One of the problems with urinary tract infections (UTIs) is that there are so many different causes. Working out what is causing your UTIs is the first step towards preventing them. It’s the most important thing you can do.
When you know why you keep getting cystitis, you can start to take action to stop it happening in the first place, rather than having to go through the agony of yet another bout of painful cystitis.
There are a number of causes of UTIs in women, my cystitis ebook goes into detail about what these are and how to find out which is the cause of your problems. But it’s always worth refreshing your memory about some of the most common causes of UTIs, which is what a recent article for Seventeen has done.
Dr Navya Mysore highlighted some of the things that could be causing your UTIs when speaking to the website.
For example, she noted that while many women know it’s important to pee after sex, fewer are aware that you should make sure you and your partner wash your hands before being intimate together.
You also need to make sure that you’re wiping the right way when you’ve been to the bathroom. You should always wipe front to back, because this will help prevent the bacteria found in your bowel from getting into your urethra and causing an infection.
Some women find that they often get a UTI around the time of their period. If you use tampons, you should make sure you’re changing them frequently enough. As a minimum you should use a new tampon every three to four hours.
It may also be sensible to try alternative sanitary products. There are a range of different period pants available now which can be much more comfortable and discreet than sanitary pads, for example.
Even if you’re using sanitary pads instead of tampons, you need to ensure these are also changed every three to four hours, Dr Mysore stressed.
You should also avoid the temptation to use products such as vaginal deodorants or vaginal douches. These products break down the protective barriers you have – those protective barriers are there for a reason! Without them, this part of your anatomy is more vulnerable to bacteria and these can cause UTIs.
Sadly, if you have a history of getting UTIs, this makes you more susceptible to them in the future. But that’s why it’s so important to work out what causes your cystitis and take action to prevent it!
If you are unlucky enough to suffer from interstitial cystitis your bouts of this painful infection can last for months at a time rather than days or weeks. It’s a condition that is poorly understood and one for which there is no cure.
But that’s not to say that some of the advice in my self-help books won’t help. In fact, making lifestyle changes can bring about an end to your suffering. We all know that taking antibiotics frequently isn’t good for our bodies, which is why it’s best to take the time to find the root cause of your cystitis and stop it at the source.
After all, prevention is always better than cure.