If you’ve ever felt the discomfort of a urinary tract infection, you’d certainly want to prevent the next one! Some women have them over and over again. A urinary tract infection (UTI) is caused by bacteria in the bladder. Where does the bacteria come from? The anus! Women have a short distance from the anus to the bladder opening (the urethra) and the bacteria can creep from back to front. Hence, more women than men get UTIs. Remember all the advice to wipe from front to back, not back to front? Wiping from the back literally drags bacteria from the anus to the bladder. In addition to poor toileting habits, sexual intercourse, diabetes, and a history of UTI increases the risk of UTI. Use of spermicide-coated condoms, diaphragms, and spermicides also increase the risk. Some UTIs are easy to figure out because there’s pain, frequent urination, and maybe even an odor. Some UTIs are silent and we miss them until they develop into full-fledged infections. It’s important to pay attention to changes in your urine pattern. Lower abdominal cramping or sudden loss of urine could also be a sign. Most UTIs are treated easily with antibiotics. But what happens when they occur again and again and again? First, was it a true UTI to begin with? Some other bladder issues may feel like a UTI. A true UTI is diagnosed by a test that will show what type of bacteria is growing in the bladder. This is useful because it tells the doctor which antibiotic to prescribe to knock off the bugs. If you are treated with the wrong antibiotic, the UTI will not go away fully. Your recurrent symptoms may be the same old UTI that was incompletely treated. If indeed the UTI was treated and keeps recurring, a few simple measures may help prevent the next one:
Liberal fluid intake — Drink plenty of water daily to flush out that bladder.
Contraception modification — Avoid spermicides and diaphragms.
Postcoital voiding — Empty your bladder after sex. Each and every single time.
Hygiene — wipe from front to back to avoid bringing those bacteria into the bladder
Use estrogen – older women with thin, atrophic tissue can reduce infections by fortifying that tissue.
Cranberry juice? May be helpful.
Most of all, FIRST ANSWER THE QUESTION, Is it a UTI? See your doctor for answers!