Urinary Tract Infection is more common in women than in men. The reason for this is the shorter length of the female urethra and the proximity of the urinary meatus (external opening of the urethra) to the introitus (external opening of vagina) and the anus. Research indicates that 80% of the women all over the world suffer from at least one incidence of UTI. In this article you will see some specific reasons for UTI among women, some tips to decrease the suffering and some easy things you could do to prevent the infection.
Causes of UTI
- The most common cause for UTI among woman is the incorrect use of toilet paper. Wipe away from the urethra towards the anus and not the other way round. When changing nappies and wiping the poop off of a female infant, wipe away from the urethra towards the anus. Girls as young as 6 months old can contact UTI if sufficient care is not taken by care takers while cleaning up.
- If you are having intercourse after a long time or with a new partner, chances for STDs is high and also UTI.
- Un – lubricated condoms and spermicidal condoms also increase the chances of UTI by encouraging growth of bacteria.
- Birth control methods like a diaphragm aid growth of bacteria and lead to infection
- Unclean underwear and tight fitting thongs encourage multiplication of bacteria.Frequent use of tight lingerie also increases the incidence of UTI in some women. A thong is a tiny strip of cloth that is in continuous contact with all three openings – the anus, vagina, and the urethra – it therefore becomes a great conduit for bacteria and fecal matter from the anus to the urethra as well as bacteria from the vagina to the urethra. Although the ratio of thong – wearing – women to thong – wearing – women – with – UTI is not very high, the primary reason for UTI among these women is the thong itself.
- The same can be said of sanitary napkins. While sanitary napkins are a necessity, they are also a breeding ground for bacteria.
- The most neglected cause of UTI is insufficient fluid intake. Most Americans today drink more soda and beer than they drink fresh fruit juices and water. In the absence of a medium to flush dangerous bacteria out of the system, they fester inside the balder and some of them find their way back to the kidneys.
UTI Tips to help relieve symptoms
- Wipe away from the urethra, from the front to back, when using toilet paper.
- If you are prone to frequent infections, get rid of your diaphragm and switch to a different form of birth control. If you find you are allergic to a certain spermicide, switch to a different brand although it is better to not use a spermicide at all since it encourages growth of harmful bacteria. Encourage your partner to use lubricated condoms during intercourse to avoid infection.
- Use clean, loose cotton underwear if you suffer from chronic UTI.
- If you wear a thong frequently, try to wear fresh thong after intercourse or a visit the toilet frequently to prevent infection.
- Unless you already have a kidney failure, drink sufficient water each day. In order to determine how much water to drink each day, use the following equation: your weight in kilos divided by 30.
- Urinate before and after sexual intercourse and wipe from top to bottom. Never wipe from the anus or the vagina towards the urethra.
- Wear loose cotton underwear. Avoid synthetic and tight fitting underwear as best as you can. This will avoid excess moisture and warmth in the nether regions that help bacterial growth.
- Eat healthy. Incorporate healthy soups, salads, and fresh fruits into your diet.
- Limit alcohol consumption.
- If you are nursing, drink a glass of water or unsweetened fruit juice before you feed the baby. This will keep you hydrated and help with both production of milk and keeping the water balance within the body.
- Change tampons and sanitary napkins frequently (like every 4 hours).
- Wash your hands and privates before and after sexual intercourse.
- Do not use harsh soaps or cleanser. Buy a douche of reputed brand if you decide to clean your vagina.
- Use disposable toilet seat covers when using public bathrooms at the theater or the mall.
- Urinate frequently even though you are already suffering from infection and are able to only pass a few drops at a time.
- Drink unsweetened cranberry juice to help keep your system acidic and prevent growth of bacteria within the excretory system.
If you have had frequent UTI in the past, it is better to follow all the tips and more to prevent an infection. It is also important that every woman and girl understands the nature and causes of UTI and stays safe. As you might have deciphered by now that UTI is not a result of bad hygiene alone, although it certainly is one of the causes. A final note: healthy food, exercise, stress busting techniques and some extra care in the bathroom will keep you away from UTIs.