‘I get nearly 11 UTIs in each year! I feel they are related to my menstruation, because after each period I get a UTI. I tried to put my periods on hold but the moment I got them, I got the UTI back. What can I do?’
‘I get Utis a lot. Please help.’
‘Why do I get Uti often?’
Urinary tract infections are a common issue and it is estimated that every woman will at least have one urine infection in her lifetime. Recurrent UTIs can be very painful as they mean several days of discomfort, painful burning and difficulty while peeing. A woman going through a bladder infection is normally put on antibiotics and this usually helps clear it up , but only temporarily. Women who complain of getting ‘Utis a lot’ are naturally very frustrated. Most want to naturally put a complete stop to this cycle of recurrent UTIs. Majority of them have also tried everything within their control to stop and prevent them. However, most of their efforts fail.
Why do I get UTI often? What am I doing wrong?
It is easy for a woman getting frequent bouts of UTIs to think that she is to be blamed for her plight. However, it is very important to deal with each case differently, because what works for one woman might not necessarily work for another. In most cases though, UTIs are caused due to bacterial invasions- the bacteria in the urine travel up to the bladder where, instead of being eliminated, they remain and get attached to the lining.
In case you are experiencing typical UTI symptoms, it is best to get a culture test done within 24 hours of onset. This will help you get a count of bacteria, as well as the type of bacteria causing the invasion. The doctor can also recommend the right antibiotic drug to eliminate that particular species of bacteria.
If however, your diagnosis is only done on the basis of your UTI symptoms, then you might want to consider getting a second opinion. Often, what you perceive to be a UTI could simply be irritation caused by spermicides or condoms used during sexual intercourse. Other conditions that can cause UTI like symptoms include candida or fungal infections of the vaginal area. So make sure you let your doctor know exactly what your symptoms are.
Many frequent UTI sufferers often have anatomical predispositions that lead to regular bladder infections. Minor surgical procedures can be used to correct these issues, so it is vital to get a pelvic exam done to identify and rule out these rare causes of constant UTIs.
Also, your doctor should be able to accurately tell you whether your UTIs each month are caused by the same bacterium. Often, due to frequent UTIs the lining of the urinary system (the mucosa) gets damaged, making a woman more prone to regular infections.In such a case, the patient needs to be treated with a longer course of antibiotics. This is usually an approach most doctors take in case of women wondering “why I get UTIs a lot?”
UTIs occurring after every menstrual period can sometimes also be attributed to intercourse during period. This can precipitate bladder infections because the blood flow has the bacteria living in it.
Other times, improper hygiene, immune system insufficiency, use of certain contraceptives, etc can all lead to frequent UTIs each month.
What can you do to prevent getting constant UTIs?
Whatever is the reason behind your constant UTIs, your condition is certainly not normal and you must see an expert urologist to find out their root cause. In the mean time, you can also take following precautions to deal with regular UTIs:
- Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water every day. This will help flush out the toxins and bacteria from the bladder. Empty your bladder frequently to prevent bacteria from attaching themselves to the uterine walls.
- Avoid all kinds of acidic foods like spicy and oily stuff, caffeine, alcohol etc. Eat more alkaline foods like fruits, vegetables, green tea, etc to improve immunity and increase resistance to the bacteria. Try and exercise to reduce stress and sleep at least 7-8 hours each night.
- Sexual intercourse in certain positions can also lead to UTIs by pushing bacteria inside the bladder. So, to reduce risk, simply try to urinate both before and after sex. Try and educate yourself about safer sex techniques by discussing them with your doctor and partner.
- Avoid the use of harsh spermicides, lubricants, douches and other feminine hygiene products that actually alter the bacterial flora of the vagina making you more susceptible to constant UTIs.
- Try and follow good hygienic habits like wiping down from front to back instead of back to front after a bowel movement to avoid getting germs from the anus towards the urethral opening.
- If you are prone to regular UTIs each month, you might want to talk to your doctor about taking low dose antibiotics each month or particularly after sexual intercourse to prevent getting UTIs constantly.
These are some important considerations to be made by everyone that gets UTIs constantly.