Women are more prone to bladder infections than men, and one in five will get one in her lifetime. Bladder infections, also known as urinary tract infections (UTI), account for 10 million doctor visits every year, most of which could be avoided if you knew how to prevent this problem. When bacteria makes its way into the urethra, the tube that carries urine from your bladder to the outside of your body, you can end up with a UTI and symptoms that include cloudy or bloody urine, a frequent or urgent need to use the bathroom, pain or burning during urination, and pressure in the lower pelvis. Obviously, this is something you would like to avoid, so here are five ways to prevent a UTI:
- Drink cranberry juice. It interferes with the bacteria E. coli that is responsible for the most serious types of UTIs. The berry and its juice contain tannins, which fight the infections on the front lines by creating barriers that prevent E. coli from getting close to the urinary tract lining.
- Stay hydrated. Dehydration can make you more susceptible to getting a bladder infection, especially if you're prone to them. It's important to drink plenty of fluids to help flush any bacteria or germs out of the urethra.
- Wipe correctly, from front to back. You want to prevent the spread of intestinal bacteria from the rectum to the urinary tract.
- Urinate immediately after sex to flush out bacteria.
- Avoid douching and scented feminine products such as pads, deodorant sprays, and powders. They can irritate the urethra.