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How to Prevent Urinary Infection in Women?

Written by
Dr. Raguram Ganesamoni
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Published on Nov 11, 2016 and last reviewed on Sep 07, 2018   -  2 min read

Abstract

Urinary tract infection is a very common problem during the lifetime of women, affecting nearly half of them. It can be recurrent and annoying. It is more common during sexually active period. Try these simple and effective measures to keep the annoying urinary infection at bay!

How to Prevent Urinary Infection in Women?

Urinary tract infection (UTI) starts as a mild burning sensation during voiding and can lead to more dangerous kidney infection. The scientific basis of UTI is to be understood in order to stop it. Normal urine is sterile, that is it does not contain any bacteria. When some bacteria enter the urinary bladder through natural urinary passage (urethra), they are usually washed away. However, if the bacteria are virulent or the natural defenses are weak, then they can multiply and stick to the bladder wall, causing an infection.

I have compiled the various measures which can be easily adopted to prevent UTI:

1) Stay Hydrated:

Avoid dehydration at any cost. The whole urinary system needs to be continuously bathed in water. This means that you need to drink fluids throughout the day. This will keep the kidneys healthy and also wash out any bacteria that enter the bladder.

2) Empty Bladder Frequently:

Regular and frequent emptying of the bladder is important to prevent bacteria from staying for long and multiplying. If you are getting recurrent UTI, empty your bladder more frequently. For example, empty your bladder every three hours.

3) Learn and Use Proper Toileting Techniques:

The anal region teems with bacteria and genital region is relatively clean. Therefore, prevent contamination from the back to the front. Always wipe from front to back. Use two separate wipes for cleaning genital region and anal region.

4) Always Pass Urine After Intercourse:

Clean the genital region before having sex. Always remember to pass urine after intercourse. This will help to wash away the bacteria which have entered the urethra during sex.

5) Prefer Shower to Take a Bath:

If you get recurrent UTI, try avoiding bathtubs. These can easily get contaminated with bacteria from all over the body and facilitate bacterial entrance into the bladder.

6) Avoid Artificial Feminine Products:

Scented feminine products can irritate the urethra and the vagina. They can also alter the normal healthy bacteria present in the vagina, thus promoting harmful bacterial growth.

7) Avoid Diaphragms and Spermicidal Condoms:

Diaphragms and spermicidal condoms can promote bacterial overgrowth and change the normal vaginal pH respectively. Use other birth control measures if you are getting a UTI.

8) Choose Appropriate Underwear:

Use cotton underwear and loose garments which allow good aeration and prevent accumulation of moisture. Moisture is a prerequisite for bacterial growth.

9) Take Natural Remedies:

Yogurt and curd are rich in lactobacilli. These protective bacteria are normally present in the vagina and help in preventing harmful bacterial growth. Cranberries are rich in proanthocyanidins. These prevent bacteria from sticking on to the bladder wall. Apples, oranges and peaches are naturally rich in D-mannose. This also helps in preventing UTI.

10) Take Vitamin C Supplement:

Taking vitamin C 500 to 1000 mg per day can help to keep the urine acidic and prevent bacterial growth.

11) Apply Vaginal Estrogen Cream:

Postmenopausal women can have low estrogen levels and unhealthy vaginal lining. Applying estrogen cream in vagina (strictly under medical supervision only) if approved by your local urologist can help in keeping the vagina healthy.

12) Rule Out Organ Prolapse:

In the presence of bladder or uterine prolapse (descend down), urine emptying can get interfered. If you feel like having such a problem, please visit your gynecologist or urologist.

If you have any further doubts regarding UTI then please feel free to consult a urologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/urologist

Frequently Asked Questions


1.

How Do You Get Rid of a Urinary Infection?

The diagnosis part is very important for a urinary tract infection. The causative agent for urinary infection should be identified for a successful treatment plan. If the infection has occurred due to pregnancy, then you should consult your gynecologist and get a physical examination done. Depending on the type of bacteria causing the infection, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics or antifungals if the causative organism is a fungus.

