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UTI Women’s No.1 Problem

by Vidya Sury July 21, 2014 10 comments
UTI vidya sury

What? Never heard of it? Urinary Tract Infection or UTI is not the exclusive domain of women. Everyone suffers from it one time or other.

I don’t know what it is, but the three friends I chatted with last week all had varying stages of UTI or the dreaded Urinary Tract Infection. The weather was partially responsible for the frequent “urge” and there were other issues, too.

So I figured, why not kick this week off with a health post!

By the way, the post title is totally inspired by the creative folks I live with. They love to pun. Even bad puns. Like you know ur-ine trouble when you want go once too often for your comfort.

Okay, let’s get serious now.

Urinary Tract Infection or UTI symptoms

If you’ve ever suffered from a Urinary Tract Infections or UTI, you know what that feels like – pretty much awful, and world-please-leave-me-alone!

The worst part is, there’s no way to stop it happening again, or even knowing what the heck triggers it. All you know is you don’t want it. Ever. That constant need to visit the washroom is annoying and as if that weren’t enough, you have to put up with the burning and pain down there, sometimes with cramps, maybe fever and utter fatigue to top it all off.

UTI symptoms are usually burning when you pass urine, increased frequency of going to the washroom but actually passing very little urine, urine that appears bloody or cloudy or just dark, urine that smells, pain in the pelvis for women and rectal pain for men.

UTI vidya sury

UTI causes

UTI happens when bacteria get in the urinary tract. This causes the irritation and painful urination, often with cramps.

No need to get pissed off, though (sorry, I just had to!) You really don’t have to suffer in silence. Because…

You can protect yourself from UTI

Prevention is not in your hands, but protection is. How can you minimize your chances of getting a UTI and if you do start one, ease the symptoms?

  • Don’t wear those painted-on-skin pants. Yes, yes, you have a cute butt, but you’ll have to shelve that cuteness for a bit because UTI is definitely not cute. You want your lady parts to breathe. And stock up on cotton underwear, rather than synthetic. I really don’t have to say it, but I’ll say it anyway – wear a fresh one every day.
  • Diffrn’t strokes for diffr’nt folks, I know, but during that time of the month, opt for pads over tampons. Tampons are known to increase the risk of UTI. Pads mean fewer infections. Change it often, as in every time you visit that washroom.
  • Stay away from perfumed douches. Yes, also the real kind,ha ha. So maybe you’re thinking about smelling good, but believe me, UTI does NOT smell good. And no perfumed powders or sprays either.
  • Love bath tubs? I’ve been dreaming of lying in one for years. Never have, though. When we think bath tubs, we think “relaxing” But it is also an invitation to bacteria to relax right along with us. A shower is a better idea.
  • Hygiene is supreme.Wash your anus and genitals thoroughly before and after sex. Also, experts advise urinating before and after. Imagine running off to take an emergency break right in the middle of….you know what I mean!
  • Wipe front to back to avoid dragging bacteria from the anus to the genitals.
  • Stay hydrated with lots of fluids. This keeps you healthy and keeps many health problems at bay, and that includes UTI. Water is an easy choice. Some people say cranberry juice is good for UTI, but don’t touch it if you have kidney stones or taking blood thinners. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and acidic fruit juices if you feel the symptoms, as these can make it worse.
  • Wearing a diaphragm? It is known to raise your risk for UTI. The not quite empty bladder is a party place for bacteria.
  •  Need to go? GO! Don’t delay.
  •  Taking antibiotics for a chronic problem? Go the full course. There’s a reason why there’s a prescription for these. You just follow it.

So you’re already suffering from UTI. What to do?

