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.
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).∞
- Consider 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.
- 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. KIRA SCHMID HALAK:
Dr. Kira Schmid Halak received her doctorate in naturopathic medicine from Bastyr University in Seattle, WA. Dr Halak is Senior manager of global R&D (Research & Development) for the AZO and Estroven brands and is passionate about women’s health. She was also the scientific director for the integrative medicine textbook, Disease Prevention & Treatment, and she is often heard on national and regional health programs, as well as being a frequent contributor to widely read health and wellness publications.
ª 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. Any information provided is not intended to imply our product will treat, mitigate, diagnose, cure, or prevent diseases. You should always seek the advice of a medical professional before starting any new medication or dietary supplement.
1 Cranberry Juice and Urinary Tract Infection https://academic.oup.com/cid/article/38/10/1413/345228/Cranberry-Juice-and-Urinary-Tract-Infection