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Avoiding the recurrence of urinary tract infections

Though there is no perfect solution, a couple of simple tips can help you limit recurrence of urinary tract infection. Read the following ten tips to a healthier lifestyle that will help put an end to the continuous suffering of cystitis.

Avoiding cystitis
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1.  Drink plenty: Drinking sufficient amounts of water (between 1.5 and 2 litres a day) to lower urine concentration is the most reliable way to diminish the risk of urinary tract infection. Chances of cystitis are higher in summertime due to increased perspiration and decreased urination – so it’s even more important to keep well hydrated during the hotter months.

2.  Don’t hold back urine: Try to go to the toilet regularly and make sure you don’t hold it back too long.

3.  Always urinate after sexual intercourse: If cystitis episodes occur following sexual intercourse, remember to systematically urinate when your lovemaking is over, in order to evacuate potential bacteria from your urethra.

4.  Avoid heat and humidity: Avoid tight clothes and synthetic underwear, as they increase perspiration and therefore germ proliferation.

5.  In the right direction: After having urinated and passed stools, remember to wipe yourself in a front-to-back motion only, to prevent bacteria transfer to your urethra. Also make sure you wash your hands with water and soap every time you use the toilet.

6.  Protect yourself from constipation: If you’re regularly constipated, eat a balanced diet including more green vegetables, fruits and fibres. Take your meals at regular hours and engage in more physical activity. Stool stagnation in the rectum area is a germ spread factor you should avoid. See more on constipation.

7.  Too much of a good thing: Don’t wash your genitals more than twice daily, avoid vaginal douching, and use soft products respecting vaginal pH (5 to 7), and no antiseptic products. You have your own natural flora that helps protect you, so don’t wash it all away in an imagined quest for cleanliness!

8.  Pay extra attention to personal hygiene during menstruation: During menstruation, regularly change tampons or external protection to avoid a build up of bacteria.

9.  No self-medication, no matter how often you get a urinary tract infection: The efficacy of old medications found around your medicine cabinet is often dubious, as they may mask symptoms without stopping the infection. In this case, risks of complications are higher. Do not exceed prescribed doses or the duration of treatment, for fear that bacteria might grow resistant and infection recur. 

10. A shared responsibility: Ask your partner to take a urine test as some form of infection may be transmitted from him to you during sexual intercourse, provoking your urinary tract infections. If the test reveals a sexually transmitted infection, it is imperative that you both seek medical attention.

Posted 23.11.2010

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