Tips for Preventing Chronic UTIs

I don’t pretend to know the discomfort and pain associated with urinary tract infections (UTIs), readers, and I count myself lucky for that. While this condition does strike men, it’s far more common in women.

When the bad and good bacteria normally in the urinary tract fall out of balance and give the bad bacteria the chance to take hold, a UTI is the result. These infections cause pain, burning and the urgency to urinate.

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for a woman to suffer UTIs frequently. There are some easy tips you can try to to help reduce the odds of a UTI reoccurring.

Keep yourself hydrated

When you are more hydrated, you’ll urinate more often and flush more bacteria out of your system as a result. Don’t wait to pee until the last possible second as this actually increases your chances of getting an infection. Drink a lot of water and urinate as soon as you feel the urge to go.

Add fermented products to your diet

Fermented dairy products, like yogurt, have probiotics in them. As noted by Harvard Medical School, this form of good bacteria appears to reduce the bad bacteria in the vagina that causes UTIs (https://www.health.harvard.edu/aging/stay-a-step-ahead-of-urinary-tract-infections).

Repopulate good bacteria after taking an antibiotic

Antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria in your body. When you take one for an infection, it will eliminate the infection–thankfully–but your good bacteria levels take a hit, too. Take a probiotic supplement while taking antibiotics and for at least four weeks after you’ve finished the course to help encourage good bacteria to grow. This will help prevent the reproduction of yeast and bad bacteria, which can contribute to a UTI.

Try some cranberries

As you may have heard, cranberries contain a compound known as d-mannose. This compound can reduce the growth and colonization of bacteria in urine, preventing UTIs and helping to eliminate an infection. You can drink cranberry juice, take an extract, or look for a cranberry-d-mannose supplement.

Get some vitamin C

Vitamin C is know for its ability to boost your immune system. Studies have also shown that this vitamin enhances your body’s release of nitric oxide in urine, and the resulting effect can help against three of the most common types of bacteria known to cause UTIs. The general vitamin C dose recommendation for UTI prevention is 500 mg twice a day.