Urgent bladder, burning when you pee, pelvic pain. These are symptoms of a urinary tract infection. Sounds bad, right? If you’ve ever experienced a UTI, you’ll probably agree when I say once is enough.
“UTIs are one of the most frequent clinical bacterial infections in women, accounting for nearly 25% of all infections. Around 50–60% of women will experience a UTI in their lifetime…Recurrences usually occur within three months of the original infection, and 80% of [recurring UTIs] are reinfections.” - Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal (SQUMJ)
For those of you lucky enough to claim a UTI-free life, wouldn’t you like to keep it that way? Read on to find out if you might be predisposed to chronic or recurring urinary tract infections.
Top Three Contributing Factors To Chronic UTIs
1) Frequency Of Sex
Women have the highest risk of developing a urinary tract infection because of our shorter urethras, and the more often we have sex, the more prone we are to contracting a UTI. Research has shown that frequency of sex is the only factor here. It does not matter if you have had one partner or many.
2) Your Genes
Studies have shown that women whose mothers experienced recurring urinary tract infections are more prone to urinary tract infections themselves. Genetic and anatomical factors such as a shorter urethra can be inherited and strongly affect your UTI risk.
In a survey of multiple studies of genetics, The Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology found that 6 out of 14 genes investigated in humans may be associated with susceptibility to recurring UTI.
SEE ALSO: 6 UTI Symptoms You May Not Expect
3) If You Had UTIs As A Child
The younger you were when you had your first urinary tract infection, the more prone you will be to experiencing chronic or recurring UTIs.
Treating childhood UTIs with antibiotics disrupts the naturally-occurring good bacteria in your urinary tract, making way for pathogens that can cause infection, possibly setting you up for a lifetime of chronic recurring UTIs.
4) Bonus: Having Previous UTIs Increases Your Risk For Future UTIs
One of the most common causes of recurring urinary tract infections is past instances of UTIs. Approximately 25% of women who have experienced a urinary tract infection will develop recurring UTIs.
Essentially, the more UTIs you have had, the more susceptible you are to recurring UTIs. This is why UTI prevention is so important.
Things That WON’T Reduce Your Risk Of UTI
For reference, below are some behaviors that have not been shown to increase or decrease your risk of getting a UTI. None of the behaviors below affect your risk of contracting a UTI.
- Peeing after sex
- Frequency of urination
- Wiping patterns (we all wipe front to back, okay doc? Please save the advice)
- Hot tubs
- Bath bombs
- Non-cotton underwear
- Delayed voiding habits
Yes, despite what your doctor and WebMD say, none of the behaviors listed above have been shown to increase or decrease your risk of getting a UTI according to doctors and scientists who proved it with research. Gone are the days of agonizing over whether or not your UTI is because you forgot to pee after sex––it wasn’t because of that. It was probably because of one of reasons 1-4. In other words, it’s not your fault.
SEE ALSO: My Vagina Is On Fire: How To Determine If You Have A UTI
What Can You Do?
Drink more water. This study of 140 women with recurring UTIs showed that increasing fluid intake by 1.5 liters per day reduces the risk of repeat infections.
D-mannose is a simple sugar found in small amounts in berries. It attaches to the UTI-causing bacteria E. coli, preventing it from sticking to your urinary tract and causing infection. It is scientifically proven to prevent 85% of urinary tract infections.
D-mannose is the primary ingredient in Dmanna, a supplement that you can take alongside your daily vitamins.
Ready to quit the whole UTIs thing? Dmanna can help you manage and prevent your recurring UTIs, click here to get started.