UTI Myths and Facts
80% of women will experience at least one urinary tract infection in their lifetime. Funnily enough though, many women have been misinformed regarding the causes of UTI's - so let's start by clearing up some myths.
Things That DON'T Cause UTI's
Sexual intercourse can help push bacteria into the urethra, but having sex doesn’t guarantee that you will get a UTI. Unlike a sexually transmitted infection, urinary tract infections are not transmittable or contagious! That said, sexual activity can push that bacteria closer to your urethra, increasing your chances of a UTI.
This is a tricky one because most women think that the problem with baths and UTI's is the water itself. That's a total myth of course. The real culprit is soap. So just use a mild pH balanced soap to prevent irritation.
3. Tight Pants
It's not about how tight your pants are - it's about how DRY they are.
Bacteria like warm, wet environments so as long as your pants are dry they can be as tight as you want.
Things That DO Cause UTI's
It's safe to say that most common causes for recurring UTIs have a lot to do with your vaginal/bladder flora than anything else.
Basically, when the bad bacteria overcome the good bacteria balance in your bladder or vagina, the result is usually a UTI.
Flora misbalance is usually caused by:
It's a Catch 22 situation. Most doctors prescribe antibiotics for UTIs. But while the antibiotic is busy killing the bad bacteria that caused your UTI, your good bacteria is also taking a hit. It takes a few weeks for the flora to balance itself out again which is why many people who suffer from recurrent UTIs could be most vulnerable to contract a UTI again within a week after antibiotic treatment.
2. Holding it
Go when you need to go! Bacteria reaches your bladder by traveling up the urethra. If you don’t regularly flush out the bacteria by peeing regularly it can cause an infection.
Recent studies have shown that the probability of getting recurrent UTI's may be genetically passed on. You can also inherit anatomical traits like a shorter urethra (for women) making you more prone to UTI's. How do you know if you have a shorter than average urethra? Talk to your OBGYN.
There are dozens of various strains of good bacteria in your bladder. However, bad bacteria enters your bladder too from time to time as well. If there is no fresh urine to flush out your bladder from bacteria you could find yourself with another UTI.
5. Poor Diet
Good bacteria flourish with a high fiber prebiotic diet. If your diet isn't optimal, your good bacteria won't multiply as quickly and will have less of a chance of fighting off bad bacteria. Bonus fact: if your diet is high in sugar, you're feeding the bad bacteria.