If you’ve ever had one, and if you’re a woman it is most likely that you have, you know how painful urinary tract infections can be. Around 50-60% of women will experience a UTI in their lifetime. (Source)
With bacteria increasingly becoming antibiotic resistant, the go-to treatment isn’t as effective as you might hope. Several antibiotics such as ampicillin, amoxicillin and sulfonamides are no longer used to treat UTIs because of resistance. Other antibiotics aren’t effective on certain strains, but can be used to treat others—although recurrence isn’t uncommon. (Source)
So what’s a girl to do?
There are ways you can help your body heal from a urinary tract infection.
But first, let’s talk a little about what is happening in your body when you get a UTI.
A UTI is an infection in any part of your urinary system, which includes your kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Most infections involve the lower urinary tract, which is the bladder and the urethra. (Source)
These infections are caused by pathogens attaching themselves inside the urinary system, most commonly the bacteria E. coli.
Symptoms of UTIs include:
Now let’s get into what you can do about it.
The first thing you need to know is to drink plenty of fluids. This will help with the second item—urinate frequently. Drinking lots of fluid will dilute your urine, and urinating more frequently will help flush bacteria from your urinary tract.
There are a few other extra things you can add to your rotation to hurry that bacteria out of your body.
Reduce Exposure to Skin Allergens
Since skin allergens introduced to the genital area, such as bubble bath liquids, bath oils, vaginal creams and lotions, deodorant sprays or soaps can alter vaginal flora and ultimately result in UTI, it’s best to avoid them. (Source) Replace your perfumed products with naturally derived ingredients to help keep your bacteria balanced.
Drink Lots of Fluids and Urinate Often
It’s worth stating again! Since drinking fluids and urinating often helps flush bacteria through your urinary system, it keeps the bacteria from sticking around and creating infection.
Keep Things Clean and Dry
Take care of your lady bits by keeping them nice and clean and dry. When moisture is trapped, it creates a breeding ground for bacteria. It is also important to wipe from front to back so no bacteria gets to the urethra.
Here’s to staying healthy and infection free!