If you"ve ever had aurinary tract infection, climate you recognize the agony the that damaging burning feeling and also relentless have to pee—and you"d most likely do anything come avoid obtaining another.

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According to the nationwide Kidney Foundation, 1 in 5 ladies experiences a UTI in ~ some point in she life. And while men can acquire them, also (UTIs space the 2nd most usual infection), women are much an ext likely to contract one, says the national Institute that Diabetes and Digestive and also Kidney Diseases. That"s because we have actually a much shorter urethra, which makes it all too basic for UTI-causing bacteria to pass through it and also invade the bladder. No fair.

"Our urinary system is design to store out bacteria; however, these defenses deserve to fail," stated Dr. Kelly M. Kasper, an ob-gyn in ~ Indiana university Health. "When the happens, bacteria deserve to grow and also multiply and also cause infections." (Heal your entirety body—and lose serious weight—with Rodale"s12-day liver detox for full body health!)

Here space 8 of the most common reasons those defenses fail—and a grasp of useful tips because that prevention.

We know, vast bummer. Numerous women get UTIs after doing the deed since the motion of sex can transfer bacteria from the bowel or quality cavity into the urethra. To reduced your risk of getting a UTI, pee in ~ 30 minutes of having sex, said Dr. Lisa N. Hawes, a general urologist in Fulton, Maryland, and a doctor spokesperson because that the American Urological Association. And ignore the often-shared advice that both partners have to wash your genitals automatically before and after sex. "This actually changes bacterial flora and also will increase UTI risks," Hawes says. (Ugh, an additional yeast infection? right here are 9 Highly efficient Solutions for Yeast Infections that really work.)


You might be able to blame your poop (or lack thereof) for your UTI. Gift constipated provides it challenging to empty your bladder all the way, which method trapped bacteria have actually lots of time to grow and cause infection, states Hawes. (Here"show to never be constipated again.)On the flip side, diarrhea or fecal incontinence can also increase your danger of acquiring a UTI, due to the fact that bacteria from loosened stool can easily make its method into her vagina and urethra. A tried-and-true tip: Wipe indigenous front to earlier whenever you usage the bathroom, but be especially mindful to perform so after ~ a bowel movement. (See what else her poop says around you.)

Uncontrolled diabetes

"When blood street is high, the excess sugar is removed through the urine," Hawes said. "This renders a favorable atmosphere for bacterial overgrowth" and a potentially unfavorable case for you. Friend may have heard the myth the eating too lot sugar can cause UTIs, even if friend don"t have diabetes, however Hawes assures united state that"s not true. Unless you have diabetes, her sweet tooth isn"t the culprit.

Holding it

If you need to go, go!his "Holding ours urine for 6 hours or more may make UTIs much more common, together bacteria the does acquire into the bladder has lots that time come overgrow in between voids," Hawes said. When traveling, for example, it might seem like a an excellent idea to host tight and keep driving until the following rest area, yet do you yourself a favor and stop—the extra miles aren"t precious the danger of infection. (Here’swhat the shade of your pee says around your health.)


Drinking plenty of water not only quenches her thirst, but it also wards turn off UTIs throughout hot summer months, when plenty of of united state don"t hydrate enough. "We must always try to drink at least half our body weight in ounces," said Stephanie Seitz, ND, a doctor at the Southwest college of Naturopathic Medicine. "When us drink lot of of water, we help flush out bacteria that can reason UTIs."

Birth control

If youswitch birth control, the result hormone transition could cause a change in common bacteria in your vagina, which could up the odds of a UTI, Hawes said. Use of diaphragms and also spermicides can also increase your chances of developing one, Kasper adds.

"Dirty pads and tampons are a ar where bacteria deserve to grow very easily," said Dr. Ehsan Ali, a primary care physician in Beverly Hills, California. So adjust them commonly to avoid infections while on her period. Likewise, Dr. Alyssa Dweck, MS, one ob-gyn in Westchester County, new York, says to choose your underwear wisely: "A cotton crotch is constantly preferred, and also avoid thongs with a thin, chafing g-string, which deserve to transfer bacteria." Wearing noodle helps prevent excessive moisture that causes bacteria to thrive down there, Dweck said.

Kidney stones

These mineral deposits up your threat of acquiring a UTI, Ali said, due to the fact that they can block the urinary tract and ago up urine, providing bacteria many of time to grow.

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This short article originally appeared on Prevention.com.


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