Ladies Beware! UTIs Are a Summer Danger
From family picnics, to playing golf and tennis with friends, to taking dips in the pool, summertime is full of many enjoyable outdoor activities. And these fun activities are all signs of summer. But another sign of summer is those dreaded urinary tract infections (UTIs).
What Causes UTIs?
UTIs occur when bacteria enters the urinary system and spreads to the bladder, and in more serious cases, up to the kidneys.
Shockingly, nearly half of all women will experience a UTI in their lifetime. And what many don’t know is that men can also contract UTIs, but it is far less common — only about 12 percent of men will contract a UTI in their lifetime. Women are more likely than men to get UTIs because the urethra is shorter in a woman than it is in a man. In women, the bacteria can reach the bladder more easily.
The incidences of UTIs increase during the summer months as we spend more time in wet bathing suits and sweaty clothes. Moist environments encourage bacteria growth.
How to Prevent UTIs Naturally
This summer, it’s important that you take a little extra care to help prevent your risk of contracting a UTI. Here are some steps you can take to help reduce your risk of infection this summer and keep your bladder healthy:
Crowd out bad bacteria with probiotics. There are certain strains of probiotics that support women’s health needs. In particular, the strains Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus rhamnosus have been shown to be particularly effective in maintaining vaginal health and improving urinary health.
Eat some cranberries. Chances are, if you’ve had a UTI in the past, you were told to drink some cranberry juice. The problem is most cranberry juices are loaded with sugar that simply feed the bad bacteria and encourage their growth even more. A healthier option is to eat some cranberries, or if the taste of cranberries is too tart for you, try taking a cranberry supplement. Cranberries are loaded with proanthocyanidins, which research has shown help prevent bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall.
Wear cotton underwear. Cotton is a more breathable fabric that will help to keep your urethra dry.
Drink plenty of water. When dehydrated, we don’t urine as much. Urine helps to flush out bacteria. So, if we aren’t urinating, we aren’t flushing away the bad guys.
Any helpful tips we left off the list? Let us know! And we wish you a safe and fun summer!