Perfect urinary health is achieved by practicing basic self-help techniques and good hygiene. Both genders should regularly wash and keep their genitalia clean after a bowel movement or urinating. After urinating or a bowel movement, women need to wash with water or wipe from front to back to prevent fecal matter and bacteria from entering and infecting the urethra.
Some healthy tips to avoid getting urinary tract infection (UTI)
-Wear cotton underwear instead of nylon and stockings instead of pantyhose or tights to minimize the growth of bacteria that can lead to UTI.
-Drink copious amounts of fluids and urinate immediately after sexual intercourse to flush out UTI-causing bacteria.
-If you are sexually active and have UTI that keeps on coming back, and do not want to get pregnant, using oral contraceptives instead of using condom, contraceptive foam, or diaphragm is a good way to help prevent the recurrence of UTI. Oral contraceptives lessen the risk of bacteria entering the vagina that may result in UTI.
-If you already have UTI and experience its painful symptoms, a heating pad can help alleviate the discomfort and pain.
-Consult with your doctor for the best treatment approaches you can avail of for your urinary tract infection.
Men whose UTI is generated by prostate problems may, in severe or repeated cases of infection, find that antibiotics may not be as effective as it should be. Surgery may be required for men with an enlarged prostate that blocks urine flow to the urethra although this option is only considered when the inflamed prostate does not respond to antibiotics.
Acupuncture can be used to help stop the recurrence of urinary tract infections. There is at least one study that shows that acupuncture is responsible for the decrease of the frequency of cystitis episodes.
One of the high risk groups for UTI is pregnant women. Pregnancy is the time in which physical changes relating to the bladder and other urinary organs occur. These changes provide bacteria an opportunity to enter the urinary tract. An enlarged uterus can bear pressure on the bladder, the pressure partially or completely blocks the excretion of urine from the body allowing bacteria and urine to accumulate in the urinary tract. Around 7% of pregnant women are diagnosed with urinary tract infections and this is twice the number of nonpregnant women of similar ages. Extreme instances of UTI in pregnant women can result in premature delivery.
Women who already experienced UTIs during their childhood are two times as likely to be infected during their pregnancy compared to women with no such history.
Older women are also at high risk for developing UTIs.
Female UTI infections that have not developed any complications are fairly easy to resolve. It’s not uncommon for female UTI sufferers to experience recurrent infections. The fact is about 30% of women experience recurring infections.
In men, UTI often is due to a problem in their prostate which antibiotic may be unable to treat. Because of this, any latent infection in the prostate after UTI treatment often leads to re-infection of the bladder after the antibiotic therapy has ended.
Scott Paglia is a licensed and board certified acupuncturist in Bellingham, WA and provides master level pulse diagnosis, Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture in Whatcom County, WA.