If you’re susceptible to getting a urinary tract infection (UTI) and cystitis repeatedly there are ways to prevent this.
A UTI is an infection in any part of your urinary system — your kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Women are at greater risk of developing a UTI than are men and there are over 3 million GP visits about cystitis taking place in the UK every year.
Below are some tips and advice on how to reduce your risks of getting UTIs and cystitis:
1) Cut out any bad habits - go to the toilet often and drinking plenty of water.
Cystitis is commonly caused by bacteria entering the bladder through the urethra. Not going to the toilet frequently or not emptying the bladder fully, and wiping from back to front can make you more prone to urine infections. Not drinking enough water causes dehydration, which makes the urine more concentrated. This can irritate the urethra and can make passing urine more painful. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water each day, and go to the toilet often to flush the bacteria away from the bladder.
2) Check with your GP that you don’t have underlying condition.
If you keep getting a reoccurring cystitis then it might be worth checking with your GP that you don’t have a underlying condition. Some women with diabetes can be more prone to bladder infections due to poor sugar control, impaired immunity and incomplete emptying of the bladder.
3) Ensure you are wearing the right underwear.
Wearing tightly fitting underwear can trap moisture in the intimate areas and allow infections to take hold. Cotton knickers are best and ideally don’t wear knickers at night.
4) Post sex etiquette – pass urine after sex where possible.
If women don’t pass urine after sex, they are also more likely to get cystitis. The action of sex means that you are more likely to get bacteria into the urethra whether you use protection or not. Therefore urinate where possible after sex and you will flush out bacteria before it takes hold.
5) Treat cystitis quickly and early to avoid further complications
If left undiagnosed and untreated, cystitis can become very serious. If cystitis continues, the infection can go into the kidneys, causing loin pain and fever. If you are diagnosed with cystitis, you should drink plenty of water as this will help you flush out the infection through frequent urination. Cranberry juice is also commonly taken. This is because the ingredients in cranberries can make it more difficult for bacteria to stick to the bladder wall.
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