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Tinkle Troubles: How to Prevent Urinary Tract Infections

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Plagued by pain while urinating? Consider it time to banish urinary tract infections for good.If you’ve been a long-time, rather reluctant subject of urinary tract infections, it’s likely that you’ve experienced your fair share of pain and discomfort. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can be like persistent, painful little visitors that refuse to pack up and go. And exiling them for good can serve as welcome therapy for your toilet (and other) troubles. If you’re wondering where to start, look no further. Consider this your holy grail to a UTI-free life.Flood Yourself With FluidsMake a note to self to drink at least eight glasses of water per day. Why? Well, water helps flush toxins and bacteria from your urinary tract, keeping it squeaky clean and germ-free. If plain water has you looking the other way, make life interesting with other nutritious fluids. Fresh-squeezed juices, fruit-infused water and breakfast smoothies are a great way to go! Remember though, caffeinated and alcoholic beverages don’t count as healthy fluids (they’re tremendous bladder irritants), so they’re best left off the table.Visit the Loo OftenEmptying your bladder at regular intervals can go a long way in keeping your bladder free of bacteria. Don’t procrastinate in visiting the loo, prioritising other tasks first. Instead, go when you need to and be disciplined about relieving your bladder at least once every three hours.Wipe from Front to BackIf you favour toilet paper over the health faucet, make sure to wipe from front to back to avoid having anal bacteria invade your urethra or vagina. The anus houses e. coli – the most common culprits of UTIs – so it’s important to take a little extra care to avoid tempting them with the careless swipe of a hand. Empty Your Bladder Before and After Sexual IntercourseMaintaining optimal hygiene – before and after intercourse – is imperative to keeping bacteria from entering the urethra and vagina. Emptying your bladder before and after intercourse can eject bacteria that may have existed before, or entered during, intercourse.Wear Light, Breathable UnderwearCotton underwear is the best way to go, because it lets your skin breathe by airing moisture. Synthetic underwear, conversely, can trap moisture, giving rise to a breeding ground for bacteria.Lubricate Your VaginaMenopause can cause vaginal dryness, which in turn, can increase the risk of UTIs. Consult your doctor about the possibility of using an oestrogen-based vaginal cream to minimise dryness. Also, consider using a lubricant during intercourse to ease friction.Get Long-Term TreatmentUTIs are notorious for making recurrent, unwelcome visits, so getting a long-term treatment plan in place is important. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to kill the underlying bacteria, or suggest an alternative means of countering your condition (based on its nature and severity). By getting to the root of UTIs early, you can show them their place and avoid having them take pride of place in your life. Show them the door by implementing these tips and put an end to them overstaying their welcome.

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