UTIs Are the Worst—Here’s How to Prevent Them
There’s absolutely nothing worse than sitting down on the toilet, blissfully unaware that anything is wrong—only to squeeze your eyes in discomfort as you feel that unmistakable burning sensation while you pee and make a mental note to buy some cranberry extract. Yup, it’s a urinary tract infection, here to ruin your life (or at least, your next few days).
Okay, we’re exaggerating—but not by much. Around 60% of women and 12% of men will experience urinary tract infections (more commonly known as UTIs) over the course of their lives, and one in three women will have at least one symptomatic UTI necessitating antibiotic treatment by age 24.
While UTIs may be the bane of your existence, there are ways to prevent them. Here’s everything we know about what causes UTIs, what makes some people more susceptible to them, and how you can prevent them with certain supplements and lifestyle changes.
What are UTIs?
A urinary tract infection is an infection in any part of your urinary system, like your bladder, your kidneys, or your urethra. Most UTIs occur in the lower urinary tract, which is comprised of your bladder and your urethra.
UTIs don’t always reveal themselves through obvious symptoms, but when they do, the symptoms are… uncomfortable, to say the least. Signs of a urinary tract infection might include a burning sensation when you pee, a frequent and urgent need to go, leakage, cloudy urine, or urine that’s pink, red, or brownish (which is a sign of blood in the urine, FYI).
What causes UTIs?
At the most basic level, UTIs are caused by bacteria in your urine that travels up to multiply in your bladder (fun!). But there are several risk factors that can increase the possibility of developing a UTI. Those risk factors include:
- Having a vagina: People with vaginas have shorter urethras than those with penises, so it’s easier for bacteria to travel up into the bladder (rather than—you guessed it—traveling the length of the penis). Plus, your urethra is closer to the anus when you have a vagina, which is another shortcut for bacteria to get into the urinary tract.
- Having sex: The thrusting motion of penetrative sex can shift bacteria around and bring it closer to the urethra (although UTIs are possible after oral sex too). If you’re having sex more frequently, it’s more likely that bacteria will be hanging out and close to your urethra—making a UTI more likely. So, if you have a new partner (and are in the dreamy “honeymoon phase”), be sure to take the steps below to prevent UTIs.
- Certain types of birth control: Some methods, like diaphragms or spermicide, are more correlated with UTIs. If you want to stay on birth control and avoid UTIs, switching to a different method, like the pill, might help prevent them.
How do you prevent UTIs?
Most UTIs can be cleared up in days with a course of antibiotics. But let’s face it, it’s much better to avoid the UTI in the first place. To that end, if you’re prone to UTIs or want to prevent them all together, try making these simple lifestyle changes.
- Add a cranberry extract supplement to your birth control subscription. SimpleHealth’s Urinary Tract Support has 500mg powerful cranberry extract to help boost your urinary tract health, and it couldn’t be easier to bundle this proactive protection with your regular birth control delivery.*
- Speaking of birth control… If you ARE using a diaphragm or spermicide, consider switching to the pill to reduce your risk of UTIs. We know just the experts to talk to.
- Amp up your hydration efforts. Drinking water dilutes your urine, and you’ll naturally have to go more frequently—that also helps with flushing out bacteria.
If you’re already a SimpleHealth patient, it’s easy to add our Urinary Tract Support to your recurring birth control subscription! The Urinary Tract Support supplement is made for you if you’re sexually active, prone to UTIs, or if you just want to give your urinary tract health a boost.* It’s made with 500 mg of cranberry extract, and it’s the perfect proactive protection against UTIs (now, say that five times fast).* Say goodbye to chugging cranberry juice by the gallon—SimpleHealth’s Urinary Tract Support helps you take care of your reproductive health every day.
Get SimpleHealth Supplements with your birth control subscription.
Disclaimer: *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.