- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
15 Tips to Prevent UTI Naturally in Women
Have you had experienced getting up many times one night just to go to the bathroom? And one morning you've noticed the fullness in your bladder that wouldn't go away and you felt the burning sensation when you urinate.
You've probably got a urinary tract infection.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common among women. Twenty-percent of all women have experienced at least one UTI in their life. About 1/3 of those women will suffer from another UTI in less than 3 months. And about 3 out of four will have another episode within 2 years.
Why women are more prone to UTI than men?
Women are more prone to UTI because the female urethra is very short -- about 1 inch long. Female urethra is a tube connecting urinary bladder to the outside of the body. If any bacteria that might be present in the urethral opening, the bladder can easily be infected because of the short distance for the bacteria to travel.
Men, on the other hand, have fewer urinary tract infections because they have long urethra. Bacteria can never make it up from urethra to the bladder.
Signs & Symptoms of UTI
1) frequent urination
2) burning sensation while urinating
3) urgency of urination (feeling of having to go immediately to the bathroom)
4) bladder fullness/cramping
5) blood in urine
6) abdominal pain
7) low fever
8) general feeling of "unwellness"
Most UTIs can be treated with antibiotics. No home remedies effective for this to make it go away once you've got it. But there are many ways to lower your risk of getting it.
Tips to avoid UTI
Here are the simple tips to help you avoid the pain and discomfort of UTI. Many of these tips apply more to women due to their greater risk.
1) When you feel like urinating, don't hold it. Urinating helps keep any harmful bacteria from infecting the bladder. Every urination gets rid most of the bacteria from the bladder.
If you delay urinating after you've felt the urge, you are allowing the bacteria more time to multiply. The more bacteria in the bladder, the harder it is to wash them all away. This is the onset of infection. So, women urinate as often as you can.
2) Drink lots of liquids daily. This will make you urinate more often thus decreasing the risk of UTI.
3) Wipe from front to back when you have a bowel movement. Wiping vice versa - that is from back to front - pulls the bacteria from the rectum to urethral opening and increases the risk of infection.
4) Or, instead of wiping, if possible - wash the rectal area after each bowel movement. This helps remove the bacteria effectively from that area.
5) Instead of wearing nylon underwear, wear cotton underwear. Cotton underwear keeps the groin area cooler and breathes better while nylon underwear makes the groin hot and moist which promotes bacterial growth because of the retention of heat and moisture. Cotton keeps the area cool and dry.
6) To keep the crotch area cooler and dryer, wear thigh-high panty hose instead of full panty hose.
7) Avoid wearing tight pants; wear loose clothing. Tight clothing traps the heat and moisture which promotes bacterial growth.
8) Urinate soon after sexual intercourse. The act of intercourse does not mean that the bacteria will multiply, but it encourages the transfer of bacteria up through the urethra. Better yet, urinate before intercourse - this helps flush away any bacteria that might get pushed into the urethra during the intercourse.
9) Make sure the genital areas of both sexual partners are clean to reduce the risk of bacterial infection.
10) Change tampons often. Waiting too long encourages the growth of bacteria which causes vaginal and bladder infections.
11) Avoid douching often. Douching disturbs the natural protective barriers that help prevent infection. If you do douche, use the most natural, chemical-free formula you can find.
12) Do not use genital deodorants (their chemicals can trigger UTIs).
13) Women who use diaphragms for contraception are susceptible to UTI. Diaphragms press against the bladder and prevent the bladder from emptying all the urine it contains. Also, most women leave the diaphragm in for 8-10 hours thus allowing the bacteria more time to multiply and cause infection. So instead of diaphragms, try another method.
14) Shower daily or wash the rectal and urethral area with a mild anti-bacterial soap. This will eliminate bacteria that might grow and multiply.
15) Drink cranberry juice daily. Cranberry juice is very acidic, and makes the urine more acidic. Most bacteria cannot thrive on acidic environment. So the cranberry juice cuts your chances of UTI.
16) To relieve the pain that sometimes comes with urinary tract infection, take aspririn or acetaminophen. This only treats the symptoms and makes you feel better. It doesn't kill the bacteria. You need an antibiotic from your doctor. Don't delay seeing your doctor because the longer you wait, the farther up your system the bacteria travels. The bacteria will eventually reach the kidneys and cause serious, and sometimes permanent kidney damage.