A urinary tract infection–or UTI–is the result of a bacterial infection in your urinary tract. Symptoms include painful urination, an urge to pee even if you have an empty bladder, bloody urine, lower abdominal and back pain and an urge to punch everything in sight. Okay, maybe you experience the last one even if you don’t have a UTI, but either way UTIs are terrible. They’re so terrible, in fact, that you might have one and not even show any symptoms. Why so sneaky, urinary tract?
Anyway, common knowledge about UTIs are full of plenty of fact and a healthy dose of fiction. Do you have to pee after sex to prevent them? Does cranberry juice really cure UTIs? Read on and find out everything you need to know about UTIs.
Fiction: UTIs Only Happen After Having SexSexual intercourse is the number one cause of UTIs. The vagina is very close to the urethra, so vaginal bacteria can easily travel to the urethra and cause infection. However, it isn't the only cause. Other causes of UTIs include wiping from back to front and holding in your urine for extended amounts of time.Source: Shutterstock
Fact: You Really Should Visit The Toilet After You Do ItPeeing after intercourse really does reduce a chance of UTI. That's because urination helps flush the urethra of any lingering bacteria that may have been transmitted in the act. So remember to go to the toilet after you get it on, even if you don't have to.Source: Shutterstock
Fact: Birth Control Can Increase UTI RiskBirth control methods like diaphragms can increase one's risk of a UTI due to the pressure it places on the bladder via the vagina. Spermicides can also increase your risk of a UTI due to its chemicals affect within the vagina.Source: Shutterstock
Fiction: UTIs Are A Sign Of Bad HygieneYou don't get a UTI from having bad hygiene or sleeping with somebody who doesn't shower every day. You (or your partner) can be squeaky clean, and yet, you can still contact a UTI. Source: Shutterstock
Fact: Caffeine Worsens UTI SymptomsCaffinne irritates the lining of the bladder and can cause dehydration. These are the last things you want when you're suffering from a UTI. So cut down on the coffee and soda until you have your infection under control.Source: Shutterstock
Fact: Your Undies Can Cause Your UTIThe material of your underwear isn't just about aesthetics! Cotton is more breathable than other fabrics, which helps prevent the build up of bacteria that can cause UTIs. Make sure that your underwear has a cotton crotch!Source: Shutterstock
Fiction: Men Don't Get UTIsA penis isn't exempt from a UTI. It's certainly more rare for men to contract them. While nearly 50% of women claim to have had a UTI at least once in their lifetime, only 12% of men can say the same. Why? Women's urethra are much shorter than a man's, which means that bacteria has a much shorter journey into the bladder. Source: Shutterstock
Fiction: Cranberry Juice Is A UTI CureallCranberry juice contains an acid that helps prevent bacterial growth in the bladder. As long as it isn't filled with sugar (like most cranberry juices), it can help prevent a bladder infection. But don't rely on cranberry juice as a cure if you've already contracted a UTI. It won't hurt, but it won't help significantly more than drinking plenty of water will.Source: Shutterstock
Fiction: A UTI Will Always Clear Up EventuallyYes, a UTI can clear up on its own. But that's not always the case. A UTI can be incredibly serious and can lead to kidney damage if it is left untreated. If you think you have a UTI, make an appointment with your doctor or a nearby clinic. They will prescribe some antibiotics that will help clear up your UTI ASAP.Source: Shutterstock
Fact: It's Not Uncommon To Have Multiple UTIsReoccurring UTIs is a reality for many women. Nearly a quarter of women who have had a UTI will have another in their lifetime. It doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with your body, but there are certainly prevention methods that can be implemented.Source: Shutterstock
What have you heard about UTI symptoms or cures? Have you ever had a UTI? What did you do to get rid of it? Tell us in the comments!