A urinary tract infection (UTI), and particularly one that recurs, can be the bane of a woman’s life. The symptoms are often acutely painful, and if your infection is one that recurs only a short while after you’ve managed to clear it up, it can also be frustratingly annoying! There are no home remedies that will effectively treat a UTI; only a course of antibiotics from your doctor will do that. However, there are a number of simple steps a woman can take to help prevent infection recurring.
Urinary tract infection usually occurs when bacteria enter the opening of the urethra and then multiply in the urinary tract. Women are more prone to UTI because we have shorter urethras and therefore it’s easier for bacteria to enter. Some symptoms of UTI are back pain, blood in the urine, pain on urination, and an inability to urinate despite a persistent urge.
In order to help prevent bacteria from entering the urethra, it’s important to keep scrupulously clean and to wipe from front to back. Emptying the bladder after sex will also help flush out any bacteria that might have managed to enter the urethra during intercourse. Studies have shown that women who use a diaphragm or whose partners use a condom with spermicidal lubricant are more at risk of developing a UTI than those women who use other forms of birth control.
Cranberry juice has taken on almost legendary status where the prevention of UTI is concerned, and not without good reason. Eighty-five percent of UTIs are caused as a result of E. coli bacteria. Cranberry juice produces hippuric acid in the urine which acidifies the urine and inhibits the adherence of E. coli cells to the lining of the bladder, thereby reducing the risk of infection. Look for 100 percent cranberry juice which is usually sold in health shops; the regular cranberry juice sold in supermarkets isn’t concentrated enough and contains a lot of sugar. Cranberry juice won’t clear up a UTI but it’s a good preventative measure if you suffer from repeated attacks.
Drinking water will also help flush out any impurities in the bladder so keep up your water intake at all times—before, during, and after a UTI. -Jane Dee-