How to Prevent Urinary Tract Infections in an Effective and Natural Way

Thursday, 13 December 2012

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection affecting the urinary system (comprising our kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra). It's most often caused by the bacteria Escherichia coli (E.Coli).

Bacteria usually get into our body through the urethra, the tube that carries urine from our bladder out. These germs travel up into our bladder and cause cystitis. It is very common and causes slight discomfort and inconvenience.

If the germs spread to our kidneys, it would cause pyelonephritis. It can cause:
  • Back pains
  • Abdominal pains
  • High fever
  • Cloudy or bloody urine
  • Nausea and vomiting.

Females tend to get UTIs more frequently than males because:
  • The urethra of a female is shorter, making it easier for bacteria to move up into the bladder.
  • The close proximity of the urethral opening to the vagina and rectum.
  • If the female is sexually active, as the bacteria in the vaginal area may be pushed into the urethra.
  • If the female wipes from back to front after urination and bowel movement.

Children may get UTIs more frequently because:
  • They have problems like congenital abnormality in the urinary tract that makes them more prone to infection.
  • They don't drink enough water to keep the bladder active and bacteria-free.

Other causes of UTIs include:
  • If something blocks the flow of urine from the bladder, e.g. having kidney stones or enlarged prostate gland.

Symptoms of bladder infection include:
  • Frequent urination
  • A burning sensation or pain during urination
  • Feeling the need to urinate, but little or no urine comes out
  • Pain above the pubic bone
  • Mild fever and fatigue.

How to prevent UTIs
  • Go to the bathroom as frequently as possible. Keep the genital area clean and dry after washing up.
  • Wipe from front to back after urination or bowel movement to avoid the spread of germs from the rectal area to the urethra.
  • Change tampons or sanitary pads regularly during menstruation.
  • Wash the genital area after intercourse to remove bacteria.
  • Avoid prolonged exposure of moisture in the genital area by not wearing wet undergarments.
  • Limit the use of feminine hygiene sprays as this may irritate the urethra.

(Source: Mummy, peeing hurts! by Datuk Dr Zulkifli Ismail, StarFit4Life, 9 September 2012)

Is there a Natural Remedy to Prevent UTIs?
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