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.
If you’re like most women, you have likely experienced at least one if not many urinary tract infections (UTIs). The incredible urge to go, the multiple trips to the bathroom and the burning are unforgettable. Still, there are many misconceptions on what causes a UTI. It’s time to separate fact from fiction.
UTIs are common in women due to female anatomy. They usually result from bacteria traveling from the rectum or vagina, where bacteria are plentiful, to the urethra and bladder since they are in close anatomic proximity.
To be clear: UTIs are not a sexually transmitted infection (STI). You can’t get a UTI from sitting on a toilet seat or spin bike at the gym, or from casual contact from someone else who has a UTI.
Here are five ways you can be proactive in helping to prevent a UTI.
1. When using the bathroom, wipe from front to back.
Start from the urethra, where you urinate from, back towards the rectum, and not the other way around. Sounds elementary, yes, but it’s tried and true advice.
2. Go when you need to.
Holding in urine can also prompt infection. It can also be very uncomfortable. Advice for all the multitaskers out there: take time for bathroom breaks.
3. Urinate before and after intercourse.
Intercourse can facilitate transmission of bacteria towards the urethra. What’s a woman to do? Try urinating both before and after intimate activity to flush bacteria away before infection can occur. Try using a lubricant during sex if you are dry. This decreases friction and abrasion that might lead to a UTI.
4. Be mindful of your birth control choices.
Some spermicides contain nonoxynol 9, which is a common irritant that causes tiny micro-abrasions to the delicate intimate tissue near the urethra and can increase UTI risk. Diaphragms and sponges are typical triggers too. Talk to your healthcare professional if you’re prone to UTIs and want to discuss other birth control options.
5. Help promote urinary health with AZO Cranberry® with Pacran®.
The PACs (proantocyanidins) found in cranberries are thought to make the bladder more slippery to the bacteria e. coli, a common UTI-causing bug. Not all cranberry is created equal, however. I recommend AZO Cranberry® Softgels with Pacran®, a proprietary blend of whole fruit cranberry, because it is clinically proven to cleanse the urinary tract and help flush to maintain cleanliness.*
ABOUT DR. ALYSSA DWECK:
Dr. Alyssa Dweck^ is a practicing OB-GYN in Westchester County, N.Y. 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, including 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, which tells women of all ages what they need to know about their own unique health
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
AZO® and AZO Cranberry® are trademarks of DSM.
Pacran® is a trademark of Naturex.
^Dr. Alyssa Dweck is a paid spokesperson for AZO®.