Unfortunately, thanks to the way our bits are designed, women are way more likely than men to get urinary tract infections on the reg (cheers, evolution!) And as those who’ve experienced one would agree - it’s not at all pleasant experience. Think: burning pain when you pee, back aches, fatigue, nausea, dizziness…the list of unsavoury symptoms goes on and on.
UTI’s occur when bacteria on the outside of the body (from the butt or vaja) finds its way into the urethra OR when bacteria that’s already in the bladder multiplies to unhealthy levels. The majority of us will contract a UTI multiple times during our lifetime (yay!), with sexual activity, certain types of birth control and menopause all increasing the risk.
That said, it doesn’t have to be an inevitability. Here are five simple steps you can take to help prevent a UTI:
1. Keep the fluids up
Water not only helps dilute your urine, it makes us pee more often, allowing any bacteria to be flushed from the system before an infection can take hold.
2. Think twice about baths
Unless you are getting in and out of the tub quickly, you’re pretty much swimming in a sea of bath product and bacteria that’s been washed off your body.
3. Change your toilet tactics
Wiping from to back (especially after a #2) helps stop rectal bacteria from spreading to places it shouldn’t be (aka, your urethra).
4. Shower after a workout
Sweaty active wear (and wet swimsuits, for that matter) double as a breeding ground for bacteria, which means showering and changing your clothes should be priority.
5. Pee after sex
Even if you don’t need to go, taking a wiz after sex is always a good idea. During the act, bacteria (from both you and your partner) can migrate to the urethra and then up to the bladder.
6. Load up on probiotics
Fermented foods (like sauerkraut and yogurt) do more than aid digestion – they can also help populate good vaginal bacteria.
7. Skip the synthetics
If your undies are super tight and not 100 per cent cotton, it can make things pretty moist downstairs, which is the perfect environment for bad bacteria to thrive.