What causes urinary tract infections are what are they? A UTI, also known as cystitis, occurs when harmful bacteria make their way up to the urethra and bladder. Once there, they cause an infection that can affect any part of the urinary tract, from the urethra to the kidneys.
People with uteruses are more susceptible to contracting UTIs (50%-60% will contact at least one in their lifetime) because their urethras are shorter than those of people with penises, making it easier for bacteria to travel up the urinary tract. Spotting UTI symptoms and treating UTIs early is the best way to ensure the infection doesn’t travel to your kidneys. Some of the most commonly reported UTI symptoms are: frequent urination, painful and burning urination, and lower abdomen pain.
So let’s break down some of the most common causes of UTIs and what we can do everyday to prevent them.
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Dehydration leads to less frequent urination, which can make it easier for bacteria to build up and enter the urinary tract. This is why staying hydrated is so important for UTI management. Water works to dilute and flush out harmful bacteria from the urinary tract, reducing your risk for bacteria buildup. So...how much water have you drunk today?
One potential cause of a UTI is decreased immunity, which can be caused by chronic stress, poor diet, certain medications, or sickness. When your body's defenses are down, it's harder to fight off bacteria that enter the urinary tract. That means you're more susceptible to contracting a UTI and having one that lasts longer. If you have a chronic disease or condition like diabetes or high blood pressure, this can affect your immune system and make you more likely to contract a UTI.
If you're sexually active, it's important to take measures to avoid getting UTIs after sex (aka sexual aftercare). Here are a few steps you can take: make sure you PEE AFTER SEX, use lubes that are easy to wash off and don't leave residue, and rinse off your vulva with lukewarm water.
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Wearing Non-Breathable Clothing
We know leggings are comfy but...don't wear tight and non-breathable clothes for prolonged periods of time. Clothing such as spandex, nylon, and polyester can trap bacteria and moisture, leading to a UTI. If you need to wear non-breathable clothing for a long period of time, be sure to take breaks and change clothes often.
Read More: Questions About UTIs You're Too Afraid to Ask
It’s important to note that even if you do everything right, UTIs can still happen (huge bummer, we know). That’s why learning how to spot the symptoms early and taking preventative measures is the best way to keep your urinary tract happy, balanced, and healthy.
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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 other qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition.