How to avoid urinary infections

Urinary infections (also called bladder infections) are caused when there is an infection in any part of the urinary system (kidneys, bladder, and urethra). In India, more than 10 million cases of urinary infections are reported every year. As we believe “Prevention is better than Cure,” we discuss some helpful tips to prevent urinary infections.

Drink plenty of water:

It is highly advisable to drink 8-10 glasses of water daily to get rid of harmful bacteria via increased urine output. Drinking plenty of water also helps to dilute concentrated urine and thus reduce multiplication of bacteria.

Practice good toilet hygiene:

Practicing proper toilet hygiene protects against urinary infections. Ensure that you always wipe your genitals from front to back after the bowel movements to stop spreading of bacteria to the urethra.

Women during menstrual period must change their sanitary napkins as and when required as spoiled pads can invite bacterial growth.

Appropriate clothing:

The moist environment in your genital area helps bacteria thrive rapidly. Avoid wearing tight jeans and skin fit clothes that trap moisture and create a breeding ground for bacteria.

Wearing cotton undergarments, skirts, and loose pants promote free air circulation and prevent pathogenic bacteria entering the bladder.

Frequent urination:

Do not hold urine for long periods as bacteria thrive in concentrated urine. Empty your bladder as soon as you feel the need to urinate.

Diet:

Avoiding bladder-irritating foods (caffeinated and carbonated drinks, spicy dishes, nicotine and artificial sweeteners) is an excellent way to reduce your symptoms during urinary infections.

Vitamin C, primarily available in citrus fruits is effective in preventing urinary infections by averting the proliferation of pathogenic bacteria attached to the urinary tract.

Maintain balanced vaginal flora:

Naturally defensive bacteria present in vagina fight off infection and maintains friendly flora. But, use of potentially irritating feminine hygiene products like scented douches, sprays or talcum powders in the genital area can upset this balance. Any imbalance in the vaginal flora allows pathogenic bacteria to flourish and cause urinary infections. Ensure to include probiotic supplements (yogurt, cultured vegetables) to your diet which helps to maintain friendly flora and keeps infection causing bacteria at bay.

Change your birth control method:

Dr. Anita Bapat, Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Apollo clinic Aundh, Pune explains that commonly used birth control methods like Diaphragms, spermicide, or unlubricated condoms can irritate the sensitive mucosal membrane and contribute to uncontrolled bacterial growth in the genital area, resulting in urinary infections. The doctor recommends the women who get frequent urinary infections to opt for alternative methods of birth control like pills to avoid infections.

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