UTIs: Prevention Pointers

UTIs (urinary tract infections) are uncomfortable and they hit without warning. There are ways to help your body prevent these infections in your lower urinary tract, bladder and urethra. Follow these tips from your favourite Durban gynae clinic to avoid the discomfort of continually needing to pee, burning sensations and cloudy urine that sometimes has a different odour.

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Tip #1 – Wiping Direction

Yes, it is important. Your anal sphincter is a site of E.coli bacteria, so you should NOT wipe from back to front. If you have diarrhoea, then rinsing your genitalia and anus region with a hand shower and unperfumed soap is highly recommended to avoid cross-contamination.

Tip # 2 – Stay Hydrated

When you are dehydrated, you pee less, allowing bacteria to build colonies in your urinary tract. Aim for a minimum of six glasses (250ml x 6) per day, preferably eight glasses. Make it more interesting with sparkling water, caffeine-free herbal tea, lemon slices in your water and fruit & veggie smoothies.

Note: alcohol and caffeine are bladder irritants.

Tip # 3 – Don’t Hold It In

As per tip # 2, the less you pee, the more chance you will build up bacterial colonies. Plan a pee break every three to four hours and take time to relax for a few minutes to allow the bladder to empty completely.

Tip # 4 – Pee Breaks Before & After Intercourse

Intercourse increases the risk of UTIs, as bacteria find it easier to enter the urethra. Planning a pee break before and after intercourse helps clear out any lurking bacteria. A gentle wash of your genitalia will also wash away opportunistic bacteria.

Tip # 5 – Don’t Use Perfumed Products

Lactobacilli are good bacteria that keep your vagina area healthy with a good pH level. Perfumed products disturb the pH balance and let bad bacteria blossom. Avoid ALL scented products in the vaginal area.

Tip # 6 – Birth Control Options

If you are battling with UTIs, then one of the factors to consider is your contraception. Diaphragms, non-lubricated condoms, spermicides or spermicide condoms can contribute towards bacterial infestations. Talk to your Durban gynae clinic for alternatives.

Tip # 7 – Probiotic Plan

A helpful plan for breaking the cycle of UTIs is to boost your good bacteria by taking probiotics. You can find Lactobacilli strains in yoghurt, sauerkraut or tempeh and probiotic supplements or suppositories.

Tip # 8 – The Antibiotic Attack

If all our other tips are not beating your bouts of UTIs, then your Durban gynae clinic might recommend an antibiotic to break the cycle. Take ALL the prescribed antibiotic tablets to prevent antibiotic resistance from developing. In addition, take probiotics 20 minutes after your antibiotic dose.

Tip # 9 – Tasty Cranberries

Cranberries contain proanthocyanidins that might be linked to preventing E.coli bacteria infections by stopping bacteria from adhering to urinary tissue. Their vitamin C content might lower the pH level (acidic), which hampers the growth of bad bacteria. There are no conclusive scientific findings on this yet but it’s a low-risk option. Choose unsweetened options always.

For more UTI prevention pointers, talk to our Durban gynae clinic today!