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Health Information on Urinary Tract Infection

 

Myths and Facts about Urinary Tract Infections


1. Poor Hygiene Causes UTIs


Myth: Many people think that if you get a UTI, that means you have poor hygiene habits.

Fact:You don’t have to do anything wrong to get a UTI.However, it is important to remember to wipe from front to back after using the bathroom if you’re female. Wiping in the other direction can cause bacteria from the rectum to enter the urethra and lead to a UTI — but that’s not the only cause of UTIs.

2. More Women Than Men Get UTIs


Fact: One in five women will have at least one urinary tract infection during her lifetime, but it’s more rare for men to experience a UTI. That’s because the urethra (the tube that allows the bladder to empty out of the body) is much shorter in women than men, so if bacteria enters the urethra, it doesn’t have to travel far to reach the bladder and cause an infection.

3. You Can Get a UTI from Sex


Fact: For women, sex can raise the risk of a UTIbecause the urethra is adjacent to the vagina. That makes it easier for bacteria from the vagina (which occurs there naturally) to make their way into the urethra during sex. It’s especially common for women who aren’t accustomed to having sex regularly and suddenly start becoming sexually active to get a UTI from sex.

4. Birth Control Can Raise Your Risk of UTIs


Fact:
Diaphragms press on the urethra through the vagina and may increase the risk of UTIs.

5. Pregnancy Raises the Risk of UTIs


Fact:
Your body makes more of the hormone progesterone when you’re pregnant, which relaxes the smooth muscle in your bladder and ureters (the tubes that allow urine to flow from the kidney to the bladder and help keep the bladder working properly). When those muscles relax, it can put you at higher risk for a UTI.

6. UTIs Won’t Go Away Without Treatment


Myth:
For many women, UTIs and UTI symptoms will go away on their own, although a woman be uncomfortable in the meantime. However, there’s risk that the infection will spread to the kidney and turn into a much more serious kidney infection, which is why you should always treat a UTIquickly — especially if you’re pregnant, because a UTI could put you at risk for preterm labor.

7. Cranberry Juice Can Prevent a UTI


Fact:
Cranberries contain sulfuric acid that help keep bacteria from sticking to the wall of the bladder, so drinking cranberry juice really can help prevent a UTI and sometimes even clear up UTI symptoms once one starts. And there’s research to back up the claim: In a recent review of 10 studies on the topic, researchers found that products that contain cranberry (such as juice and cranberry tablets) were effective at lowering the risk of UTIs after 12 months, particularly in women who have recurrent UTIs.

8. Persistent UTIs Mean That Something’s Wrong


Myth:
for women. UTIs are so common in women that there’s no need to worry if you have a couple of infections that are close together, she says. However, if you have three or four in six months, your doctor may want to investigate further.

Also, people who have high blood sugar as a result of diabetes are at higher risk for UTIs, so it’s important get checked by a doctor if they’re occurring regularly.

Men who have UTIs also have to be more careful. Because UTIs are so rare in men, some doctors think that even just one UTI should be investigated further to be sure there’s not a problem with urethral anatomy.

9. Not Circumcising Your Baby Can Raise His Risk of a UTI


Fac: but the risk is low. It’s true that uncircumcised baby boys have a slightly increased risk for developing a UTI, but most of the urologists she knows wouldn’t recommend circumcising a baby for that reason alone.


Prevention:



1. Water helps flush your urinary tract, so make sure you drink 8-10 glasses of plain water daily.

2. Don't hold it when you need to urinate! Holding it when you need to go can help any bacteria that may be present develop into a full-fledged urinary tract infection.

3. Women should wipe from front to back after a bowl movement. This is especially important to help prevent bacteria from the anus from entering the vagina or urethra.

4. Taking showers instead of baths helps prevent bacteria from entering the urethra and causing a UTI.

5. Drinking cranberry juice is a fairly well-known and natural way to both help prevent urinary tract infections, as well as help speed the recovery process when a UTI develops.

6. Another nutritional route that may help prevent UTI is regularly taking vitamin C supplements which increases the acidity level of urine, which in turn helps decrease the number of harmful bacteria that may be present in your urinary tract system.

7. Always wear undergarments with a cotton crotch. Cotton fabric lets moisture escape while other fabrics can trap moisture.

8. If you experienced any symptoms relating to UTI, it is advisable to consult your physician as soon as possible.

Source: http://womenshealth.about.com:
http://www.everydayhealth.com/urinary-tract-infections/myths-and-facts-about-urinary-tract-infections.aspx


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