Recurrent UTI (or cystitis) might be so negatively impacting the quality of life. In some cases, these unlucky female patients need to be treated with multiple courses of antibiotics. Prevent UTI is possible by following some simple tricks:
1. Reduce the bacterial count in the area around the anus after bowel movements
Use a bidet for washing the perianal area, use mild soap and clean the area around the anus gently, wiping from front to back. Any wiping motion that starts nearer to the rectum and then approaches the bladder-opening area moves potentially pathogenic bacteria closer to the bladder; finally dry the area between the urethral meatus and anus with a clean towel with the same movements front to back.
If you can’t use a bidet, you can use an antiseptic wet wipe used with the same wiping motions.
2. Avoid creating a suitable environment for bacterial growth in the genital area
Use tampons for periods. Tampons are advised during the menstrual period rather than sanitary napkins or pads because they keep the bladder opening area drier than a clean pad, limiting bacterial overgrowth.
Do not wear tight-fitting undergarments made of nonbreathing materials. With such fabrics, accumulating moisture builds up. It leads to maceration of the skin, and bacterial overgrowth adjacent to the opening of the bladder cotton underwear for general use is suggested.
Avoid the use of spermicidal jelly. It kills sperm as well as normal vaginal florae, which are extremely important in suppressing colonization with pathogenic bacteria.
Avoid vaginal douches.
3. Avoid bacteria entering the bladder
Take special precautions after sexual activity; such activity may also increase risk because it can introduce bacteria into the bladder area. We recommend cleaning the genital area just before sexual intercourse. Moreover, the bladder should be emptied just after intercourse; drink two extra glasses of water.
When engaging in physical activity and exercise, make sure to empty the bladder frequently and drink plenty of water and other fluids.
Take showers and avoid long baths. Bathwater may quickly become contaminated by the bather’s skin florae. Sitting in a tub allows bacteria to reach the bladder opening area.
4. Avoid the bacteria growing into your bladder
Extremely useful is avoiding long intervals between urinating. Try to empty the bladder at least every 4 hours during the day while awake, even if the need or urge to void is absent; when feeling the need to empty the bladder, do not try to “hold it” until a more convenient time or place.
Drink more water. If the urine appears darker than a very pale yellow, this means not enough liquid is being ingested; increase the fluid intake.
5. Final recommendations
The typical symptoms of cystitis in females can be treated empirically without diagnostics.
In selected cases of recurrent cystitis, women can use self-treatment by taking Fosfomycin 3000 mg one shot at the early symptoms’ onset.
Pregnancy and additional symptoms can lead to complications and are always good reasons to see a doctor.
Prevention is the central part of the strategy in recurrent cases.
6. External resources
Video: How to PREVENT UTI | 5 Natural Ways to AVOID Repeat Bladder Infection, by Michelle Kenway