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4 Reasons You're Getting UTIs

A urinary tract infection (UTI) presents with painful urination, an urgency to find a restroom, and frequent bathroom visits. You may also have an “off” odor to your urine, which can appear cloudy in the bowl.

UTIs develop when E. coli or another bacteria infect your bladder, kidneys, urethra, or ureters. Researchers estimate that 50-60% of women will develop a UTI at least once in their lifetime. Of those infected, 25-30% will have urinary tract infections that repeat again and again.

At Capital Women’s Care, we help women in Silver Spring and Laurel, Maryland, quickly recover from a one-off UTI. We also offer treatment ideas, such as changes to your lifestyle, to lessen the likelihood of UTIs from happening again and again.

Take a moment to learn why you might be more at risk of getting UTIs and what you can — and can’t — do about it.

Women are just more at risk

Women’s anatomy makes them more susceptible to UTIs. Women have short urethras — the tube that carries urine outside the body. It’s much closer to the anus than a man’s is, and it’s also in close proximity to the vagina. This means it’s much more likely that bacteria from stool and the vagina can affect a female urinary tract.

What to do: While you can’t change your anatomy, you can clean yourself carefully after using the restroom. Wiping front to back is a good habit to get into, as this may help prevent the spread of bacteria into your urinary anatomy. Avoid wearing tight underpants or pants and urinate immediately after sex.

You seek to be too clean

You may think cleaning your vagina with feminine sprays or douches is the way to go to avoid a UTI, but in fact, they do just the opposite. These products may kill off healthy bacteria in the vagina that keep the “bad” bacteria from entering and infiltrating your urethra.

What to do: Remember that your vagina is an amazing self-cleaning organ. Washing with a gentle soap and water is enough; you don’t want to mess up the delicate balance of bacteria in the region.

You don’t drink enough water

Your body is 60% water. Water hydrates your tissues and promotes urination, which is a way of hosing down your internal system. When you urinate, you clear out bacteria.

What to do: Don’t deprive it of this essential element. Aim to drink 2-3 liters of water daily (equal to about 10-12 cups). Fluid can come from tea, vegetables, fruits, and soups, too.

Your bacteria ratios are out of balance

A vagina rich in Lactobacilli is more likely to discourage the development of bacteria that infiltrates your urinary tract and causes infection. After menopause, a woman’s vagina has a change in pH that discourages Lactobacilli from thriving, and you’re more likely to develop an infection. The use of spermicides for contraception may kill off Lactobacilli, too.

What to do: Talk to us about using a vaginal estrogen product if you’re in menopause to boost a healthier pH level in your vagina. Switch to another contraceptive method; we at Capital Women’s Care can help you find an acceptable one.

If you suffer frequent UTIs, we can help. In addition to changing some of your habits, you may benefit from a low-dose antibiotic for six months, or saving it for just after sex or when you notice the very initial signs of a UTI. 

Let us guide you and help you overcome UTIs as they arise. Call the Laurel or Silver Spring office today or request an appointment using our online booking feature.

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