What to Do if You Keep Getting UTIs

urinary tract infection, kidney or bladder stones, incomplete bladder emptying

UTIs, or urinary tract infections, are common infections that can affect different parts of the urinary system, including the bladder, urethra, and kidneys. They occur when bacteria from the digestive tract enter the urinary tract and multiply, leading to inflammation and infection. The most common type of UTI is a bladder infection, which causes symptoms like frequent urination, a burning sensation during urination, and cloudy or bloody urine.

A woman’s urethra is shorter than a man’s. Plus, it is located near the openings of the vagina and anus, meaning there’s more opportunity for bacteria from both those areas to spread—or be wiped—into the urethra. Proper hygiene, staying hydrated, and urinating after sexual activity are some preventive measures, and UTIs are usually treated with antibiotics prescribed by a healthcare professional.

Here’s what to do if you keep getting frequent or recurring infections of the urinary tract:

Talk to a Doctor

If you experience recurring or frequent UTIs and want to prevent urinary tract infections in the future, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional. They will ask you about your symptoms, medical history, and lifestyle factors to understand your situation better. Additionally, they may perform tests such as a urinalysis to identify the specific bacteria causing the infection and determine the best way to treat recurring UTIs. Seeking medical advice ensures proper diagnosis and management of UTIs, reducing the risk of complications and improving your overall urinary health.

Keep It Clean and Dry

Maintaining good hygiene practices is crucial in preventing UTIs. One essential habit is always wiping from front to back after using the bathroom. This prevents the transfer of bacteria from the anal area to the urethra, reducing the risk of infection. Additionally, keeping the genital area clean and dry helps inhibit harmful bacteria growth. Avoid harsh soaps or douches, as they can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the genital area.

Learn how to clean your vagina.

Drink Lots of Water

Keeping yourself hydrated is crucial for maintaining a healthy urinary system. Drinking an adequate amount of water helps to flush out harmful bacteria from the urinary tract. It dilutes the urine, making it less likely for bacteria to thrive and cause infections. Drinking enough water encourages regular urination, which can help prevent the bacteria from multiplying and causing UTIs. Aim to drink plenty of water throughout the day as a simple and effective way to reduce the risk of UTIs and support overall urinary health.

Manage Stress

Stress can significantly impact our overall health, including the urinary system. When you experience stress, your body’s immune system may weaken, making you more susceptible to infections, including recurring UTIs. Stress can also lead to changes in urinary habits and increase muscle tension around the bladder, which may contribute to UTIs. To help prevent UTIs, finding ways to manage and reduce stress is essential. Engaging in relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, mindfulness, meditation, yoga, or time in nature can be beneficial. Regular exercise and getting enough sleep are important steps in managing stress and maintaining a healthy immune system.

Watch What You Eat

Certain foods can positively impact urinary health, while others may increase the likelihood of developing UTIs. Including cranberry products, such as cranberry juice or supplements, in your diet might be beneficial. Cranberries contain compounds that can help prevent bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract, reducing the risk of infection. On the other hand, some foods and beverages can irritate the bladder and potentially contribute to UTIs. It’s essential to know how your body responds to different foods and adjust accordingly.

Be Careful During Intimacy

Engaging in sexual activity can increase the risk of developing UTIs, particularly for women, as sexual intercourse can introduce bacteria into the urinary tract. To reduce the likelihood of UTIs:

  • Empty your bladder after sex: Peeing after intimacy helps flush out bacteria that may have entered the urinary tract during sex.
  • Practice good hygiene: Both partners should maintain proper genital hygiene to minimise the transfer of bacteria.
  • Use lube: Adequate lubrication can help reduce friction and irritation, decreasing the likelihood of UTIs.
  • Avoid certain contraceptives: Diaphragms and spermicides may increase the risk of UTIs for some individuals. Discuss alternative contraceptive options with a healthcare provider if necessary.
  • Communicate with your partner: Openly discussing any concerns or discomfort can lead to better sexual experiences and help identify potential risk factors.

If you experience recurrent UTIs related to sexual activity, consider speaking with a healthcare professional. They can provide personalised advice and recommend preventive measures tailored to your situation.

Take UTI Medication as Prescribed

If your doctor prescribes antibiotics to treat a UTI, it’s important to follow their instructions and take the medication as directed. Even if you start feeling better before finishing the course, completing the prescribed treatment is essential. Skipping doses or stopping early may allow bacteria to survive, leading to recurring or more severe infections. Taking the entire course of antibiotics ensures the infection is completely eradicated, reducing the risk of complications and promoting faster recovery.

Consider Natural Remedies for UTIs

Certain herbs and supplements might be beneficial if you’re looking for natural remedies for UTIs. However, you should consult with your doctor before trying any alternative treatments. While some natural remedies, like cranberry products, have shown promise in supporting urinary health, others may not be effective or could interact with medications or existing health conditions. Your doctor can provide personalised advice, assess potential risks, and help you make informed decisions about incorporating natural remedies into your UTI prevention plan.

Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Making healthy lifestyle choices can positively impact your urinary health and reduce the risk of UTIs. Regular exercise helps improve blood flow, boost the immune system, and maintain a healthy body weight, all of which contribute to better overall health, including the urinary system. A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains provides essential nutrients that support proper bladder function and urinary tract health. Additionally, reducing the intake of sugary and processed foods can help minimise the risk of UTIs. Simple daily habits, like staying hydrated, practicing good hygiene, and managing stress, also significantly promote urinary health. Making small but meaningful changes can dramatically benefit your overall well-being and help prevent UTIs.

When to See a Specialist

If you experience recurrent UTIs, it may be time to see a specialist. Your primary care doctor might refer you to a urologist, a medical professional specialising in diagnosing and treating conditions related to the urinary tract and male reproductive system. A urologist can conduct a comprehensive evaluation to determine the underlying cause of your recurring UTIs. They may perform additional tests, such as imaging studies or urodynamic tests, to better understand your urinary health. The urologist can recommend tailored treatment options to manage or prevent future UTIs based on the results. Seeking the expertise of a specialist can be instrumental in addressing chronic or complex UTI cases and improving your urinary health and quality of life.

Looking for quick and easy access to UTI treatments online? Start a consult with our medical team today!

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