Well Women Network

Avoiding and Managing Urinary Tract Infections

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Getting a urinary tract infection (UTI) happens to millions of women. They’re painful, irritating infections that can leave you feeling uncomfortable throughout the day. Once you’ve had one UTI, you’re never forget the feeling, trust me.

Urinary tract infections typically occur when bacteria enters the urinary tract through the urethra and begin to multiply in the bladder. Although our urinary system is designed to keep out such microscopic invaders, these defenses mechanisms sometimes fail. When that happens, the bacteria may take hold and grow into a full-blown infection in your bladder.

Because women in general get them so often, some urinary tract infections will require multiple treatments to completely kill the bacteria, because the bugs that cause the infection get used to the antibiotic treatment. This is why it is important to avoid these infections altogether if you can.

Before we dive into the topic I wanted you to know that this week’s freebie is a fun food fact sheet that my team and I put together for you to enjoy.

Click here for your Fun Food Facts Sheet

The causes of a UTI are multiple. Some of the common known ways that you can get them is from sex, wiping in the wrong direction, wearing tight fitting undergarments or pants, and the use of contraceptives. You are also at higher risk for getting a UTI if you have diabetes or if you’re pregnant.

The symptoms of a UTI are feeling like you didn’t get finished urinating even after you just went to the bathroom. You might feel a burning sensation while you’re urinating and you’ll also feel like you need to go to the bathroom more often than normal. You’ll notice pain below your navel and will have a general sense of not feeling well. You may also notice an odor when you urinate. Sometimes seniors can have no typical symptoms of UTI except you may notice that they start to act not like themselves mentally.

Because managing a UTI is done through antibiotics, as soon as you notice something isn’t well, call your medical provider or schedule a visit. Make sure that your medical provider does a urine dip stick as well as send out your urine for a culture to see 1) if you even have an infection and 2) to make sure that the antibiotic that they give you is the right one to treat the UTI. Drink a lot of fluids, especially water – and go to the bathroom when you need to. Waiting to go gives the bacterium that causes the UTI time to multiply. If you are constantly going to your medical provider thinking that you have a UIT and the culture keeps coming back showing that you don’t ask to see a urologist as you may have a condition called Interstitial cystitis which is a chronic condition causing bladder pressure, bladder pain and sometimes pelvic pain. The pain ranges from mild discomfort to severe. You treat this condition very differently than a regular UTI.

Click here for your Fun Food Facts Sheet

Make sure that the underwear you use doesn’t have a silky or nylon crotch. Use only cotton underwear during a UTI and don’t wear snug clothes that can promote bacteria growth.

Watch your sugar intake when you have a UTI. Check your bathroom habits to make sure that you’re not accidentally wiping bowel bacteria in a way that can lead to a UTI. Sitting in a perfumed bubble bath can also cause bacterial infections, so if you’re prone to urinary tract infections, consider giving up the bubble baths and shower instead.

You can avoid urinary tract infections by drinking plenty of natural unsweetened cranberry juice and eating foods that help with urinary health.  Drinks like green tea help with urinary health and foods that are high in antioxidants also help. Make sure that your vitamin levels are where they should be and take a whole food supplement to make sure you’re getting the nutrients that you need to fight back against infections.

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