Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is the presence of bacteria in the urine causing symptoms, such as urinary frequency and/or urgency, painful micturition and, more rarely, fever. Both genders get infected by bacteria entering through the urethra and contaminating the bladder. UTIs occur more frequently in women because the female urethra is shorter in length. UTIs in men may occur due to urethral obstruction caused by prostatic hyperplasia (hypertrophy) or urethral stricture (narrowing).
10 simple preventive measures for UTIs
1. Drink plenty of liquids; particularly WATER! 8-10 glasses every day with inbetween 2-hour intervals help to produce urine that carry away bacteria and eliminate them out of the body.
2. Never postopone urinating when you feel the need to urinate. Do not postpone urinating until you go back home and do not inhibit the urge for urinating. Such a practice on a chronic basis will deregulate the urinary function and may impair your bladder. In addition, urine remaining in the bladder allows for bacteria to develop.
3. Always urinate before and after sexual contact and wash the genital area with plenty of water, particularly when sexual intercourse is long in duration and high in intensity increasing the temperature and causing irritation or small injuries. It is preferrable to wash with cold water, for bacteria and fungi are favored by heat.
4. Always urinate after anal sex and wash with soap or non-iodine antiseptic solution. Anal sex is related to high risk for urinary tract infections, given that the anus normally 'hosts' the typical UTI bacteria (E.Coli). Also, highly frequent, intense and prolonged sexual activity increases the chances for developing UTIs. High elevation of temperature and humidity are ideal conditions for bacterial proliferation.
5. Always wipe from front to back after urination or bowel movement (defecation). In this way you protect yourself from transferring bacteria from the anus to the urethra and vagina.
6. Avoid the use of vaginal antiseptics, as well as aromatic hygiene preparations that alter the normal vaginal acidity and balance of bacterial flora.
7. Avoid wearing very tight clothes and underwear made of synthetic materials.
8. Drink cranberry juice or preparations containing condensed cranberry, for they have been proven to protect from UTIs. Such products are sold in pharmacies.
9. Drink sour milk or eat sheep yoghurt (with creamy crust on top) containing lactobacillus and protecting from UTIs and vaginitis (mycosis).
10. Consult your Urologist in case of UTI occurrence and do not use empirical antiobiotic preparations. If you suffer frequently from UTIs, you many need special instructions; for example, getting a dose of some chemoprophylactic agent before every sexual intercourse.