5 tips to prevent urinary tract infections
Did you know that symptomatic urinary tract infection (UTI) is among the most frequent bacterial infections in humans? In fact, UTI is the second most common infection in the general population, predominantly among adults, mainly females. Urinary tract infections may only compromise the lower urinary tract, otherwise diagnosed as cystitis, or it may affect both the upper and lower urinary tracts simultaneously; in this case, the terminology of high urinary infection is used.
The greater susceptibility to infection in females is due to anatomical conditions.1,2 The urethra in women is about 14 cm shorter than in men. This difference means that bacteria have a much shorter path to the bladder. In addition, a woman’s urethra is close to the vagina and anus, areas susceptible to the proliferation of bacteria. In fact, about 50 to 80% of women in the general population acquire at least one UTI during their lifetime. Most of these infections are uncomplicated cystitis3.
Other factors that increase the risk of UTI in women include sexual intercourse, the use of certain spermicidal creams, pregnancy and the number of pregnancies, diabetes and poor hygiene.
UTI is less common in young men and, when it occurs, it is attributed to the presence of urological abnormalities. However, UTI can also occur through sexual contact with a woman whose vagina is colonized by uropathogens or through unprotected anal intercourse. Lack of circumcision is also associated with an increased risk of UTI, due to the increased incidence of colonization of the glans and foreskin by Escherichia coli and subsequent migration of these bacteria into the urinary tract.4
What to do to prevent UTI:
- It is important to keep the genital and anus area always clean, washing with soap and water (but not overdoing it, as washing the intimate area too much can harm the genital flora). Minimize the use of sprays or talcs.
- In the case of women, when using the toilet, always pass the toilet paper from the front to the back, so as not to carry bacteria from the anus to the vagina.
- Keep yourself well hydrated. In addition to being beneficial to the body, water helps to eliminate bacteria present in the urethra and bladder. Do not hold urine for too long. Go to the bathroom whenever you feel like it, as retention increases the risk of urinary tract infection.
- It is advised to urinate after sexual intercourse as this helps to eliminate bacteria present in the urinary tract.
- Supplement your diet with type A proanthocyanidins. This natural phytochemical is present in red blueberries, and has important antibacterial properties. According to several studies, type A proanthocyanidins prevent the attachment of bacteria to the walls of the urinary tract.5
Uritractin by Nutribiolite is a natural food supplement that combines the following active ingredients in a single capsule:
- 125 mg Natural Proanthocyanidins from Red Blueberry (Type A)
- 5.5 mg of natural polyphenols from the hibiscus flower.
These natural phytochemicals are responsible for inhibiting bacterial adhesion and development to the walls of the urinary tract, preventing the occurrence of UTI.
- Valiquette L. Urinary tract infections in women. Can J Urol 2001;8:6-12.
- Hooton TM. Pathogenesis of urinary tract infections: an update. J Antimicrob Chemother 2000;46:1-7.
- Foxman B: Epidemiology of urinary tract infections: incidence, morbidity, and economic costs. Am J Med 113:5S, 2002.
- Hooton TM, Roberts PL, Stamm WE: Effects of recent sexual activity and use of a diaphragm on the vaginal microflora. Clin Infect Dis 19:274, 1994.
- Luczak T, Swanoski M. A Review of Cranberry Use for Preventing Urinary Tract Infections in Older Adults. Consult Pharm. 2018 Aug 1;33(8):450-453. doi: 10.4140/TCP.n.2018.450. PMID: 30068438.