Florida is known as the state of eternal summer where you can have fun in the sun all year long. However, there are certain risk factors for Urinary Tract Infections (UTI’s) that your daily activities can be contributing to—even if they’re healthy! Gulfshore Urology covers some of the most common habits that may be causing your infection, as well as suggestions on changes that will help you reduce your risk of UTI’s. Take a look!
Shed Those Wet Clothes Quickly!
Many Floridians, snowbirds, and tourists like spending the afternoon by the pool or splashing in one of Southwest Florida’s beautiful oceans, and why not? Swimming is an excellent form of exercise and it’s good for the body to soak in some Vitamin D.
However, running around in soaked clothing—even if it’s a bathing suit—can create an opportunity for an infection to start. Instead of lounging around in your swimsuit, change into some breathable, dry clothes as soon as you get out of the water.
The same goes for working out. When we sweat, we not only cool down our bodies but cleanse it of toxins as well. While you may be tired right after your visit to the gym, it’s important to shed those sweaty clothes, toss aside the damp towels, and take a shower.
Sweaty clothing, damp towels, and bathing suits can carry bacteria from your latest outdoor or workout activity, which then can travel up the urethra and cause a UTI. Women, who have shorter urethras than their male counterparts, are especially prone to this.
Drink Plenty of Water, and Drink It Often
This tip shouldn’t surprise anyone. Every doctor’s mantra to patients seems to include drinking plenty of water when advising patients on how to live a healthy lifestyle. However, there is a reason why we are so insistent on you picking up this habit. Water is essential to our body’s health, including the process of cleansing it of bacteria.
Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to start gulping down a glass of water. When your body starts to tell you it needs something to drink, it’s because you’re already dehydrated. Your body can’t function at an optimal level if you aren’t fueling it with the right fluids to keep it going.
Make sure you drink plenty of water, and drink it often. If you’re out in the sun for an extended period of time or participate in an activity that makes you sweat, drink even more to replenish the fluid you’ve lost!
We’ve all heard the one-sized-fits-all suggestion of 8 ounces a day, but the truth is that the amount of daily water intake you need varies based on your size, weight, activity level, and other factors. Instead, we recommend to let your body tell you.
Check your urine color. The clearer it is, the more hydrated you are. For more information, check out this article by Wed MD called Water and Your Diet. It provides a wealth of information on how water contributes to your body’s health, as well as suggestions on how much water to drink and at what frequency.
When You Gotta Go—Go!
Too often, when we really need to urinate, we hold it. This may be due to a long car ride, our preoccupation with a task or event, or simply the mere inconvenience of having to get up and use the bathroom.
However, holding in urine when your bladder is full is a bad idea. It’s important to listen to your body’s suggestions and urinate when you need to until your bladder is empty. Not doing so can give bacteria an opportunity to linger and turn into an infection.
Practice Good Post-Sex Practices
One of the most common causes of UTI’s is sex. Engaging in sexual activity allows for a transfer of bacteria that can easily make it’s way up a woman’s urethra. To help prevent these infections, always urinate after having sex. Also, make sure you and your partner practice good hygiene.
If you are experiencing symptoms of a UTI, including pain and burning during urination, frequent urination, cloudy, smelly, or bloody urine, or lower abdominal pain, consult your doctor. Frequent UTI’s may be an indication of another health issue and should be evaluated by a urologist.
Gulfshore Urology is a Urology Office located in Southwest Florida. We have locations in Naples and Bonita Springs. To set an appointment, please call 239-333-3200.