While bladder infections usually aren’t too dangerous, they are still uncomfortable and disruptive to your day-to-day life. Luckily there are some easy steps you can take each day to prevent reoccurring bladder infections from happening to you. First it is important that you understand the causes behind bladder infections and the symptoms that accompany bladder infections. Then, we can discuss the daily tasks that can help discourage bacteria growth in the urinary tract.
What Causes A Bladder Infection?
Sometimes you will hear someone call a bladder infection by the phrase urinary tract infection. The urinary tract is made up a few parts, starting at the kidneys and running to the bladder and then to the urethra where urine exits the body. Therefore the terms bladder infection and urinary tract infection are often used interchangeably.
Bacteria growing inside the urinary tract cause all urinary tract infections, including bladder infections. The bacteria is usually present around the vaginal area and then gets pushed into the urethra through wiping from back to front after going the bathroom, friction during intercourse, or rubbing of too tight clothing. While the friction of intercourse may cause the bacteria to enter the urethra, urinary tract infections are not sexually transmitted diseases and are not transferred from one person to another.
Prevention For Bladder Infections
The best way to prevent a bladder infection is to wipe yourself the correct way after going to the bathroom. Since E. coli causes approximately 80% of urinary tract infections, it is important to remember to wipe from front to back every time you go to the bathroom in order to prevent the transfer of bacteria from the rectal area to the vaginal area.
It is also important to keep the vaginal area as clean and dry (moisture encourages bacteria growth) as possible. Drinking plenty of water, at least six glasses a day, will also prove helpful in keeping urination regular and emptying the bladder often. This constant movement of urine will prevent bacteria from having the opportunity to grow inside the urinary tract.
Cranberries are another treatment for bladder infections. The cranberries make the urine very acidic which makes a very bad environment for the growth of bacteria. The best way to use cranberries is by drinking 100% cranberry juice or by taking concentrated cranberry pills. Avoid cranberry juice ‘cocktail’ since it does not have enough natural cranberry in it to be effective.
Believe it or not, the clothes you wear can also promote bacteria growth in the vaginal area thus increasing the chance for bladder infections. Avoid wearing pants or jeans that are too tight to prevent the growth and possible insertion of bacteria into the urethra. Bladder infections do not have to disrupt your life. By following the follow simple steps, you can greatly reduce your chances of ever getting another bladder infection again.