More commonly known as UTI, urinary tract infection, usually involves inflammation and infection of the bladder and the urethra. This disease affects over 20% of the female population in the world at any given time. Infections in the urinary tract are not necessarily critical to one’s general health. However, if untreated, this could develop into a more serious problem such as a kidney infection.
An infection in the urinary tract is usually accompanied by a stinging or burning sensation during urination. And while there is a frequent urge to urinate, very few fluids are released, making it more painful. The urine may appear cloudy as it may contain pus or blood. And you may be able to experience lower abdominal back pains.
CERT (Center for Education and Research on Theraputics) proves several factors that make women more biologically susceptible to developing UTI than men. For one, women have shorter urethra than men which makes it easier for the bacteria to go into the bladder.
During menstrual periods, tampons may irritate the bladder and the infrequent replacement of tampons or sanitary napkins invite bacteria. Meanwhile, during pregnancy, pressure being applied to the bladder due to an enlarged uterus can prevent the bladder from completely emptying out during urination which could in turn invite an infection.
To prevent the development of UTI, women should avoid unnecessarily delaying urination. The chances of bacteria to attaching itself to the lining in the urinary tract are greater for as long as urine is kept in the bladder.
Drink enough water in order to help flush out bacteria in the urinary tract. It is also advised to use only water when washing the genital area as certain chemicals found in soaps and other vaginal washes can cause irritation in the skin surrounding the urinary system, making it susceptible to infection. Wash the genital area before intercourse. It is also advisable for women to urinate before and after sexual intercourse.
During the menstrual period, change sanitary napkins and tampons frequently. Make sure to wash the genital area during every change.
Alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine have proven to be irritants to the urinary tract. It is advised to stop smoking and to reduce the intake of alcoholic drinks, as well as coffee and carbonated drinks. Instead, take cranberry juice which has been known for its anti-inflammatory properties or take in juices rich in vitamin C which could help boost your resistance to infection.