Urinary Tract Infection is one of the most common causes of discomfort among women. Women are more prone to UTIs because of various factors including their physiology. The urethral passage of women is only 1.5 inches long which makes it easier for the bacteria to travel the distance and infect the other organs of the urinary tract.
Most commonly occurring UTI is caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria (70–95%). Other variants that also cause UTI are Staphylococcus saprophyticus (5–10%) and Proteus mirabilis (1–2%)
Most Common Causes Of UTIs
Hygiene plays a vital role in UTIs in women. The urinary outlet or urethra of a woman is generally moist which provides a perfect environment for bacteria to grow. It is very important to keep this part dry and clean. The unhygienic use of sanitary napkins during menstrual periods is also an underlying cause for UTI infection. It is important to use hygienically manufactured napkins which must be changed at least 3 times on the days of heavy flow.
Also, the use of chemicals, deodorants, talcum powder in this area can be harmful as it irritates the urethra and leads to infection. Douching is an unhygienic practice which can lead to UTIs.
The pattern of wiping after passing stool should be from front to back to avoid any contact with the bacteria in the stool. Women should try not to hold urine for a long time as holding it for a longer duration provides a perfect ground for the bacteria to grow.
Consumption of antibiotics for a prolonged duration can also cause UTIsas it destroys the probiotics, making it easier for the pathogenic bacteria to invade the urinary tract.
Besides these, during pregnancy a woman is more prone to UTIs as the urinary tract usually loosens because of the hormonal changes. As a result flow of the urine slows down causing the bacteria to stay for a longer time in the body.
Easy Natural Ways To Prevent UTIs
Drinking plenty of water helps in flushing out the harmful bacteria out of the system by promoting frequent urination. Avoiding the intake of excess sugar helps in combating UTIs. Sugar inhibits the ability of the WBCs to kill the pathogenic bacteria which affects the body immunity to a great extent.
Consume 100% natural cranberry juice. Sweetened Cranberry juice may not have the protective effect as the sweetener could irritate the urinary tract. Vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables help in increasing the acidity content of urine which in turn prevents the growth of the pathogenic bacteria in the urinary tract. Taking a probiotic supplement will help in maintaining the balance between the two kinds of bacteria (probiotic and pathogenic).
Lactobacili is a probiotic which is also present in the urinary tract and it outnumbers the pathogenic bacteria. This to a great extent prevents the occurrence of UTIs. D-Mannose has been proved to be highly effective in controlling UTIs. It is a simple sugar that resembles the cell receptors to which e-coli usually attaches before infecting. Therefore, when D-Mannose is present in the system, the bacteria would attach to it instead of the urinary tract tissue. It may then be flushed out with urine.