can have sex with a UTI, but it will most likely cause more pain and complications. Besides, penetration from sex tends to push bacteria further into your urethra, which can re-infect you or introduce a new source of bacteria.
*Based on various available sources and studies, our research and practical experience. Last modified on March 16, 2020.
Some women have already incorporated healthy habits. But no matter how hard they try, still they are prone to infections.
This multi-herbal formula, accompanied by the time-tested practical steps, not only can help you fight urinary tract infections, but also prevent them from coming back, so you will feel on top of the world again!
Might have a urinary tract infection?
Interested in getting a second opinion?
Please fill in the five-part questionnaire below, answering all questions thoughtfully and to the best of your knowledge. By doing so, you will be much better prepared for an eventual doctor’s appointment. It might also help your doctor determine if you need a urine test, which is not always a routine practice.
As for the symptoms, they are sensations or perceptions of changes in health experienced by yourself or someone you know, or hold dear who too may be in need for help.
Within 12 to 24 hours, we will email* you back the results along with our brief recommendations (if necessary) that may help you get your urinary tract health back on track. The information given, however, is not intended to diagnose, prescribe or replace the advice of a physician or other healthcare professional.
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