If you’ve ever experienced a urinary tract infection (UTI) -- which chances are, you have -- you know the unique agony of an intense burning feeling mixed with the relentless need to pee all wrapped up in one.
If you ask us, UTIs are tough as heck, and we wouldn’t wish them on our worst enemy (well, maybe).
Up to a whopping 60 percent of women will have a UTI at some point in their lifetime, and one in four will experience recurring infections. While gents can get them, too, ladies are much more likely to contract one. Why, might you ask? Well, because of our anatomy.
You see, women have shorter urethras (a.k.a., the tiny tube that urine flows out of) than men, which makes it all too easy for pesky infection-causing bacteria to pass through it, ultimately invading the bladder. Our urinary tract system is designed to keep bacteria OUT, however, these defenses can fail, and when that happens, bacteria can (and will) grow, multiply, and cause -- you guessed it -- a UTI.
Interested in learning more? We’ve got you covered! Read on to learn everything you need to know about UTI’s and how to prevent them.
Everything You Need To Know About Urinary Tract Infections
It goes without saying that the human body has the ability to do some truly amazing things. Our internal organs, for example, work harmoniously together within numerous systems to essentially repair, cleanse, and create during every second of every day.
The urinary system -- which includes your ureters, bladder, kidneys, renal pelvis, and urethra -- is no different. As your body works to digest food, nutrients are extracted and converted into energy. During this important chemical process, a waste product is created, which ends up either in the bowel or the blood.
Your urinary system works hard to constantly filter your blood, creating urine as a waste by-product. And just like other parts of your body, your urinary tract is susceptible to infection. But not just any infection -- painful urinary tract infections.
A UTI is an infection localized in the urinary system due to microbes that enter the bladder through the urethra.
Sometimes, in more serious cases, these microbes travel right up the ureter and go straight into your kidneys, which is one crucial reason why seeking treatment is of the utmost importance! Infections involving the upper tract are, without a doubt, less common, but they are not to be taken lightly as they are much more serious.
The most common culprit of pesky UTIs is a bacterium, however, these stubborn infections have also been treated from fungus infections and even viruses. Due to the small number of microbes needed to create an infection, it’s really not all that surprising to learn that UTIs are one of the most common infections in humans around the globe.
What Are the Symptoms?
If you’re like most people and have had the not-so-lucky opportunity of experiencing a UTI, the symptoms are all too familiar. Urinary tract infections are extremely uncomfortable, and the symptoms will, unfortunately, persist until the infection is treated.
The most common symptoms of a lower urinary tract infection include:
- Cloudy or dark urine
- An intense burning sensation when you pee
- Bloody urine
- Urine producing a strong, unusual odor
- Feeling a frequent or intense need to relieve yourself without really expelling much urine
- Persistent fatigue
- Pressure in your lower abdomen
- Rectal pain (men)
If you happen to be experiencing an upper tract urinary infection, the symptoms are much more flu-like. This is a telltale sign that the infection has reached your kidneys, and you should seek medical treatment immediately. These symptoms include:
- Tenderness or pain in the upper back and sides (where your kidneys are located)
The Best Tips and Tricks To Prevent UTIs
The very best way to deal with painful urinary tract infections is to prevent infections altogether. Especially if you’re someone who gets them frequently, you’ll want to stay squeaky-clean and avoid irritation of the urethra.
To minimize your risk and kick unpleasant UTI symptoms to the curb, keep bacteria away with these prevention tips and tricks that every woman should know.
Drink Plenty of H2O
Arguably the easiest way to avoid the dreaded UTI is to simply stay hydrated. By drinking lots of water, you’ll flush harmful bacteria right out of your bladder before they can take root and cause a painful infection. By staying well-hydrated, you will also urinate much more frequently, which means there will be less of a chance of an infection setting in.
Along with guzzling up to eight glasses of good ol’ H2O a day, try drinking a glass of cranberry juice, too. Cranberries have a natural compound that helps keep problematic bacteria from sticking to your urinary tract. You can get the same amazing benefits from eating cranberries as well -- just be sure to choose options with low or no sugar!
Try Taking A Cranberry Supplement
Speaking of cranberries…
If you’re looking to avoid pesky UTIs, rather than drinking cranberry juice, you can take a quality cranberry supplement, like UTI Don’t Think So from Love Wellness.
Made for women who want to feel comfortable, confident, and protected on a daily basis, this powerful cranberry supplement is everything you need to support a healthy urinary tract. All you need to do is take one capsule at the same time daily, and kiss those painful UTI symptoms goodbye.
Always Wipe Front to Back
Believe it or not, the most common cause of painful urinary tract infections comes from a little ol’ bacteria we know as E. coli, which tend to hang around the butt.
If you wipe from front to back -- especially after a bowel movement -- they’re less likely to make it to the urethra and cause infection.
Pee After Sex
While you don’t have to race to the bathroom immediately post your “O” so amazing moment, using it soon after can help prevent UTIs from developing.
Thanks to the urethra’s close proximity to the vagina, it’s very easy for bacteria from sex to build up and cause an infection. If you can’t pee post-sex, reach for a large glass of water to get your fluids moving.
Avoid Irritating Feminine Products
Though many popular products on the market claim to remove bacteria from the vagina, the truth is that they’re really not necessary and can actually do more harm than good.
You see, your vagina has its own self-cleaning mechanism, and therefore experts typically don’t recommend using anything like special cleaning products. Instead, reach for a simple yet effective pH Balancing Cleanser like the one from Love Wellness. This gentle cleanser’s formula won’t irritate your sensitive skin and helps to maintain normal vaginal pH levels.
Additionally, habits such as douching can also do quite a bit of harm as it removes not just bad bacteria but also good bacteria, which can lead to a painful infection.
Reconsider Your Method of Birth Control
Many different factors go into deciding which contraceptive is right for you, but some types -- like diaphragms, spermicides, and sponges -- can increase your risk of infection since they can trap harmful bacteria in the vagina.
Similarly, using a menstrual cup rather than a tampon or pad during your period may also increase the likelihood.
Try A Probiotic
Another effective safeguard against frequent urinary tract infections is encouraging good bacteria to grow. Probiotics not only help to maintain healthy digestive flora but can promote the same in your vagina.
There are a ton of probiotic supplements on the market, but we absolutely love our Good Girl Probiotics.
Why, might you ask? Well, for starters, our powerful probiotic is made with eight strains of good bacteria for vaginal health -- most probiotics only contain one.
Good Girl Probiotics supports three key areas: reproductive health organs, the gut, and the immune system, making it the ultimate secret weapon to support women’s health while keeping infections at bay.
A Final Word
While urinary tract infections are quite common, you may be able to prevent them. Drinking at least eight glasses of good ol’ H2O every day is an easy and critical habit for eliminating bad bacteria through urination. It’s also of the utmost importance to urinate frequently -- especially after sex -- and to avoid irritating feminine products such as harsh soaps and douches.
To keep your lady bits in amazing shape, stick with Love Wellness -- we are proud to have women’s health as our specialty, with products backed by science, made specifically for women and what we need.
Show yourself some love and check out Love Wellness today!