Whether you're 60 or 16, a UTI can be in your future. Each year, 8-10 million people are treated for urinary tract infections, making this one of the most common bacterial infections a person can get. Although anyone can get a UTI, they are more common in women due to our anatomy (the urethra in females is shorter and closer to the anus, where E. coli bacteria may linger.) In fact, studies show that 1 out of 5 women will have a UTI at some point in their lifetime. Yippee! Older adults also are at higher risk for developing UTIs as well as those with Diabetes. But have no fear; UTIs are both treatable and preventable. With just a few tips, you can say bye-bye to the UTI.
What Exactly is a UTI and How Did it Occur?
A UTI (urinary tract infection) is a bacterial infection of the urinary system, consisting of the urethra, ureters, the bladder, and the kidneys. An infection occurs when bacteria (usually E. coli) gets into the urinary tract and multiplies. Normally, urine moves through the urinary system without any contamination because our kidneys work as a filtration system to keep the germs out. However, bacteria can get into the urinary system from outside sources, causing infection and inflammation. Hence a UTI is born.
The most common type of UTI is a bladder infection (cystitis). It occurs when bacteria gets into the urethra and travels to the bladder. Sadly, one of the main causes of cystitis is sex, from your partner's genitals, anus, fingers, or sex toys. Because vaginas have a short distance from the anus, bacteria can easily make its way inside during sex and get pushed into your urethra. Another type of UTI is an infection of the urethra (urethritis). This occurs when the E. coli bacteria just stays in the urethra. This type of UTI can also happen from sex, but most often, it's just from not wiping front to back. If a UTI is not treated in a timely fashion, it can turn into a kidney infection (pyelonephritis). This is more serious than the other two, as it affects the kidneys and causes more painful symptoms.
Easy Tips to Prevent UTIs
- Drink tons of water: helps flush out the bacteria.
- Pee before and after sex: Again, this flushes the bacteria through the urine
- Use condoms: keeps his bacteria out.
- Avoid oil-based lubes: use water-based lube if lube is your thing.
- Wipe your tush front to back: sounds easy, but you'd be surprised at how many people don't do this.
- Don’t hold in your pee: this can cause old urine to stay in the bladder and develop bacteria.
- Take urinary tract supplements. If you are prone to recurrent UTIs, these can be your best friend. Evidence shows that D-mannose and cranberry powder help prevent bacteria from sticking to your vaginal parts. Checkable Urinary Tract Balance provides all of the nutrients needed to keep UTIs away.
If you follow these tips on UTI prevention, you can help keep these pesky suckers away. Just remember, they are totally normal and treatable. If you do get one, here are tips to help treat them fast!