6 Tips to Avoid UTI’s

UTI’S or Urinary Tract Infections are not only irritating but can also severely disrupt your daily life. Many people suffer from UTI’s, but most cases are preventable and easily treatable. Unfortunately, the summer months is the time of the year when you are at higher risk of developing a urinary tract infection. Bacteria grow at a higher rate in the more humid months of summer therefore you are at more of a risk of developing a UTI. Since UTI’s are caused by bacteria in the urethra and other areas of the urinary tract, this creates a dangerous combination. When warm, humid conditions are coupled with dehydrated bodies and wet clothing, the risk increases even more. However, you don’t have to endure the pain and discomfort of a UTI, there are plenty of things you can do to reduce your risk and prevent UTI’s from happening.

UTI’s can often irritate the bladder, causing you to have strong urges to urinate possibly without control and causing incontinence. Being incontinent can also be a breeding ground for bacteria when using incontinence products and not changing them regularly enough, especially in the warmer climates.

Try to be proactive with your urinary health to avoid dealing with uncomfortable UTI’s. To help stay healthy and make the most of the summer season approaching here are 6 top tips to prevent UTI’s:

  1. KEEP COOL – With increased temperatures, try to keep cool by staying in shaded areas and don’t overheat during outdoor activities. Avoid over dress or wear tight clothing that can restrict airflow and retain heat in your groin region.

 

  1. STAY HYDRATED – staying hydrated throughout the day is one of the best ways to prevent UTI’s. The higher temperatures cause our bodies to sweat more profusely which means we lose more water then we consume. To prevent UTI’s, staying hydrated is essential to help dilute the urine and increase the frequency in which you use the bathroom. The more you urinate throughout the day and dilute the urine, the lower the chance of bacteria being able to grow in your urethra and flushing out any traces of bacteria. By keeping an eye on the colour of your urine, you will be able to tell if you’re well hydrated or not. A well hydrated person will have a light yellow coloured, almost clear urine. Try to aim for 2.5L of water per day in the hotter months to maintain good hydration.

 

  1. DON’T HOLD YOUR BLADDER – It’s important to empty your bladder as soon as you feel the urge to pass urine. When you don’t empty your bladder on a regular basis, bacteria have a higher chance of replicating and causing an infection. When the bacteria builds in your bladder, it increases your risk of UTI’s and bladder infections.

 

  1. PRACTISE GOOD HYGIENE – Personal hygiene needs to be prioritized as another great preventative measure. Especially for women when it comes to using the bathroom. For example, always wiping from front to back as doing do prevents bacterial transfer from the anus to the urethra. Showering regularly and change any wet or damp clothing and underwear will also help reduce the risk of bacterial growth. When using incontinence products, remember to change them often and not allow them to sit for long periods of time during or after physical activity. Sweat and bodily fluids can build up causing bacteria to grow, developing into a UTI. Stay clean and fresh at all times and if you are soiled, change clothing and incontinence products as soon as possible.

 

  1. SEE YOUR UROLIGIST IF NEEDED – Most instances of UTI’s are noticeable, mild infections can persist without disrupting symptoms. Even if you don’t notice the telltale signs of an infection but notice any changes in your bathroom return or even slight discomforts, it’s worth scheduling a visit. There can be underlying conditions that need to be treated and long term and persist UTI’s can possibly cause further issues such as incontinence.

 

  1. UNDERSTAND THE SYMPTOMS OF UTI – Understanding symptoms of UTI’s is a good way to prevent further complications from occurring. Make sure you understand all the symptoms of urinary tract infection so that you can seek out medical assistance when needed. Some common signs and symptoms of UTI’s include:
    • Pain, burning and/or itching during or in-between urinating
    • Urinary urgency
    • Abdominal pressure
    • Fever
    • Chills
    • Confusion
    • Dysuria
    • Increased frequency of urination, even if your bladder is empty
    • Weakness
    • Unexplained cramps
    • Pelvic, abdominal or back pain
    • Unpleasant urine odour
    • Cloudy looking urine

Call your GP or health professional if you notice any of the above symptoms or changes to your bathroom habits. Once the infection is present, you will need to take antibiotics to kill all of the harmful bacteria and avoid further complications like bladder or kidney infections. Testing and diagnosing a UTI is a simple and easy process and will only take a few minutes to complete with you GP. Treating a UTI straight away means the bacteria will be killed quickly and not continue to cause pain and discomfort allowing you to continue to enjoy life. Recurrent UTI’s are common, regardless of preventative measures for some people so speak to your GP or health professional for further advice if you have concerns.