5 Tips for Preventing a UTI

 5 Tips for Preventing a UTI

Do you feel a burning sensation when you urinate? You may have a urinary tract infection, or UTI. Don’t wait until you dread visiting the restroom to get help. 

Our board-certified family practice physicians with Macomb Medical Clinic in Sterling Heights, Michigan, can quickly diagnose a UTI. We save room in our schedule for same-day appointments so you can be seen when needed. We also have our own in-house lab so you receive prompt treatment. Our preventative care model can help you reduce your risk for future urinary tract infections. 

How did I develop a UTI? 

Bacteria thrive in warm, moist environments. It’s fairly easy for bacteria from your toilet paper to come in contact with the entrance to your urinary tract, where it can move into your kidneys, bladder, urethra, or ureters. 

In women, bacteria often come from your anus and enter your urinary tract when you have sex or if you wipe back to front after using the bathroom. This is one reason UTIs are more common in women, along with the fact that women have a shorter urinary tract, which makes it easier for bacteria to move to your bladder. 

As men age, the risk of a UTI increases, especially if you have an enlarged prostate that prevents you from fully emptying your bladder. Both men and women are at increased risk for UTIs because of kidney stones or immune system disorders like diabetes.

UTI symptoms 

If you’re not feeling well and are experiencing a burning pain when you urinate, you may have a UTI. Other common UTI symptoms include: 

This is one ailment that usually produces a call to your doctor. You want the pain to stop. 

Untreated UTIs can progress to more serious kidney or prostate infections and even lead to permanent kidney damage or life-threatening sepsis. Your doctor prescribes an antibiotic for your UTI; you need to finish the course of the medication even if you feel better before you take all of the pills. 

How to prevent future UTIs

Following are tips to help prevent future UTIs. 

1. Hydrate

Do you drink enough water during the day? Every time you urinate, you flush bacteria out of your urinary tract. 

Caffeinated beverages and alcohol can trigger UTIs by irritating your bladder. Limit them, especially if you’re immune-compromised. 

2. Urinate as soon as you feel the need 

Leaving urine in your bladder can encourage the growth of bacteria. Make sure you void every 3-4 hours to keep your bladder empty.

Always urinate after sexual intercourse to flush out bacteria that can lead to an infection.

3. Go natural

If you’re a woman, you should avoid chemicals or scented products in your vaginal area. The natural bacteria found in your vagina helps to keep pH levels balanced.

4. Be cognizant of your birth control as it relates to UTIs

Some female birth control methods produce an overgrowth of bacteria in your vagina. Diaphragms and spermicide condoms may increase your risk for UTIs. If you have frequent infections, you might need to change the method of birth control you use.

5. Use good hygiene

If you’re a woman, you should always wipe from front to back after using the bathroom. Cleaning yourself with water and soap daily, wearing cotton underwear, and avoiding skin-tight pants can help reduce your risk for UTIs.

Good hygiene also prevents irritation of the skin in and around your genitals which can increase your risk for infection and other complications.

Call Macomb Medical Clinic right away if you have symptoms of a UTI. We can fit you in for a same-day appointment.

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