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Helpful Tips to Prevent Recurrent UTIs

Helpful Tips to Prevent Recurrent UTIs

By Utiva Health

What is more annoying than a UTI? You guessed it, a cycle of recurring UTIs. As many as 40% of women who have one UTI will get another. 

If you have persistent symptoms of urinary tract infections, it’s very important to see your doctor for a urine culture who can prescribe the appropriate treatment, which is usually a course of antibiotics. Left untreated, an infection can lead to serious problems, such as kidney infections. 

There’s good news though! Natural prevention is possible with the help of small habits you can incorporate into your daily routine. Through these, you can greatly lower your risk of infection while maintaining a healthy bladder.

Tips to prevent recurrent UTIs include the following:

1. Drink as much water as you can

  • One of the most important steps to preventing UTIs
  • Increasing your water intake as much as possible is vital to staying hydrated so you can flush out any bacteria
  • 8-10 cups (1.5-2 litres) of water is the ideal amount according to new guidelines from the American Urologist Association (AUA) guidelines

2. Avoid holding it in

  • This may seem obvious, however, we can often get caught up in our busy days and postpone the urge to pee
  • Any time you have an urge to go to the washroom, do not ignore this signal your body is giving you
  • Peeing every 2-3 hours during the day and right before bedtime is normal
  • It’s also important to check the colour of your urine
    • If your urine isn’t close to transparent, this indicates you’re not drinking enough water

3. Pee before and after intercourse

  • To lower UTI risk, pee within 30 minutes before and after being sexually active to help flush out any bacteria that may have entered the urinary tract
  • Make sure to clean off toys and genitals regularly, especially if you’re switching between penetration spots

4. Avoid the use of Spermicides/Diaphragms

  • Your choice of contraceptive can actually help prevent UTIs
  • For some, reactions to spermicides and diaphragms can make it easier for bacteria to invade
  • Spermicides are used to kill sperm and block the cervix; however, they can also support bacterial growth (especially when used with a condom)
  • A diaphragm is a silicon cup that covers the cervix and puts pressure on the urethra, making it harder for you to empty your bladder regularly
    • The longer urine stays in your bladder, the easier it is for bacteria to grow

5. Avoid Bladder Irritants

  • What happens in your gut doesn’t just affect your gut
  • Certain foods can increase the acidity of your urine and irritate the bladder, making any bladder pain you have worse and facilitate the growth of bad bacteria
  • Be mindful of the amount of caffeine, sugar, alcohol, acidic fruits, spicy foods and carbonated drinks you’re consuming
    • You do not need to cut these foods/drinks out altogether, but limiting your intake can promote a healthy bladder while preventing infection

6. Take a Probiotic

  • Your genitals and urinary tract are packed with all sorts of microbes, good and bad. You need a healthy balance of those microbes to keep your genital health in check and protect your urinary tract from infection
    • If you suffer from recurrent UTIs, the constant antibiotics cycle has probably wiped out a lot of your good microbes
  • When choosing a probiotic, make sure it has at least 10 billion CFUs
      • A CFU is a unit of living bacteria in each dose
  • You’ll also want it to have a mixture of various Lactobacillus strains and Bifidobacterium, as they have been shown to reduce the side effects of antibiotics, helping restore the gut and vaginal microbiome

7. If Menopausal, ask your doctor about Vaginal Estrogen Therapy

  • During menopause, your estrogen levels take a nosedive, your vaginal walls become thin, dry, and inflamed, your urethra gets shorter and thinner, and your bladder takes on a mind of its own
    • All of these factors can lead to bacteria overgrowth and UTIs
  • Vaginal estrogen can help stop bacteria from spreading and soothe skin irritations caused by this hormonal roller coaster
  • Available as a topical cream, vaginal insert, or a flexible ring that is placed inside the vagina for 3 months

8. Incorporate a cranberry supplement with a high concentration of PACs

Utiva Cranberry PACS

  • PACs (proanthocyanidins) are the active molecules found in cranberries and are known for their anti-adhesion properties
  • Clinically proven to help stop bacteria from sticking to the bladder
  • Many cranberry supplements on the market contain very little PACs (if any) and a lot of filler; however, Utiva’s Cranberry PACs supplement contains 36 mg of PACs in each capsule, the clinically proven amount needed daily to prevent UTIs
  • 36 mg PACs is also shown to be effective with different types of bacteria

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