Top Six Triggers of Urinary Tract Infections for Women

Urinary Tract Infections | Pacific Urology

Urinary tract infections account for roughly 8.1 million hospital visits per year. As the second most common infection in the body (behind the common cold), chances are you or a friend has suffered through at least one. In fact – sorry, ladies – the lifetime risk of having a urinary tract infection (UTI) is more than 50 percent. What’s worse, if you’ve had a UTI, you are prone to contract another.

Wouldn’t it be great to stop a Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) before it starts?

Understanding the triggers of UTI can help prevent unnecessary suffering, endless bathroom stops, and another trip to the doctor.

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Expect relief right away in a 30-minute UTI appointment, with everything needed to make you feel better: urine sample, testing & medications. Make an appointment with any of our board-certified urologists.
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The Top Six Triggers:

1. Allergies

If you are prone to UTIs and experiencing inflammation, itching, and general discomfort, you may be allergic to your bath or feminine products. An allergic reaction can result in swelling, redness and in some cases, discharge. Allergy to a product can cause a growth of microorganisms, resulting in a UTI.

  • Tip: Avoid powders, deodorants and perfumed soaps and opt for unscented bathroom products including soap, toilet paper, tampons, and feminine napkins. Wear cotton underwear and pass on synthetic fabrics such as polyester and rayon.

2. Birth Control

Certain contraceptives can cause UTIs, while others do not. Options that may leave women more prone to UTIs include diaphragms, condoms and spermicidal foams.

  • Tip: If you experience a UTI and believe it may be due to your contraceptive, visit your doctor and explore birth control alternatives.

3. Dehydration

Dehydration causes your entire body to suffer. Lack of water places undue stress on the heart, immune system and kidneys. If your immune system can’t function properly, bacteria that would have otherwise been flushed out may multiply in your urinary tract.

  • Tip: Stay hydrated! Rather than focus on drinking a specific amount per day, focus on the color of your urine. Clear or light-colored urine signifies hydration, while bright or deep yellow urine signals dehydration.

4. Dietary Additives

Food additives have been covered extensively for the threats they pose to physical health, but they can also be the catalyst to an uncomfortable UTI. Chemicals and preservatives give bacteria and organisms a firm helping hand for growth inside the bladder.

  • Tip: Stay away from products high in fructose, caffeine, sugar, phosphoric acid, and limit alcohol intake. If you are sensitive to certain products and must indulge, counteract with an acidic beverage including lemon or cranberry, or grab a handful of antioxidant-rich blueberries.

5. E.Coli & Yeast Infections

These types of infections are the most common UTI culprit. Yeast and E. Coli can travel from the rectum or vaginal area during a bathroom visit, then go up the urethra and into the bladder, causing an infection.

  • Tip: Don’t wipe back to front as this can easily cause a UTI. Instead, remember to wipe front to back. Utilize the same cleansing technique during bathing.

6. Sexual Activity

If you frequently experience a UTI within 24 hours of sex, your sexual activity is likely the cause. High amounts of friction and certain positions (such as the woman on top) may promote UTIs. In rare cases, the woman may have an allergy to her partner’s sperm.

  • Tip: Clean your private area before and after sexual activity. Urination immediately after sex also cleans the urethra and can kill bacteria. If you believe friction may be the cause, try a different sexual position.