Prevent UTI

Millions of women around the world experience the burning sensation and discomfort of UTI but avoiding certain activities will prevent recurring episode.

The urinary tract carries liquid waste from the kidneys to the bladder then out the urethra. A healthy bladder can hold between 10-20 ounces of urine at a time and triggers the urge to urinate when it’s about half full.

When the bacteria type E. coli makes its way from the rectum and enters the normally sterile urinary tract, infections can result either on urethritis – an inflammation of the urethra, cystitis – an inflammation of the bladder (the most common UTI) or pyelonephritis (or kidney infection) – an inflammation of the ureters and the kidneys (the most serious UTI).

Urethritis and cystitis don’t pose serious health threats, although they generally need to be treated with antibiotics. If left untreated, the infection may spread to the kidney.

Among the factors that can cause UTI are poor bathroom habits, sex, dehydration, and tight pants.

* Sex. Women who are sexually active may likely to suffer UTI. While it’s natural for some bacteria to enter the bladder during intercourse, it doesn’t have to lead to infection. UTI occur when the bladder is not emptied properly or becomes overrun with bacteria, which can happen when an ill-fitted diaphragm partially blocks the bladder neck or when there are abrasions on urethral tissue to which bacteria can adhere.

Abrasions can happen when too much sperm burns the outer edge of the urethra, or whensexual positions drag the urethra up and down repeatedly, or when vaginal dryness leads to irritation (in case of menopausal women).

Before sex, it is recommended to drink a glass of water so that afterward the bladder will be at least half-full and can empty more efficiently. It is advisable to abstain from sex or observe sexual monogamy.

* Poor bathroom habits. Women who don’t visit the bathroom frequently may also be more likely to get UTI because when urine stays in the bladder longer, more bacteria can multiply. It is advisable not to suppress the urge to urinate. Women are also encouraged to wipe from front to back to avoid the spread of bacteria.

* Dehydration. Women who don’t drink enough fluids might be more susceptible to UTI because their bladders are never full enough to empty completely.

* Tight pants and pads. Snug-fitting jeans, underwear and pantyhose with nylon crotches, and other apparel that continually rub against the perineum and labia might cause abrasions on the tender tissue where bacteria can latch on. Leaving tampons in while urinating could partially obstruct the bladder neck. Sanitary pads are great breeding grounds for bacteria. Change pads regularly and remove tampons with every trip to the bathroom.

Source Manila Bulletin
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