Have you struggled with painful urinary tract infections (UTIs) in the past? You’re not alone. Because of anatomical differences, women are generally more likely to contract UTIs than men. These infections are typically caused by the bacteria E. coli when it’s accidentally transferred from the anus to the urethra. Each time you have a UTI, your risk of contracting another one in the future increases. With this in mind, prevention is key. So what can you do to reduce your risk of getting a UTI?
Drink Plenty of Fluids
Proper hydration can help to flush bacteria out of the urinary tract and prevent infection. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, and try to avoid caffeinated beverages and sugary drinks. You should also empty your bladder at least once every 4 hours, even if you don’t feel the urge to urinate.
Be Mindful of Hygiene
Because UTIs are caused by E. coli bacteria, it’s important to be as hygienic as possible when using the bathroom and engaging in intercourse. Always wash and wipe from front to back after using the bathroom to prevent the transfer of bacteria from the anus to the urethra. You should also urinate after intercourse to flush out any bacteria that may have entered the urinary tract during sex.
Avoid Spermicidal Jelly
Spermicidal personal lubricants are designed to kill sperm, but they also kill the beneficial vaginal florae that help to prevent bacterial infections. Avoid using these products to keep your urinary tract as healthy as possible. On a related note, some studies have found that taking probiotics can help to prevent recurring UTIs as well. Eating probiotic foods like yogurt and kefir, for example, can promote a healthy urinary tract.