Some helpful tips to ease UTI symptoms:

  • Avoid citrusy and caffeinated soda, lemons, oranges, grapefruits, tomatoes, apples, peaches, plums, strawberries, pineapples. These make UTI worse.
  • Stay away from spicy foods and artificial sweeteners.
  • Get enough vitamin C to fight the bacteria in your urinary tract
  • Consume yogurt. The probiotics in this has good bacteria that can fight the bad bacteria causing the UTI. Yogurt not part of your diet? Take probiotic supplements.
  • Use a heating pad around the pubic area to relieve the pain and irritation – just for 15 minutes, no more.
  • Half a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water is known to relieve the burning sensation.
  • Eat healthy. Choose fiber-rich carbs and healthy fats.
  • As I said earlier, when you have to go, GO. And when you’re at it, lean forward a little when you think you’re done so you do a good job of emptying that bladder.  I learned this when I was pregnant.

Fortunately, UTI is not life-threatening. But you don’t want to ignore it hoping it will go away and make it worse. Most times, the body fights the infection and relieves it, but if the symptoms persist, you must see your doctor, who can prescribe antibiotics and topical creams.

Was this helpful to you? Got a tip to add? Please tell me in the comments and I’ll add it to the post as user contributions and credit you. Thanks!

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Eli July 21, 2014 at 10:26 pm

Wow Vidya – you sure cover varied topics on your blog:-) way to go, and rather new stuff for me. Great to address women health problems and maybe topics that not all are comfortable discussing elsewhere. Me like:-) Big hugs dear
Eli recently posted…Summer salad blues

Vidya Sury July 21, 2014 at 10:56 pm

Hi Eli! 🙂 This is such a real problem and spares no one, especially women! I am actually in the process of writing a detailed post about this on my health blog when I got a little distracted and decided to post the light version here 🙂 Thanks for visiting. Yes, delicate topic to discuss! 🙂
Vidya Sury recently posted…UTI Women’s No.1 Problem

Cathy Graham July 21, 2014 at 10:59 pm

Another very informative and humourous post, Vidya. How do you manage to combine both so well? I even enjoyed your corny puns when others might have been “pissed off” by them. Groan!

Yes, those UTIs are nasty things. I’ve had them before and they’re icky. Good tips on how to prevent them and how to treat them once you have one.

Cathy Graham recently posted…UBC Day 21 – Roach Rental

Debbie July 21, 2014 at 11:00 pm

Great tips Vidya; As with most women, I’ve dealt with these before. Cranberry juice worked for me (except in one instance where antibiotics were necessary), but as you mentioned, it’s not good for certain conditions.
Debbie recently posted…#8Sunday WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS JUL. 20/14

Roselle Tazza July 22, 2014 at 12:24 am

Great piece!! As a nurse, I will add one more preventative measure for women who have chronic UTI’s and that is to have the doctor prescribe Macrobid which is taken orally befor sex!! It only works on the urinary tract system and will prevent the bacteria from ascending in the tract!! This is only for women like me, who have tried all the other preventative measures and are still getting UTI’s!!! Works great in post menopausal women!!!

Rachna July 22, 2014 at 10:25 am

As someone who has suffered from UTI in the past, this is a well-researched article with excellent tips!

Bhavya July 22, 2014 at 10:55 am

Hi Vidya!
When we were living in a hostel during our PG days, a lot of my friends would contract UTI for reasons unknown to us. They used to be in a lot of pain and it was bad. The doctors told us it was spreading because of using unclean washrooms. Also it has been noticed that drinking barley water throughout the day instead of plain water helps releive the pain and the UTI goes off sooner.
Bhavya recently posted…The Escape Route

Shilpa Garg July 22, 2014 at 11:28 am

That’s a comprehensive post on UTIs with great tips!
Shilpa Garg recently posted…It’s All Black

My Inner Chick July 22, 2014 at 7:30 pm

I can’t believe you just wrote this. I really can’t.

I have a bladder infection now.

I’ve done the baking soda already.

I’m drinking lots of water.

How did you know this, Guru?

Love you more than orange butterflies floating in aqua air.

My Inner Chick recently posted…Ten Times Undone

Vidya Sury July 23, 2014 at 8:53 am

Hugs, Kim! So sorry to hear it. Among various problems, this one probably is the worst! Get well soon! Love you more than the flock of parrots that play in the sky every day!


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