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how to avoid a uti

How to avoid a UTI

A UTI can be a right pain. Trips to the bathroom every 30 seconds, pain and a fever are all things that you might be dealing with if you have an infection in your urinary tract. We think it is about time that we fill you in on how to avoid a UTI.

Women are more susceptible to UTIs as the urinary tract is shorter than in men and can therefore reach the bladder and kidneys easier. 

In this blog, we are going to tell you all about what we know on UTIs and how to avoid getting them.

What are UTI’s?

Urinary tract infections, more commonly known as UTIs affect your urinary tract. This is your bladder, urethra or kidneys. 

A UTI can happen if bacteria enters the urethra. Bacteria can find its way here through lots of different ways including poor personal hygiene and sexual contact (though at UTI is not the same as an STI and are not contagious). Not drinking enough water and fluids in the day can also increase your risk of an infection as you will be reducing the amount of times you urinate, which helps to clear bacteria. 

Symptoms of a UTI

Symptoms of a UTI can be mild to severe and are mostly treated with antibiotics, but not always. Here are a few symptoms listed by the NHS. 

  • pain or a burning sensation when peeing (dysuria)
  • needing to pee more often than usual during the night (nocturia)
  • pee that looks cloudy
  • needing to pee suddenly or more urgently than usual
  • needing to pee more often than usual
  • blood in your pee
  • lower tummy pain or pain in your back, just under the ribs
  • a high temperature, or feeling hot and shivery
  • a very low temperature below 36C

How to avoid a UTI?

Having a UTI can be uncomfortable, frustrating and painful. There are steps you can take to avoid getting one.

Wipe from front to back 

One of the main causes of UTIs is from the bacteria found in the anus making its way into your urethra. This is why it is SO important to wipe front to back to avoid any contamination. 

Drink water and fluids 

Drinking water will help to dilute your urine. This will also mean you wee more regularly which will flush bacteria from your urinary tract. 

 

Watch out for feminine hygiene products

Feminine sprays and soaps can actually cause irritation to the urethra. It is best to stick to warm water for washing. Read more about vaginal hygiene in our blog, Vaginal Hygiene 101

Look at your birth control method

Using unlubricated condoms or ones with spermicide can be a breeding ground for bacteria. If you are getting lots of UTIs and use this form of contraception then you might want to consider other options. Read our breakdown of different contraception methods and their pros and cons.

Pee after sex 

Going to the toilet after sex is a great way to flush out any bacteria from your urethra. 

Why do I keep getting UTIs?

If you find that you keep getting UTIs you should speak to your GP. They will be able to run some tests and advise you. Recurring UTIs can be linked to things like diabetes, certain autoimmune diseases, kidney stones, bladder stones and neurological diseases. 

As we have said before and will say again, we are not doctors (or bladder experts!) We always advise that you see your medical professional to get to the bottom of your health issues. Remember, you have the right to request to see an expert if you feel that your GP isn’t hearing you. 

Remember, we are always here to listen and help if we can

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