I am 56 y\o female with recurrent urinary tract infections. I have been douching for many years and I was told by my urologist that the douching may be the culprit of my UTIs. Is that true?
Douching clears out the normal good bacteria of the vagina, which can upset the balance of bacteria in the vaginal area and make it easier to get UTIs. Allowing that bacteria to stay inside the vagina is a natural way to protect yourself from UTIs. Therefore, if you are prone to recurrent UTIs, then I suggest you deep six the douching.
What can you do to prevent UTIs?
Keep yourself hydrated. One of the best ways for preventing UTIs is to stay well hydrated, Drinking water can flush out bacteria from your bladder and lower your chances of getting a UTI.
I recommend urinating after sexual intimacy. Sexual activity may massage bacteria from the vagina into the urethra, the tube from the bladder to the outside of the body, which can then multiply and create an infection. Urinating after sex will expel the bacteria in the urethra and prevent the bacteria’s access to the bladder.
Drinking cranberry juice also seems to make it harder for bacteria to infect the urinary tract. Cranberry juice contains active compounds that are not destroyed by the digestive system after people drink them, but instead work to fight against bacteria, including E. coli, which is the most common bacteria causing UTIs. It appears that cranberry juice seems to prevent bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall.
Urinate frequently as holding urine probably can increase risk of having UTIs.
Wear cotton underwear. Bacteria grows in a moist, warm environment, so it’s a good idea to wear cotton underwear and clothes that aren’t too tight to allow air to flow and to keep the area dry. Avoid tight fitting jeans and exercise clothing.
See a doctor for persistent symptoms. If you don’t get better quickly with these non-medical suggestions or you have more than 3-4 infections per year, then it is time to obtain a medical opinion.
UTIs are a common malady affecting nearly every woman at some time during her adult life. There are several suggestions provided in this blog that you can do to decrease your likelihood of recurrences.