Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, can be a recurrent problem for some women. If you’ve ever had one, you know it can be extremely uncomfortable and make daily tasks difficult. Unfortunately, women can be more prone to experiencing UTIs than men, meaning it’s important to know how to prevent them from happening. With the help of your gynecologist, here are some steps to take at home to make sure you remain healthy and free of infection.
What causes UTIs?
UTIs happen when bacteria enter the urinary tract and begin to grow inside the bladder. Normally, you can flush out harmful bacteria through everyday urination. Sometimes, however, bacteria still persist and can cause symptoms like burning, frequent urination, and discomfort. Often, women contract bacteria in the urethra through things like intercourse or fecal bacteria spread from the anus. Because in women the urethra is more centrally located, they are sometimes more susceptible to UTIs than men.
How do I prevent UTIs?
Many women experience a UTI for a number of reasons, and they can be easily treated with antibiotics and the help of your gynecologist. However, some women experience them frequently. In this case, taking some steps to prevent them from reoccurring can be helpful.
There are some changes you can make in your day-to-day life that can help prevent UTIs from occurring. The first is drinking plenty of water to ensure you’re urinating frequently and flushing out bacteria. If your urine is nearly clear or light yellow, this means you’re drinking enough water. Additionally, you should make sure to empty your bladder all the way when urinating, as well as urinating after intercourse. Finally, you should wipe from front to back when using the bathroom to prevent spreading bacteria to the urethra.
As women age, they begin to lose estrogen which plays many different important roles in the body. As estrogen wanes, the pelvic area can begin to lose support and thin, making it easier for bacteria to enter the urethra. Estrogen also plays a role in balancing bacteria in the vagina which can help prevent infections. Your gynecologist may recommend supplementing estrogen as a way to improve pelvic health and prevent bad bacteria growth.
Pelvic organ prolapse treatment
Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when areas like the uterus or vagina lose support and can put unusual pressure on the bladder or urethra, blocking the flow of urine. When urine can’t flush out intruding bacteria, it can allow for recurrent infections. Your gynecologist can perform a simple pelvic exam to determine whether this might be causing frequent UTIs.
Schedule an Appointment
If you’ve been struggling with frequent UTIs, our gynecologists can help. To meet with our expert team and discuss possible causes and treatment options, contact our New York City office by calling or filling out our online form.