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Overcoming UTI Recurrence: Tips for Prevention

3 Key Takeaways:

  1. People with certain lifestyle choices, health conditions, and medications are at an increased risk of recurrent UTIs.
  2. To prevent recurrent UTIs one should drink plenty of water, use the bathroom frequently, use gentler, unscented feminine products, consume cranberry products, pee before and after sex, and wear more breathable clothing.
  3. If recurrent UTIs persist, one should speak to a doctor about antibiotics and underlying health issues.

Recurrent urinary tract infections (RUTIs) are due to persistent re-infection of any part of the urinary tract by the same pathogen. The infections can be really frustrating as they keep coming back. And in individuals with coexisting morbid conditions, complicated RUTIs can lead to upper tract infections or urosepsis.

You are at an increased risk of recurrent UTIs when you have:

  1. Frequent sexual activity
  2. Some methods of birth control
  3. Urinary tract abnormalities
  4. A weakened immunity
  5. Catheter use
  6. New sexual partners
  7. Menopause
  8. Urinary surgery
  9. Blockage of the urinary tract by an enlarged prostate or kidney stones

When you have recurrent UTIs, you can use antibiotics to clear the infection within a few days. You can also use the following simple measures to prevent UTIs:

  1. Drink plenty of water

Drinking plenty of water ensures you urinate more frequently. In turn, the urine washes off bacteria from the urethra and bladder. Though the amount of water you need to drink should vary with your body size and activity level, you should aim for 6-8 glasses per day. Water is perfect for flushing out bacteria, but decaffeinated tea and sparkling water are also healthy choices. Just make sure to avoid fluids that may irritate your bladder, such as caffeinated and alcoholic drinks.

  1. Don’t hold urine any longer

Pass urine as soon as possible after you feel the urge. Holding urine longer may allow harmful bacteria to grow. Try visiting the bathroom every 3-4 hours to flush out bacteria in urine and discourage bacterial growth. If you’re a woman, you should also make sure to wipe from front to back after using the toilet. The rectum is the main source of Escherichia coli (E. coli), the most common UTI-causing bacteria. And when you wipe your genitals from the front to the back, you minimize the risk of bringing E. coli from your anus into the urethra.

  1. Reconsider your birth control methods and feminine products

You should avoid birth control methods that increase bacterial growth in the urinary tract by affecting the balance of bacteria. Common birth control methods and feminine products involved in recurrent UTIs include non-lubricated condoms, spermicides, a diaphragm, deodorant spray, perfumed tampons, and scented pads, powders, and soaps. For example, spermicides may increase the risk of bacterial growth, while diaphragms may carry bacteria into the vagina. Also, scented products interfere with the natural pH of the vagina. In turn, they disrupt the natural balance of bacteria and promote recurrent UTIs. And so, if you frequently get UTIs, try switching to gentle, unscented cleansers and water-based lubricants for vaginal dryness.

  1. Consume cranberry juice

Cranberry juice has compounds called proanthocyanidins that stop E. coli and other bacteria from sticking to the lining of your urinary tract. It also contains vitamin C that increases the acidity of urine and reduces overgrowth of E. coli. Drink cranberry juice regularly as a preventive measure. Equally, you can take cranberry pills. Plus, you can eat frozen or fresh cranberries. But make sure to go for unsweetened, pure cranberry juice instead of sugary cranberry cocktails. Avoid cranberry juice if you’re using blood-thinning medication, aspirin, or medication that affects liver function.

  1. Urinate before and after sex

Sexual activity increases the risk of recurrent UTIs, especially in women. That’s because bacteria easily passes into the urethra during sex. Pee just before and soon after sex to flush out bacteria that may cause UTIs. But also a gentle wash of the genital area before sex can help to clean the area and minimize the risk of bacteria spreading to the urethra. Don’t use soap or a cleanser on the inside or around your anus.

  1. Use vaginal estrogen

In women, the body makes less estrogen after menopause. And the reduced estrogen levels trigger changes in the urinary tract, which allow recurrent UTIs. To prevent recurrent UTIs, you can use vaginal estrogen pessaries to improve the health of vaginal tissues and encourage a balanced growth of vaginal bacteria. But you can also try estrogen supplements or topical estrogen. Your doctor will prescribe appropriate estrogen dosage, whether as cream, gel, or vaginal suppository to help you boost your estrogen level and stop the growth of harmful bacteria.

  1. Try probiotics

Probiotics are live bacterial preparations that increase the number of good bacteria in the gut and urinary tract. For example, a probiotics preparation, supplement or suppository, may contain strains of Lactobacilli bacteria, which inhibit the growth of E. coli in the urinary tract, preventing UTIs. Alternatively, you can get good bacteria by eating fermented foods, such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, or tempeh.

  1. Make better clothing choices

Your risk of recurrent UTIs increases when you frequently wear tight-fitting pants, sweaty workout clothes, wet bathing suits, or non-breathable underwear. These clothing create a suitable breeding ground for UTI-causing bacteria. So make the necessary change to prevent recurrent UTIs. Take out workout clothes, bathing suits, and other wet clothing as soon as possible. Likewise, choose underwear made of cotton instead of non-breathable synthetic materials.

  1. Correct underlying health issues

You can have recurrent UTIs because of an underlying health problem. For instance, fecal incontinence and diabetes increase the risk of UTIs. If you have these issues, speak with your doctor to have them brought under control.

  1. Use antibiotics

Taking a low dose of antibiotics can treat a recurrent UTI. But some bacteria are resistant to various antibiotics. So work with your doctor to find a solution that works.

Effective Treatment of UTIs

Are you having a bothersome, recurrent UTI? At Advanced Urology Institute, we understand how recurrent UTIs are uncomfortable and painful. That is why we have a skilled team of urologists committed to comprehensive, effective care for urologic conditions, including recurrent UTIs. We also encourage our patients to make lifestyle and dietary changes to help prevent and treat recurrent infections. If you’re experiencing UTI symptoms, call us today for an appointment with an experienced, board-certified urologist. For more information on recurrent UTIs and other urological disorders, visit the site “Advanced Urology Institute.”


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Advanced Urology Institute

Advanced Urology Institute is the largest urology practice in Florida. We are dedicated to improving the lives of our patients by providing excellent Patient-Centered Care. Set an appointment or visit our closest office near you.

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