The material provided below is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the diagnosis or treatment by a qualified healthcare professional. You should always seek medical advice before consuming any new medicines or supplements. AZO products referenced on this website are not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease such as overactive bladder, urinary tract infections, or vaginal infections.
Most women know the feeling all too well: the miserable burning during urination that can quickly worsen and cause us to assume the fetal position, the urgency that repeatedly sends us racing to the nearest bathroom and the frustration of constantly feeling the need to go even though only a small amount of urine seems to come out. In fact, one in three women will suffer from a UTI (urinary tract infection) at some point in their lives and the memory is everlasting. If left unchecked and untreated, a UTI can result in fever, back pain, blood in the urine or a chronic urinary tract infection, also known as an outright kidney infection. Why are women so prone? The answer lies in our anatomy. The urethra (the opening from which we urinate) is close in physical proximity to the vagina and rectum, making exposure to bacteria common.
AZO product's resident OB-GYN and women’s health expert, Dr. Alyssa Dweck, weighs in on the importance of maintaining your urinary and vaginal health, while also offering tips on how to keep “down there” in tip-top shape!ª
Before getting to that point of misery, contact your healthcare provider at the first signs of a UTI for appropriate tests and diagnosis, and then consider these DIY options:
- Drink plenty of fluids. Aggressive hydration will help dilute the urine and flush out bacteria by increasing urine volume
- Consider an OTC godsend, AZO Urinary Tract Defense®, which provides antibacterial urinary pain relief. Although it does not cure a UTI, it helps inhibit the progression of infection until you can see a healthcare professional.∞ AZO Urinary Tract Defense® has dual action in one tablet; first, it acts as an antibacterial, defending against the progression of a UTI until you can see your doctor, and second, it provides analgesia (pain relief).∞
- Consume cranberry juice or supplements such as AZO Cranberry® products, which come in the form of daily gummies, softgels and caplets. Studies have shown that cranberries can help prevent bacteria from attaching to the bladder wall. While these products are not intended to treat a UTI, they can be a part of your daily routine to benefit ongoing support of urinary health.1*
While some UTIs might clear spontaneously, many require a course of antibiotics. So how can we try to help maintain urinary health in the first place?
Here are 7 useful tips:
- Follow healthy hygiene habits in the bathroom—always wipe from front to back after urination and bowel movements. This can prevent bacteria that heavily colonize the rectum from contaminating the urethra and bladder.
- Time urination at regular intervals rather than “holding it in” all day; this is particularly applicable to the modern women who is constantly on the run and multitasking.
- Consider daily consumption of cranberry juice or use of cranberry supplements, like AZO Cranberry® Gummies or caplets or softgels.*
- Urinate before and after sexual relations to help lower the risk of UTIs. This will naturally flush bacteria from the urethra.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- Choose your underwear wisely; a cotton crotch is always preferred. Avoid thongs with a thin, chaffing G-string, which might bring rectal bacteria towards the urethra and increase risk of UTI.
- For women with vaginal dryness, regular use of vaginal moisturizers and use of lubricants during intercourse might prevent tiny micro-abrasions near the urethra and thus guard against uncomfortable urinary tract symptoms and UTIs.
About Dr. Alyssa Dweck:
Dr. Alyssa Dweck is a practicing OB-GYN in Westchester County, NY. She has been voted Top Doctor in New York Magazine and Westchester County. She is proficient in gynecologic surgery, has expertise in female sexual health and provides gynecologic care to women of all ages. Dr. Dweck has co-authored three books. The newly released The Complete A to Z for Your V: A Women's Guide to Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Your Vagina—Health, Pleasure, Hormones, and More, tells women of all ages what they need to know about their own unique health as a woman.
ª Dr. Dweck is a paid spokeswoman for AZO products. The information provided herein is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as medical advice or to replace professional medical care. You should always seek the advice of a medical professional before starting any new medication or dietary supplement. The opinions stated herein are those solely of the writer and do not portray the opinions of the AZO brand, i-Health, Inc., or DSM.
1 Cranberry Juice and Urinary Tract Infection https://academic.oup.com/cid/article/38/10/1413/345228/Cranberry-Juice-and-Urinary-Tract-Infection