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Tips for Avoiding UTIs

Did you know that urinary tract infections (UTIs), which occur when unfriendly bacteria travels up to your bladder, send over 8 million Americans to the doctor each year? If you haven’t had one yet, count yourself lucky — over 60% of women and 12% of men get UTIs at least once. 

Chances are, if you’ve had a UTI or know someone who has, you’ll do whatever you can to avoid the burning, frequent urination, and other unpleasant symptoms it brings. The good news is that UTIs are highly treatable and often preventable if you know what steps to take.   

At Urgent Care of Ada, our experienced providers offer fast and effective diagnosis and treatment of uncomfortable UTIs for our patients in Ada, Oklahoma. Our team also wants to help you prevent getting one of these painful infections in the first place. 

Here’s a look at our top tips for avoiding UTIs. 

1. Better bathroom habits

One of the best ways to avoid a UTI is to use the restroom as soon as you feel the urge to urinate

This may sound easy, but we all know there are times when you can’t go to the bathroom right away. It’s important to try to go as soon as possible since holding in your urine increases your risk of getting a urinary tract infection.

It’s also important to clean up the right way after using the restroom. In other words, keep fecal matter away from the opening to your urethra. If you’re a woman, be sure to always wipe from front to back. This helps avoid spreading the bacteria that increase your chances of getting a UTI.   

2. Have H2O on hand

Staying hydrated and drinking lots of water is good for your overall health. And it helps your urinary tract stay in the best shape possible. 

Though each person’s daily water needs vary based on factors like how much you sweat, how much you exercise, and your body composition, medical experts agree that most Americans don’t consume nearly enough H2O.

According to recent research, drinking at least six 8-ounce glasses of water each day helps cut your risk of getting a UTI by a significant amount. And if you experience recurrent UTIs, it’s a good idea to drink even more water. A good rule of thumb is to drink enough water so that your urine is clear or very pale yellow. 

3. Stay away from scents

Scented personal care products smell good, but the fragrances they contain can irritate your urinary tract and upset the sensitive pH balance in your body. Women, especially, have a higher risk of developing a UTI from using scented soaps and other personal care products.  

To avoid a UTI, avoid using scented body washes, douches, lotions, and feminine hygiene products. Instead, select mild, unscented soaps and products made from all-natural ingredients. This helps you avoid harsh chemicals that may irritate your body.

4. Have a glass of cranberry juice

Cranberry juice can’t cure a UTI, so if you suspect you have an infection it’s important to schedule a visit with a medical provider. But for women especially, some studies show that a daily glass of cranberry juice lowers the risk of recurrent UTIs. 

Scientists believe this is because these small but powerful berries contain a natural compound that keeps the harmful bacteria that cause UTIs away from your urinary tract. This compound can help prevent a UTI from developing or getting worse. 

Be sure to look for beverages with 100% cranberry juice, and avoid anything that says “cocktails” as they contain other juices that aren’t effective. 

5. Take showers, not baths

Even though it can be tempting to soak in the tub after a long day, baths increase your risk of getting a UTI because they provide the right environment for unhelpful bacteria to enter your urinary tract. 

Take showers instead to help you relax and keep UTIs away — especially if you’re a woman with a higher risk of UTIs. If your shower has a hand attachment, keep it pointed down rather than up when washing your genitals to prevent bacteria from going the wrong way.   

For patients who suffer from frequent UTIs, it’s important to talk to your provider at Urgent Care of Ada to get personalized advice and a customized treatment plan designed just for you. 

If you’re worried that you currently have a UTI, contact Urgent Care of Ada by calling 580-215-6975. You can also request an appointment online or visit our urgent care clinic.

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