Almost 50% women suffer from UTI at some point in their lives. But did you know that urinary tract infection (UTI) can even affect your kidneys and bladder? In fact, unless it is properly managed, UTI can cause permanent damage to the kidneys. The risk – and symptoms – can be aggravated with sexual activity, pregnancy, menopause, diabetes and chemotherapy, as well as with use of birth control methods such as diaphragms or spermicides.
everteen, the complete feminine hygiene expert, in association with Woman’s Era, brings to you the do’s and don’ts of urinary tract infection, as well as some remedies to help you fight off this painstakingly persistent problem.
Do’s – Things that will keep you protected from UTI
- Guzzle on water to flush out bacteria. Water prevents you from UTI by diluting urine.
- Empty the bladder at regular intervals. It is another basic essential that helps you evade UTI.
- Wear loose, cotton fabrics for intimate areas.
- Pay attention to intimate hygiene especially after sexual intercourse and throughout pregnancy. These are two occasions when you are the most exposed to the risk of developing a UTI.
- Use the bathroom straight after sex to reduce chances of any bacteria remaining in your urinary tract. Drinking water before sex can help by increasing urge to use the loo.
- Always change your swimsuit immediately after using a public pool. Read our article on more intimate hygiene precautions you should take.
- Take plenty of vitamin C enriched foods to build immunity against UTI. See in remedies below.
Don’ts – Things to avoid at all costs to stay away from UTI
- Never wipe from rear to front. This will prevent bacteria present in your anal and rectal area to travel to your vaginal area.
- Like we have advised in another article, tight denims are the worst nightmare for woman’s intimate health. UTIs can also be caused, and worsened, by tight-fitting trousers, thongs, nylon stockings and pantyhose which can irritate skin, and create warm and moist environment suitable for microbial growth.
- Avoid carbonated drinks and excessive sugar.
- Also say no to liquor, all citrus juices, and caffeine-based drinks such as coffee.
- Never hold back urge to go pee. Just do it wherever you feel a need. More the better.
- Never ignore blood or burning sensation in urine. Also pay attention if your urine is unusually dark or foul-smelling than other days.
- Never self-medicate, especially on antibiotics, which can lead to bacteria developing resistance against them and make antibiotics ineffective.
- Never try home remedies without proper research on risks and benefits as well as correct usage. For example, it is said that a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass full of water can detox your kidneys and neutralize urinary acid. However, scientific research shows that an overdose or excessive use can cause stomach poisoning, brain damage and other symptoms.
Remedies to manage UTI effectively
- Adopt a ‘complete’ feminine intimate hygiene. Don’t take it as a given. Cultivate a daily habit of using natural pH balanced intimate wash, especially during menstrual periods. Carry intimate wipes in your handbag at all times – just one touch of the infection at a public toilet can add years of misery to your life. During non-period days, use cotton-surface panty liners with anti-microbial strip that can absorb any light discharges and urine leakages to keep your intimate area dry and infection free.
- Add fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet that are rich sources of Vitamin C. Some of these include bell peppers, oranges, grapefruit (chakotara), kiwi, papaya, strawberries, black currants, tomatoes, pineapple, broccoli, kale and guava.
- Drink cranberry juice – but make sure it does not contain artificial sweeteners, so you only nourish your body, not the bacteria! However, avoid it if you are on blood-thinners or
- Probiotics can also help build immunity against UTI, as do garlic and turmeric.
- Popular in several countries for for its vaginal tightening and rejuvenation wonders, everteen vaginal gel is actually a natural powerhouse of rare ingredients that boost a woman’s intimate health and provides a shield against all infections. Besides toning vaginal muscles, increasing vaginal elasticity and removing infection, it also lubricates the private parts that ward off risks of pregnancy-related or sexually-transmitted infections.
- Use of unfiltered apple cider vinegar (ACV) can help, both through oral consumption and local application. Mix a table spoon in a glass of water and have it three times a day. Add honey to taste. Or use it as a salad dressing. Add a cup of ACV to bath water every day. You can also add 4-5 drops of any of the essential oils with anti-microbial properties such as tea tree oil, lemongrass oil or lavender oil. However, never overuse ACV or any of these essential oils.
- If you are in post menopause stage, regular doctor visits can help. In some cases, you may be prescribed a vaginal estrogen that can help preserve desirable levels of this happy hormone.