A urinary tract infection, often seen written as UTI, is caused by bacteria that enter through the urethra. In the early states, a UTI can be painful or irritating, and it can also develop into a serious health problem if it is not addressed. These infections are relatively easy to diagnose and treat, but it is better to avoid them altogether if possible. In addition to making you more comfortable, this will also benefit your long term health, since medical studies have shown that the more urinary tract infections a patient has, the more he or she is likely to get.
One of the most obvious ways to avoid urinary tract infections is to keep the urethra and surrounding areas clean. If the area is hostile to bacteria, they will not be able to flourish and cause an infection. Women should always wipe front to back after using the bathroom to avoid infections and to prevent the introduction of fecal bacteria to the urinary and reproductive tracts. Some doctors also recommend taking showers, rather than baths, or urinating after a bath to cleanse the area, since urine is naturally sterile. Clean cotton or other natural fiber undergarments can also be worn to reduce the risk.
Sexual activity puts both men and women at risk for urinary tract infections. Cleaning the genital area before and after such activity can help people avoid urinary tract infections, as can urinating after intercourse to flush out bacteria. Both men and women should refrain from using scented products and irritants around their genitals, as this can make delicate membranes more prone to infection. Good sexual hygiene will allow people to avoid UTIs, and it will also make their sex lives more enjoyable in general.
There are also some dietary measures that may help reduce the chances of getting urinary tract infections. Drinking large amounts of water and maintaining proper hydration is important. Consuming cranberry juice also appears to have positive benefits. In addition, people may be able to avoid urinary tract infections by consuming vitamin C and other substances that will boost their immune systems. People should also make a habit of urinating when they feel the need to, rather than holding it.
Sometimes, all of the measures in the world cannot help someone avoid a urinary tract infection. Itching, burning, painful urination, cloudy urine, or the pressing need to urinate constantly are all symptoms. Patients should seek treatment promptly so that the infection can be caught and eliminated early. This is especially important for men since, although they are less prone to urinary tract infections in general, they are more prone to dangerous and potentially debilitating infections in their kidneys. UTIs can also be caused by things like prostate enlargement and kidney stones, both of which require medical attention.