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How to help prevent urinary tract infections

Urinary tract infections (UTI) are very uncomfortable and painful. They can also potentially lead to much more serious infections if left untreated. In the hot weather, UTIs are more common because we tend to get dehydrated.  So here are a few tips to help prevent UTIs this summer:

1. Drink plenty of water

This helps to flush bacteria that causes UTIs from your bladder and tract. When your urine becomes very concentrated in the summer, so does the bacteria. Most people don’t drink enough water at the best of times but in the summer, it becomes even more vital. Drinking more water also helps to prevent kidney stones.

2. Wear cotton underwear

Synthetic materials trap moisture and cause sweating, creating an excellent environment for bacteria. Cotton underwear is porous and breathable, allowing your urethral area to remain drier.

3. Go to the loo!

We can all get a bit lazy and “hold it in”. Don’t! Go as soon as you feel you need to. This helps to flush out bacteria and avoids your urine becoming more concentrated.

4. Hygiene!

Wipe from front to back using  toilet paper to reduce irritation and potential inflammation – also consider gentle wet wipes. Perfumes and fragrances on toilet paper can be quite irritating to the urethral area, encouraging the growth of infection causing bacteria.

5. Tips before and after sexual intercourse.

Going to the toilet before and after intercourse helps prevent UTIs by flushing out bacteria that may enter your urinary tract. Sexual activity is a common risk factor for UTIs.

6. Avoid products

Products include anything scented including bath oils, powders, bubble bath and vaginal products. These can irritate and set up an inflammatory process that can promote urinary bacteria. Choose a shower over a bath to avoid stagnant water that predispose you to a urinary tract infection.

7. Cranberry juice!

It’s not an old wives’ tale! Drinking a few glasses of cranberry juice a day can help prevent UTIs.

8. Talk to your doctor.

If you are suffering from recurring UTIs, you must seek medical advice. There may be another underlying infection at play that will require treatment. And don’t wait to see your doctor if you have a UTI as it can become more serious and harder to treat. You can consider our same-day GP service for convenient, fast diagnosis and treatment.

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