In 2014, I had 8 urinary tract infections. I’ve always been susceptible to UTIs, but I had averaged 2 per year up until this point. This was a new record. My physicians couldn’t explain the sudden onslaught of UTIs, nor could they craft a better preventive regime than daily antibiotics. Although antibiotics did work for prevention, with antibiotics came yeast infections and other pesky side effects. Plus, the risk of antibiotic resistance with long-term use, which is a risk I refused to take.
As a result of my UTI apocalypse, I co-founded Uqora, a company focused on UTI prevention. At Uqora, we partnered with top urologists and physicians to develop our pink lemonade with a purpose. You can mix Uqora with a glass of water to flush UTI-causing bacteria after sex, exercise, or everyday.
Often with UTI prevention, there is no single silver bullet. Uqora has been a game changer for me and our customers, but it’s important to cover all your bases. Below I’ve outlined the habits that are key to avoiding urinary tract infections day in and day out.
- Treat your water bottle like your phone—don’t leave your house without it.
“Fluid helps move things through the urinary tract, but it also dilutes the urine so bacteria can’t grow”, states Kimberly Cooper, MD, a urologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital / Columbia University Medical Center. Get serious about staying hydrated. If you’re a granola gal, get yourself a Nalgene and cover it with national park stickers ASAP. If you’re too posh for that, get yourself one of those Instagram-ready white marble S’well bottles, STAT.
- Wipe from front to back.
Bacteria in your urethra comes from two main places: your rectum and your vagina. The main reason rectal bacteria makes its way to the urethra and the vagina in from improper wiping after a bowel movement. Make sure to wipe from front to back to keep fecal matter away from your vagina and urethra.
- Urinate after sex and drink some Uqora.
Hopefully you’ve been paying mind to the #1 rule of UTI prevention and are hydrated enough to squeeze out some pee après sex. That will help flush out any bacteria that may have migrated from the vagina to the urethra during sex. If you can’t go right away, stay hydrated and go as soon as possible. Immediately after sex, prepare yourself a glass of Uqora. Peeing on its own is better than nothing, but Uqora’s ingredients have shown more than 75% reduction in UTI incident. Plus, it tastes like pink lemonade. It’s basically treating yourself immediately after treating yourself.
- Let her breathe!
Wet bathing suits, tight pants, and sweaty gym clothes trap moisture which harbors bacteria. If you are prone to UTIs, change right after your workout or beach day. If you can’t resist a good pair of tight jeans—slip into something cotton (or commando) as soon as you get home.
- Ditch the douche.
As if there aren’t enough reasons to keep douches far away from your vagina, they also kill the good bacteria (lactobacillus) you need to combat a UTI. Maintain your natural balance instead of squirting harmful antiseptic water up your vagina.
- Avoid holding your pee for prolonged amounts of time.
Holding your urine for a long time allows bacteria to multiply within the urinary tract, resulting in a bladder infection or UTI, I’m not saying to go when you feel the slightest urge—over time that weakens your pelvic floor and decreases the size of your bladder. But don’t wait until it’s an emergency.
What about antibiotics?
Although antibiotics are likely to be effective in the short term, continuing to use them can have a serious, long-term impact on your health. If you suffer from recurrent UTIs you may build a tolerance to antibiotics. Also consider the short-term side effects like nausea, diarrhea or opportunistic infections like yeast infections. You can talk to your doctor about preventative (prophylactic) antibiotic use—but do consider the long-term implications first.
Despite your best efforts, sometimes UTIs can be out of your control—some people just have a higher propensity toward UTIs. This can be a result of hormonal changes, anatomy, pregnancy, or conditions like diabetes. No matter your situation, bringing in backup with Uqora can make all the difference.
Sometimes you’re doing everything right, and you’re still getting slammed with UTI after UTI. Uqora’s pink lemonade with purpose helps you flush out the bacteria that causes UTIs, reducing UTI rates by more than 75%. Uqora’s CEO and co-founder Jenna Ryan explains how their pink lemonade with a purpose gives you the defense against UTIs, and outlines the daily habits that minimize your risk. Get 20% off with discount code “EGGCLUB” at uqora.com.
ABOUT GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
Jenna Ryan is the founder of Uqora, a women’s health company dedicated to making products that improve quality of life and reduce the need for antibiotics, starting with urinary health. The products are created using the best clinical research available with the safest and highest quality ingredients with the help of top physicians and urologists to help protect you from bacteria.
Urinary tract infections are responsible for more doctor’s visits per year in the United States than everything but the common cold. Half of all women will get at least one UTI at some point in their life. Despite the magnitude, so much emphasis has always been put on treatment instead of prevention. Uqora is out to change that.