What Is A Urinary Tract Infection?

Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) are a very common infection for women. UTIs occur when bacteria are introduced into the urinary tract. The intestinal bacteria, E-coli, is the cause of almost 90% of urinary tract infections. Symptoms of UTIs include a need to urinate frequently, soreness, itchiness, and discomfort. The urine usually has a strong, unpleasant odor and is often cloudy. A UTI may lead to kidney infection if left untreated.

Who suffers from UTIs?

Men and women both get UTIs but this condition is more common in women. About one in five females develop a UTI at some point. The main reason for this is because women’s urethras are shorter than men’s and therefore more prone to contact with bacteria from the anus and vagina. Infrequent urination can also cause cystitis.

4 Things That Help Prevent UTIs

There are a number of things that women can do to reduce the risk of UTIs. Here are the top four items most commonly recommended:

1. Choose underwear carefully

The best kind of underwear to prevent UTIs are panties with a cotton crotch. This is because cotton wicks moisture, whereas other fabrics can hold moisture, creating an ideal breeding ground for bacteria.

2. Drink plenty of water

Preferably, women should drink 6-8 8-ounce glasses of water per day. Water helps to flush out the urinary tracts. Although other fluids can also promote urination, beverages that include alcohol or caffeine can irritate the bladder.

3. Wipe from front to back

Practicing good personal hygiene after a bowel movement can significantly reduce the risk of UTIs. This is because wiping from front to back prevents bacteria from the anus entering the vagina.

4. Don’t douche

Douches are bad for women’s health because douching can irritate the lining of the urethra which may cause a UTI. This may also result in vaginal irritation and infection. Women should also avoid using feminine deodorant sprays which can also irritate the vagina and increase the risk of a UTI.

Facts About Urination

Urinating is the body’s way of naturally disinfecting itself. Urine removes waste and toxins from the body while leaving the essential nutrients. The average adult passes about three cups of urine daily. The exact amount will vary, depending on how much food and fluid each person consumes. The volume formed at night is usually about half that formed during the daytime. UTIs can be avoided. Following the above practices can help women minimize risk of this type of infection.