When it comes to summer down there problems, a urinary tract infection (more commonly referred to as simply, a UTI) ranks pretty high on our list of things we want to avoid at all costs. It’s one of those medical issues that can strike seemingly out of nowhere, and the pain can be, to put it lightly —unbearable.
Well, take comfort in knowing that you are not alone: “UTIs are incredibly common and about half of all women will have one by the time they reach 30,” says Mary Anna Denman, M.D., a urogynecologist at the Oregon Health & Science University Center for Women's Health. However, if you feel like you're the only one in your group text who is constantly dealing with 'em, it's true that sadly, some women are more prone than others: “We know that some have a genetic predisposition and there are specific blood types that are associated with reoccurring UTIs."
The typical go-to treatment is an oral antibiotic, such as Macrobid or Bactrim, which is available via prescription from your healthcare provider. However, as many doctors will tell you, the best way to treat a UTI is preventing them from happening altogether: "Urinate after sex and drink plenty of fluids," recommends Dr. Heather Bartos, MD, a board-certified OB-GYN based in Texas. "And remember that proper wiping hygiene is very important for women — you’d be surprised how often it’s not followed."
However, if you're looking for immediate relief post-appointment, you can ask your doctor what over-the-counter options are safe for you to use while you wait for antibiotics to do their thing. (And luckily, there are several options available online and at the drugstore — but again, proceed with caution (i.e. be informed!) since supplements aren't regulated by the FDA.
From OTC “aspirin for the bladder” to vegan supplements that help maintain a healthy urinary tract, here are five ways to relieve your UTI problems.
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