Last updated on Sep 30th, 2020 at 09:19 am

Urinary tract infections (UTI’s) are common infections especially for women and are often caused by bacteria entering and infecting your urinary tract

Although they are common, if you are susceptible to them and can start feeling the onset of one, speaking to a doctor about your symptoms is always the best idea as misdiagnosis could mean leaving a serious problem untreated or insufficiently treated. 

What is a urinary tract infection?

A Urinary tract infection is an infection of the urinary tract which includes the kidneys, bladder or urethra. According to The Mayo Clinic, your urinary tract is a more susceptible infection because it is physically close to the anus which carries bacteria from the large intestine.

The most common symptom of UTIs is a burning, uncomfortable sensation when you pee. You feel like you frequently need to urgently pee.

Although the symptoms of a UTI are similar to those of some STIs, it is not possible to self-diagnose with certainty.  

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Why cranberry juice helps

According to a report published in The Journal of Medicinal Food by Marry Ann Liebert, cranberry juice really can help prevent and treat UTIs. Not because it’s acidic but, because cranberry juice has a natural chemical compound that prevents infection-causing bacteria from attaching itself to the lining of the urinary tract.

Regularly drinking cranberry juice when you are susceptible to UTI’s can help reduce your chances of infections.

Can you prevent UTI’s?

Aside from drinking cranberry juice regularly, there are other steps you can take to prevent UTIs.

  • One way is to avoid bringing bacteria to your urinary tract.

This means making sure to wipe from the front to the back, especially when you have an upset stomach to prevent moving bacteria from the anus to the urinary tract. 

Although many people are also afraid of bacterial infections from toilet seats; according to medicalnet, it is unlikely to contract a UTI from a toilet seat. The seat does not typically make contact with any part of the urinary tract.

  • Flush out bacteria

Bacteria develops naturally in the body, flushing it out frequently can help prevent infections. Drinking plenty of fluids and peeing often can do this. According to healthline.com holding in your pee can also increase your chances of UTI’s.

Pee’s after sex also helps to flush away bacteria that could have entered the urinary tract during sex. This risk of bacterial infection exists whether you use a condom or not.

  • Maintain your body’s natural flora

Your body is an ecosystem with good bacteria growing and living in you. The healthy bacteria can help create a balance and keep bad, infection-causing bacteria at bay.

According to healthline.com harsh soaps, douches and scented feminine hygiene products can affect the natural balance of bacteria in your vaginal area affecting the urinary tracts too. Avoiding these and taking a probiotic or eating food rich in probiotics like yoghurt can help you maintain the healthy bacteria you have down there.

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While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.