Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can occur for any number of reasons, and for some people, they are a recurrent problem. Fortunately there are ways to minimize having a UTI in the first place or reduce the number of episodes.
Be Cognizant About Your Clothing
Your underwear should be made from cotton, since it is a breathable fabric and can help wick away moisture from your skin. At minimum, the lining of your underwear should be made from cotton. No matter the underwear you choose, they should fit comfortably. You may need to size up if you have wide hips, a large stomach, or a larger buttocks. Some styles of underwear, such as thongs, are designed to fit more snugly and are not conducive to minimizing infections. Try limiting these styles to when they are absolutely necessary and change your underwear once you arrive home.
Just as your underwear can contribute to UTIs, so can your pants. There is a difference between fitted and tight pants. If you have a difficult time bending over or sitting down, your pants are likely too tight. Choose pants with significant stretch, especially for jeans and workout pants. If you go to the gym or sweat profusely, make sure you change out of your clothing as soon as possible.
Don't Hold It In
Going to the bathroom to urinate can become a nuisance, especially if you drink plenty of fluids or take diuretics. It is essential to go the bathroom as often as necessary to avoid giving bacteria a chance to flourish in your bladder or begin growing toward your kidneys. If you are in a situation where visiting the bathroom often is not always possible, try to offset your fluid intake with hard candy or taking frequent small sips of water. You should also speak with your doctor about excess bathroom visits, especially if you feel like your bathroom visits do not match the amount of fluids you drink, you frequently wake up at night to visit the bathroom, or you do not fully empty your bladder.
Include The Right Fruits
Certain fruits and fruit juices can minimize the number of UTIs you experience. Cranberries and blueberries are the most useful in managing UTIs. Blueberries are easier to add to different foods, such as smoothies, yogurt, or oatmeal. Both cranberry and blueberry juice can be used to prevent or fight a UTI. Just be sure to find variations that use minimal or no added sugar. Try drinking three to four ounces, twice per day if you want to minimize the additional calories or are not fond of the taste. Another options is cranberry and blueberry supplements, which should be taken with a full glass of water.
If you experience more than the occasional UTI, you should speak with your doctor about underlying causes, such as health problems. Fortunately, most UTIs can be prevented by making slight lifestyle modifications.