Women should make these easy lifestyle changes to maintain a healthy urinary tract and ward off harmful infections such as a UTI.
It is estimated that around 10% to 20% of women will develop a urinary tract infection at least once in their lifetime. That’s quite a lot. If you think about it, 1 or 2 out of every 10 women you know are suffering from this troublesome condition. Most likely, they have endured a cystitis, or bladder infection.
Of course, nobody wants to fall victim to UTIs. That said, here are 20 lifestyle changes you should make to protect yourself against it. Note that all of them are so easy to do, and you can even start doing them right away!
1. Drink plenty of water.
This is the number one tip for every women who want to avoid recurring UTIs. You may already be tired of hearing this, but it can work wonders. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day helps you flush out bacteria through the urine. Plus, it also regulates metabolism and facilitates digestion.
2. Eat more fruits.
Fruits are not only great for weight loss, they are also packed with vitamins and nutrients that MAY boost your immune system. Some studies have shown that blueberries and even fruit juices like cranberries are particularly helpful with UTIs. Making fruits a constant addition to your diet can help you fight a wide range of infections.
3. Yogurt helps.
Probiotics and lactobacilli strains, which may be found in yogurt, MAY have protective properties that will help shield against UTI.
4. Manage your stress better.
Working women are especially to experiencing stress. We know that this can take a toll on one’s immune system. Learning to manage your stress and what triggers it will keep you healthy and protected against infections and illnesses. Try exercising regularly, engaging more with nature, and harnessing your artistic inclinations to deal with stress.
5. Minimize sugar consumption.
Again, this is one of those health tips that will not only help with UTI. It will also help you keep watch on your weight. In addition, excessive sugar may suppress you immune system which does not help in your body’s fight against bacteria and viruses.
6. Don’t hold your pee.
Office workers are especially guilty with this. Sure, you may be too busy throughout the day, but always go to the bathroom when you need to do so. Holding your pee can increase bacteria growth in the bladder. Furthermore, sitting for long periods of time can add to bladder pain, which is often associated with cystitis.
7. When having sex, use a high-quality lubricant.
Vaginal dryness can cause irritations when having sex and hence can trigger infections. When having sex, use a water-based lubricant or even a condom to protect the sensitive tissues in the genital area.
8. Clean before and after sex.
Good hygiene can play a key part in preventing UTIs. Make sure to clean the genital area before and after sex, as sexual activities can lead to spread of bacteria. You may wash with warm water and a mild soap. In addition, remember to keep the area dry and wear only fresh underwear.
9. Urinate after sex.
Do not forget to pee after sex. The urine can transport bacteria out the urinary tract, thus helping eliminate the new bacteria that may have been introduced into the urethra during sex.
10. Be careful about using contraceptives.
In general, avoid using products that contain spermicides https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9345658, such as diaphragms and certain types of condoms. They may contain harmful chemicals that trigger UTI. If you are not sure which are safe to use and not, consider talking to your doctor about other contraception options.
11. Wear comfortable underwear and other clothing.
Certain types of fabric and tight-fitting clothes can irritate the genital area and urethra. Thus, choose cotton underwear over rougher fabrics. Remember to wash them with mild detergent to avoid introducing harmful chemicals to the genital area.
12. Avoid using feminine products that may contain allergens.
When choosing products for your feminine area, go for the mild, fragrance-free, and hypoallergenic ones. Feminine sprays and wipes that are too harsh may introduce harmful substances to the urinary tract.
13. Visit your doctor regularly.
This is especially true if you are pregnant or suffering from diabetes. Let your doctor conduct extra checks to make sure your urinary tract is healthy. Although it is time-consuming, this can save you from complicated UTIs and kidney problems later on.
14. Be religious about taking your prescription.
Leave your stubborn attitude at the door. If you are suffering from UTI, the best way to cure it is to listen exactly to what your doctor tells you. Follow their instructions especially when taking antibiotics for UTI, inquire about single-dose antibiotic for UTI. This can help reduce the chances of recurring or relapsing infections.