UTI Prevention Tips for Women
If you think you have a urinary tract infection, please contact your healthcare professional immediately. The information in this article is not meant to replace medical advice.
Did you know the female urethra is almost 4x shorter than the male urethra? The female urethra is about 1.9 inches (4.8 cm) to 2 inches (5.1 cm) long and the male urethra is about 8 inches (20 cm) long. The female urethra is also located near the vagina and anus, so bacteria can get into the bladder easier, making women more susceptible to urinary tract infections. In addition to our general urinary tract infection (UTI) prevention tips, here are a few more UTI prevention tips specific to women:
- Wipe from front to back. This could help prevent the transfer of bacteria from the anus to the vagina and urethra.
- Wear breathable clothing and underwear. Cotton is a breathable material helping to decrease the chances for bacteria to grow. Avoid wearing tight fitting pants that trap in moisture. Change out of bathing suits and workout clothing promptly.
- Freshen up prior to intercourse. Knowing your urethra will be introduced to bacteria during this time, it is important to clean your genital area prior to intercourse with mild, fragrance-free soap or a pre-moistened wipe.
- If there is too much friction during intercourse, consider a water-soluble lubrication. The less friction there is, the less trauma your urethra will endure. Be mindful, spermicidal lubricant can cause irritation.
- Always empty your bladder after sex. This can help to ensure that any bacteria that may have been introduced during intercourse is flushed from the urethra. If you feel that you don’t have the urge to urinate, you can drink a few glasses of water to help the process along
- Avoid using feminine hygiene products. Products like, deodorant sprays, a douche or powders can cause irritation to your urethra.
Don’t panic, stay calm but be proactive.
Remember, UTIs are common. With prompt and proper attention, UTIs can easily be treated. Don’t ignore symptoms and once your UTI has been identified, follow your healthcare professionals prescribe treatment plan.
If you think you have a urinary tract infection, or are suffering from any of these symptoms, please contact your healthcare professional immediately. This information is not meant to replace medical advice.