A Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is a bacterial infection affecting any part of the urinary system, comprising the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra. Commonly caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli), UTIs bring pain or a burning sensation during urination, frequent urges, cloudy urine, and discomfort in the pelvic region. Factors like sexual activity, urinary tract abnormalities, and weakened immune systems can increase susceptibility.
Annually, approximately 150 million individuals receive a diagnosis of urinary tract infection (UTI) globally. Women face a higher lifetime risk, with 60%, while men experience a significantly lower lifetime risk of only 13%.
- Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to help flush bacteria out of your urinary system. Adequate hydration is crucial for maintaining urinary tract health.
- Practice Good Hygiene: Wipe from front to back after using the toilet to prevent bacteria from the anal region from entering the urethra. Keep the genital area clean and dry.
- Urinate Regularly: Avoid holding urine for a longer period. Emptying the bladder regularly helps to flush out bacteria that may be present.
- Empty Your Bladder Completely: Make sure to empty your bladder fully each time you urinate. Incomplete emptying may allow bacteria to multiply.
- Urinate After Intercourse: This can help flush out any bacteria that may have entered the urethra during sexual activity.
- Choose the Right Underwear: Wear cotton underwear and avoid tight-fitting pants to allow air circulation. Change out of wet or sweaty clothes promptly.
- Avoid Irritants: Use mild, unscented soap and avoid harsh feminine hygiene products, as they can irritate the urethra. Consider using hypoallergenic laundry detergents and avoiding bubble baths.
- Optimize Bathroom Habits: Take time during urination to ensure thorough emptying. Refrain from using irritating feminine products like douches or powders. Probiotics could potentially aid in maintaining a healthy bacterial balance in the urinary tract, so consider incorporating probiotic-rich foods or supplements into your diet.
- Cranberry Products: Cranberries possess a substance that inhibits bacteria from adhering to the bladder walls, potentially lowering the risk of bladder and other urinary tract infections (UTIs). The use of cranberries, typically in the form of cranberry juice, has been explored as a potential treatment for UTIs, especially in vulnerable populations such as the elderly.
A strong immune system helps in body fight off infections. Consume a well-rounded diet, engage in regular physical activity, ensure adequate sleep, and effectively handle stress for overall well-being.
If you experience symptoms of a UTI, such as pain or a burning sensation during urination, frequent urination, or cloudy urine, it’s important to see a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.
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