According to report by WHO, as many as 50% women have reported having a UTI at least once in their life. Here are eight things you need to know about UTIs.
A UTI is an infection of your bladder and urethra. There are bacteria that live around your vagina and butt. When they sneak into the bladder or urethra, they cause an infection.
This is because of the female anatomy. Since both the vagina and rectum are so close to the urethra, it makes it easier for the bacteria to move from one to another. Women also have shorter urethra than men, so the bacteria have a shorter distance to travel up to the bladder. About 10 in 25 women will experience symptoms of UTI in their lifetime, compared to three in 25 men.
The bacteria that cause most UTIs- E.Coli, comes from your intestine and ultimately your rectum. During intercourse, all the rubbing, touching and moving of the body can easily transfer bacteria from your back to the front and to the urethra. This is why peeing after sex is important. So you can flush out any bacteria before it has a chance to move up the urinary tract.
If you wipe back to front, you can colonise your urethra (and vagina) with bacteria from your rectum, specifically, E.Coli. So when you wipe or clean yourself, always do it front to back, instead of back to front.
The most obvious symptoms are a persistent urge to pee, and a painful burning sensation whenever you do. And other symptoms can include pelvic pain, only being able to pee a little bit every time, and cloudy or bloody urine. The extreme pain should be enough to prompt you to see a doctor. They take a urine culture to confirm it is a UTI, and give you antibiotics to treat it.
Most UTIs are riskier during a pregnancy and the symptoms are not as obvious. The physiological changes that take places during a pregnancy can some times cause a UTI and if untreated, may even lead to kidney infections. Both of these can be very serious during a pregnancy. While you may not experience the pain or the burning instead you’d feel a dull pain and some cramps.
Staying hydrated is a great and easy preventive measure. This dilutes the urine so there is a lower concentration of bacteria, making it less likely to cause an infection. It will also make the post-sex pee more effective.
Drinking cranberry juice may help you stay UTI free. According to studies, cranberry juice may be helpful in preventing UTI recurrence. One reason is that cranberries have properties that may actually prevent E.Coli from adhering to cells in the urinary tract.
If you have more than three UTIs in a year or two in six months, you’re prone to them. Some conditions like diabetes, kidney stones or abnormalities in the urinary tract, can also increase the risk of developing a UTI.
Picture credits: YouTube
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