Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Tips For Preventing Urinary Tract Infections


For this blog I want to focus on tips to prevent urinary tract infections (UTI’s).


Urinary tract infections (UTI’s) are mostly caused by bacteria, in rarer cases fungi or viruses. The infection can happen in any part of the urinary system: urethra, bladder, ureters or kidneys. (1)

Symptoms may include: burning with urination, frequency of urination despite small amounts passing, urgency of urination, abdominal or pelvic pain, cloudy urine, urine can be pink, red or cola like colour indicating the presence of blood and/or strong smelling urine. (1)

If you suspect a UTI, seek medical attention right away as antibiotics may be needed. If you experience frequent UTI’s, you should regularly get tested, but did you know that pelvic floor dysfunction can mimic symptoms of UTI? For this reason, it is important to have the urine sent for culture to make sure that it is in fact a urinary tract infection rather than pelvic floor dysfunction.

If you are sexually active, you want also make sure that your symptoms are not from a sexually transmitted infection.

If your results come back negative, you may have a pelvic floor dysfunction. Tension and tightness in the connective tissue or muscles can mimic the symptoms listed above. Seeing a pelvic health physiotherapist can help determine what might be contributing to the symptoms.

Seeing a pelvic health physiotherapist may be beneficial to women who are getting frequent UTI’s. Although we cannot treat during an active infection, once the infection is clear we can assess to see what external or internal factor may be contributing to your increased risk.

Here are some basic tips to reduce the risks of getting a UTI.
  1. Drink plenty of water. You want your urine colour to be pale yellow.
  2. Void regularly. Don’t hold urine for hours on end.
  3.  Don’t rush in the bathroom : Toilet meditation on YouTube by Shelly Prosko: good technique for bowel movements and pee. Don’t strain to push the urine out.
  4. Void after intercourse
  5.  Wipe front to back
  6.  No soap, no douching
  7.  Avoid bubble baths
  8. Avoid constricting underwear
  9. No underwear to bed
  10. You can put Vaseline over urethral opening if going into a swimming pool to act as a slight barrier. Do not sit in wet underwear.

Seeking help from a Naturopathic Doctor for dietary recommendations and supplements can also help support a healthy urinary system.

The Pelvic Health Lady

References:
1.       https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/urinary-tract-infection/symptoms-causes/syc-20353447

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