Urinary Tract Infections (aka UTIs) are an incredibly common infection that can affect people of all sexes, but are most common in people with vaginas. In fact, between 50%-60% of people with vaginas will experience at least one UTI in their lifetime. While this isn’t what you would call a ‘fun fact’ it does prove that UTIs are nothing to feel embarrassment over. Remember there's no room for shame or stigma when it comes to vaginal health!
So what even are UTIs? Simply put, a urinary tract infection is an infection that affects any part of the urinary system. UTIs can present a myriad of symptoms, but the most common symptoms are painful (like SO painful) urination and the constant need to urinate. And if you’ve ever had a UTI you know just how frustrating and uncomfortable these infections can be. That's why learning more about how we can care for our bodies and minimize infection risks is so important.
So let’s take a deeper look into what UTIs are, what causes them, and how we can prevent them.
Cranberry juice will prevent UTIs
Let's tackle the deliciously tart elephant in the room! Cranberries are probably the most widely discussed natural UTI prevention method. While the research linking cranberries to urinary tract health is promising, that doesn't mean that chugging a glass of Ocean Spray will completely prevent UTIs altogether. This is because not all cranberry sources are created equal.
The main reason cranberries get high praise for fighting off UTIs is due to their high levels of proanthocyanidin. This specific type of polyphenol has antibacterial and antiviral properties that has been shown to prevent some types of pathogens from sticking to the walls of the bladder.
BUT the levels of proanthocyanidin found in many grocery store cranberry juices (especially cranberry juice cocktail) are much lower than are found in a whole cranberry fruit or a cranberry extract supplement. The lower concentration of this infection-fighting compound lessens the urinary tract health benefits. So if you’re looking for maximum cranberry fruit power, try looking for supplements with high concentrations of organic cranberry fruit extract. (like ours…just sayin’)
Address UTIs at the source: Shop The UTI Supplement
UTIs are common for people with vulvas
People with vulvas experience UTIs ~30x more than people with penises. Such a bummer…we know. This is because people with vulvas have shorter urethras on average than people with penises, making it easier for bacteria to travel through the urethra and into the bladder, leading to an infection. This is also due to the location of the urethral opening. The closer proximity to the vagina and anus makes it easier for harmful bacteria in these areas to find their way to the urinary tract. So remember: ALWAYS WIPE FRONT TO BACK!!
Read More: What Causes UTIs?
UTIs are NOT the only infection that causes urination difficulties
While painful urination and the constant need to urinate are two of the tell-tale signs of a UTI, they aren’t exclusive to this type of infection. Urination difficulties can be a symptom of various STIs (such as gonorrhea and chlamydia), pelvic inflammatory disease, yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, and many other common vaginal health issues.
So always speak with a medical professional if you’re experiencing painful or excessive urination to ensure you’re getting the most effective treatment plan for your body’s needs.
UTIs are not STIs…but they can be linked to sex
Sex is a very common UTI trigger for many individuals, especially for people with vulvas. Germs from fingers, lube, toys, and mouths can come into contact with and enter your urinary tract through the urethral opening during sex.
Peeing after (and before) sex can help to flush bacteria and debris from the urinary tract and reduce the risk of developing a UTI. It's best to pee within minutes of sexual activity. Rinsing your vulva with warm water post-sex can further decrease your chances of contracting a UTI.
Add a Probiotic to your regimen for best results:
You should take UTIs seriously!
This one is IMPORTANT! First off, most UTIs can be easily treated and don't warrant any type of worry, so let’s take a deep breath together. But they do need to be taken seriously. If treatment is put off, the bacteria can spread to your kidneys and turn into a kidney infection. This can cause irreversible damage to the kidneys and even be life threatening.
So just make sure you are reaching out to your doctor when you feel symptoms of a UTI coming on and take the necessary steps to prioritize your vulvovaginal health.
Momotaro Apotheca and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on Momotaro Apotheca is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition