Every year, over 11 million women develop a urinary tract infection, (also known as a UTI, a bladder infection or acute cystitis). These infections are more common in women than men, primarily due to the normal female anatomy, with the urethra (tube leading from the bladder to the outside), located very close to the vaginal opening. This allows bacteria from the vagina, and especially the rectum, to enter the bladder, and subsequently cause an infection. Sexual activity is the most common cause for developing a UTI, but pregnancy, advancing age, lack of estrogen, and diabetes are common contributing factors for developing these infections. For women who are more prone to bladder infections, prevention is key:
- Women who are sexually active should void both before and after intercourse to limit the amounts of bacteria in the bladder. Also, some lubricants, oils and spermicidal jelly may also make an infection more likely.
- Drinking an adequate amount of liquids will continually wash out the bladder. Water is preferred, as soda, coffee and tea may make it more likely to get an infection.
- After a bowel movement or urinating, wipe from the front of the vagina to the back toward the rectum, away from the urethra.
- Frequent changing of sanitary napkins or tampons can limit infections.
- Avoiding hot tubs or highly chlorinated pools, as well as removing your wet swimsuit as soon as possible, can also limit bacterial exposure.
- Cranberry juice and cranberry pills (no calories) have been proven to reduce UTI’s.
If you would like more information on urinary tract infections, contact Dr. Gordon C. Gunn MD in Fullerton, CA at 714-912-2211 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.gordongunnmd.com for additional information regarding women’s health.
Dr. Gordon Gunn proudly serves Buena Park, La Mirada, Yorba Linda, Diamond Bar, Walnut and all surrounding Orange County areas.