With symptoms that range from a burning sensation when you go to the bathroom to funky smelling urine, UTIs can feel like torture. And according to OBGYN Montgomery County Dr. Rania Ibrahim, one out of five women will get a UTI at some point in their lives.
Once someone has had a UTI, they’re more likely to experience another one. Following are some surprising things that may be causing your UTIs.
- Too much sugar. If you eat tons of added sugars and get a real spike in your blood sugar, you may end up with some of that sugar in your urine, and the bacteria that cause UTIs feed on sugar.
- You have diabetes. Because UTI-causing bacteria are big fans of sugar, when you’re diabetic, your blood sugar can be off the charts and make your urine the perfect place for bacteria to multiply and lead to an infection.
- You wipe the wrong way. Wiping from back to front can bring bacteria – specifically E. coli – into the urethra. Always wipe front to back.
- You have a lot of sex. This is because bacteria from the vagina and from the area between the vagina and your bottom can move to the urethra every time you have sex.
- You don’t urinate after sex. One simple way to cut your risk of getting a UTI – head to the ladies’ room after sex. You’ll hopefully get rid of the bacteria that may have made their way into your urethra.
- You hold off urinating for too long. Not taking time to go to the bathroom when you feel the need does more harm than good. The last thing you want is urine to sit in the bladder for too long, growing bacteria.
- You’re using certain methods of birth control. Luckily there’s only one method that’s associated with UTIs – a diaphragm. Because of where the diaphragm sits, it puts pressure on the urethra, which might lead to an increased risk of getting a UTI.
- You’re using condoms. Condoms that are not lubricated can increase risk of UTIs, possibly because of increased irritation to the vagina during sexual activity. And using spermicide with diaphragms and condoms can increase risk even further.
- You don’t drink enough water. Drinking a lot of fluids will make you urinate often – and the bacteria get flushed out before they have a chance to take hold.
- You’ve got a cold. The meds you take to manage your cold – such as antihistamines – might make you urinate less, which may lead to a UTI.
- You’re pregnant. Pregnant women have a higher chance of getting an UTI because the hormonal changes cause the bladder muscle to relax and delay emptying.
The Bottom Line: A UTI isn’t cause for major concern as long as you seek treatment, which involves antibiotics that typically clear up the infection within a few days.
So if you feel any of these symptoms coming on, or if you’ve gotten a UTI three to six times in a single year, call the office of OBGYN Montgomery County Dr. Rania Ibrahim today to schedule a confidential consultation.