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  • Writer's pictureGrace Health

How To Deal With Recurrent UTIs!

Most women have had a Urinary Tract infection (UTI) at some point in their life. The symptoms can be frustrating, and uncomfortable and get in the way of your day-to-day life. Now imagine treating your UTI and then after a few months, it’s back, over and over again! Now, contrary to what you might have been told, take some comfort in knowing that repeated UTIs may not necessarily be a result of something you have done. Some women are just prone to UTIs. For 25% to 30% of women who've had a UTI, the infection returns within six months. Let’s understand why and what to do about it.

What are UTIs?

A UTI occurs when harmful bacteria enter the urinary tract and cause inflammation. It affects any part of your urinary system. The urinary tract consists of your kidneys, the tubes that go from the kidneys to your bladder, and the tube that carries urine to the outside when you urinate. They also happen to be the second most common type of infection in humans.

Why does my UTI keep coming back?

When a UTI occurs more than twice in six months or three or more times in one year, it is considered to be a recurrent urinary infection. About 1 in 5 women will get a recurrent UTI, and women who have more than three UTIs are more likely to continue having them. Recurrent infection can be caused by bacteria that remain in the urinary tract after a previous infection.

Some symptoms of recurrent UTIs are:

  • The frequent urge to urinate

  • Burning pain or pressure

  • Cloudy or discoloured urine

  • Bloody urine

  • Chills and fever

Common conditions that can lead to recurrent UTIs include:

  • Being in a nursing home or hospital

  • Previous urinary tract surgery

  • Sexual activity

  • Certain types of birth control, including the use of a diaphragm or spermicide

  • Diabetes

  • Kidney or bladder stones

  • Menopause

  • Being born with an abnormality of the urinary tract

How can I prevent them from happening?

  1. Stay hydrated - Aim to drink six to eight glasses of liquid daily. Drinking plenty of water and other fluids increases your urine output, which helps prevent bacterial buildup in your bladder and other urinary tract structures.

  2. Urinate frequently - Ideally, you shouldn’t go for more than three or four hours without urinating. This helps flush bacteria out of your urinary tract especially after drinking lots of water.

  3. Pee after sex - This helps wash away bacteria. Sexual activity can introduce bacteria into your urinary tract, especially when you’re having sex with a new partner.

  4. Wipe from front to back - This is done to help prevent rectal bacteria from entering your urinary tract.

  5. Wear cotton panties - Cotton allows better airflow than synthetic fabrics. Since bacteria thrive in warm, moist environments, cotton tends to be more absorbent. Avoiding tight pants may also help.

  6. Avoid douching and other products - Douches, feminine hygiene sprays, and powders can irritate your urinary tract and make it more susceptible to infection.

  7. Take more showers instead of baths - Although baths can be so relaxing, If you take baths, keep them short. The moisture from baths could help bacteria multiply.

  8. Consider preventive antibiotics - If you get recurrent UTIs, consider taking antibiotics to prevent further infection. It can either be on a daily basis, after sex or at the first sign of a new infection. Remember never to take antibiotics without a doctor's prescription.

In summary

Recurrent UTIs are quite common than people think. While most time the reasons that cause it to come back are not necessarily your fault. There are always some things that can be done to decrease the risk of infection. If you experience recurrent UTIs, see your doctor to help you treat them.

Stay informed, stay in control Do you experience recurrent UTIs?

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