2.

What Are the Causes of Urinary Infection in Women?

The general cause of urinary tract infection in women are:
- Poor hygiene of the genitals.
- E. Coli bacteria.
- Sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea, herpes, mycoplasma, and chlamydia.

3.

How Long Does a Urinary Tract Infection Last?

In untreated cases, the urinary tract infection might take a time of one week or more to heal. If the patient is under medication, then the symptoms usually subside within two or three days. It is necessary to treat the urinary tract infection soon because it can result in other complications like disorders of the kidney.

4.

What Causes Urinary Tract Infection in Pregnancy?

Pregnancy is the period where the woman is highly prone to urinary tract infections. Hormonal fluctuations happening in the pregnancy are the main reason for urinary tract infections. An increase in the urinary output might also increase the tendency for urinary tract infection. If you are suffering from severe itching or abnormal discharge, then you should consult your doctor immediately.

5.

How Can a Pregnant Woman Get Rid of a UTI?

Medications and topical ointments are really helpful in treating urinary tract infections. The fungal infections can be treated by topical application of antifungal creams. Bacterial infections can be treated well with the oral intake of antibiotics. You should get recommendations from your doctor before consuming any medication during pregnancy.

6.

Can You Treat a Urinary Tract Infection at Home While Pregnant?

Yes, you can treat urinary tract infections at home. But, it is possible only in a few instances. The below tips might be helpful in treating urinary tract infections.
- It is necessary to empty your bladder before and after sex.
- Use underwear liners.
- You should avoid douching, sprays, and perfumes.
- Stay hydrated.
- Do not use any soaps that are harsh.

7.

What Does a UTI Feel Like While Pregnant?

A urinary tract infection during pregnancy might be disturbing because it can cause the following symptoms.
- Burning sensation during urination.
- Painful sexual intercourse.
- Severe itching.
- Abnormal discharges.
- The increase in the frequency of urination might cause discomfort and pain.

8.

Are UTIs Harmful During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, the woman is highly prone to infections. Not all infections are harmful to the baby. The fungal infections and some of the bacterial infections do not pass the mucus plug formation and are usually harmless. Viral infections are very infectious and can affect the growth and development of the baby in the fetus.

9.

Can a Urinary Tract Infection Cause Birth Defects?

Yes, urinary tract infections in pregnant mothers can result in birth defects in the babies. The common problems faced by the baby due to urinary tract infections are:
- Low birth weight.
- Premature growth of the babies.
- Wide range of deadly infections in the baby.

10.

How Can I Treat a UTI During Pregnancy Without Antibiotics?

It is necessary to identify the cause of urinary tract infections. Follow the following tips to treat urinary tract infections.
- If poor hygiene is the reason for infection, then care must be taken to keep the area clean and dry. Wash your underwear properly.
- Wipe your vaginal region from front to back.
- Involve in safe sexual practices.
- Hydrate yourself with water and cranberry juice.
- Take probiotics.

11.

Can a UTI Cause Miscarriage?

A mere urinary tract infection alone cannot cause a miscarriage. If the urinary tract infection is seen along with the kidney problems, then there are chances for the miscarriage to happen. However, since the mother's immune mechanism is low and unpredictable during pregnancy, it is often hard to understand the prognosis.

12.

Why Do I Keep Getting Urinary Tract Infections?

The recurrent urinary tract infections can be due to the following reasons.
- Unhealthy sexual intercourse.
- Increase in bacterial load.
- Prolonged and severe dehydration.
- Pregnancy.
- Severe and prolonged dehydration.
- Poor air circulation in the genitals.

13.

Are Bananas Good for Urinary Tract Infections?

Bananas are very helpful for maintaining the health of the urinary tract. It helps in maintaining normal and regular bowel movements. It also helps in maintaining the pressure levels of the urinary flow. You should check with your doctor or your dietician for a proper meal plan.

Last reviewed at:
07 Sep 2018  -  2 min read

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