In order to avoid getting a UTI in the first place, it’s important to take good care of yourself in general and to do everything possible to minimise the risks of contracting a UTI. Here are some other good habits you can adopt to prevent UTIs:
Wipe from front to back every time you urinate or move your bowels. This will help to stop bacteria from the anal region spreading to your vagina and urethra.
Empty your bladder as soon as possible after intercourse. You should also drink a full glass of water to help flush out any lingering bacteria.
Avoid using feminine care products in the genital area, such as douches and powders. These can irritate the urethra and contribute to an infection.
Increase your vitamin C intake. Eating foods rich in vitamin C, such as red peppers, oranges and kiwis, will help to kill off bacteria in your urine.
Eat foods containing probiotics. Probiotics are live microorganisms that help balance the bacteria in your body, and certain studies have suggested that they might prevent UTIs. These can be found in fermented foods like kefir, kombucha and kimchi, or they can be taken in supplement form.
Nothing can dampen a perfectly passionate love-fest, much like the burning pain of a urinary tract infection. And unfortunately for some women, UTIs tend to rear their annoying heads not too long after having sex. The reason for this is quite simple. UTIs occur when pre-existing bacteria in the area get pushed into the urethra and find their way into the urinary system, and sexual intercourse can facilitate this process by allowing easier passage. But luckily, there are a few things you can do to minimize your chances of contracting this postcoital hassle. Here are some tips on how to best prevent UTIs after sex.
1. Stay hydrated and pee often, especially after sex:
Drinking water and peeing regularly is known to help flush bad bacteria out of your urinary tract before it has a chance to build up and start causing problems. So drink up and make a habit of weeing post-sex and pre-cuddling.
2. Rethink your birth control.
Certain contraceptives, such as spermicide-coated condoms or diaphragms, may actually increase your risk of getting UTIs. Spermicide can damage the healthy balance of your vaginal flora, which helps your body fight off harmful bacteria. So, if you have a history of UTIs, consider switching spermicide-based birth control with alternative contraceptives.
3. Use lubricant if you’re experiencing dryness
Vaginal dryness may create increased friction and irritation, which can help introduce bacteria into the urinary tract and trigger infections. In such cases, using a lubricant can help. But make sure you opt for high-quality ones that are hypoallergenic and unscented.
You might also be wondering: Can cranberry juice prevent a UTI?
Some clinical research suggests that cranberry juice or cranberry pills (such as Cranmed) contain compounds that can prevent E.coli cells from adhering to cells in the urinary tract, therefore reducing the risk of infection. They also contain antioxidants and polyphenols that can help to reduce bacteria and inflammation, but cranberry juice and cranberry tablets have not been proven to treat UTIs.