Can Summer Fun Lead to UTIs? Tips for Prevention and Relief
Hello, Summer! It’s officially the season of scorching temps, delightful pool days, and exciting travel. But all of these summertime perks can lead to one unwelcome surprise: a urinary tract infection. The warmer months create a perfect storm of factors that increase the risk of UTIs. Let’s explore some key contributors that lead to an uptick of UTIs in the hot months, as well as tips to prevent and manage this unwanted summer visitor.
What causes a urinary tract infection?
A urinary tract infection (UTI) occurs when bacteria enter the urinary system, multiply, and trigger an infection. The usual suspects behind UTIs are often bacteria, such as Escherichia coli (E.coli), which typically hang out in the digestive tract. If they find their way into the urethra, they can move up to the bladder, or even reach the kidneys. UTIs can also be caused by other types of bacteria, viruses, or fungi. Factors like poor hygiene, abnormal urinary tract structures, a weakened immune system, sexual activity, and hormonal changes can all increase the risk of developing a UTI.
In the summer months, a mix of climate and lifestyle factors contribute to a rise in urinary tract infections. Here are some seasonal elements that may increase your risk of a UTI:
- Warmer temperatures: Bacteria thrive and multiply in the heat, putting you at greater risk in summer.
- Increased Humidity: The combination of warmth, moisture, and amplified sweating creates a breeding ground for bacteria.
- Dehydration: Insufficient hydration leads to concentrated and acidic urine irritating the bladder. Dehydration also decreases the body’s ability to flush bacteria out effectively.
- Swimming: Prolonged periods in a damp swimsuit give bacteria a chance to party, raising the likelihood of developing a UTI. Bacteria found in swimming pools and lakes can also lead to an infection.
- Travel: Vacations often go hand-in-hand with stress, delayed bathroom breaks, dehydration, and fun-in-the-sun activities (such as wearing a swimsuit), which can all contribute to developing a UTI.
- Sexual Activity: Research suggests that sex drive is higher in the summer, resulting in increased sexual activity. Sexual encounters can shift bacteria around and directly toward the urethra. Sexuality activity + heat + humidity = a spike in UTIs.
Prevention Tips for UTIs in the Summer
Staying hydrated and practicing good hygiene are paramount to ward off summertime UTIs. Drinking plenty of water and fluids throughout the day is the first line of defense against UTIs, as it helps flush bacteria from the urinary tract. Aim to consume at least eight glasses of water daily, especially when summer’s scorching heat and humidity are in full swing. Adjust your fluid intake based on your activity level and the weather conditions you're facing.
When it comes to hygiene practices, there are a few golden rules to follow:
- Always remember to wipe from front to back after using the restroom. This simple action helps prevent harmful bacteria from making their way into the urinary tract.
- Opt for gentle, fragrance-free cleansing products to avoid any potential irritation.
- Urinate before and after engaging in any sexual activity to flush out any bacteria that might have found their way into the urethra.
- Be sure to change out of damp swimsuits and avoid extended exposure to moisture. Wet bathing suits create a cozy environment where bacteria love to multiply, so switch into dry clothes after taking a dip to minimize the risk of developing a UTI.
If you find yourself at risk of developing a UTI, particularly during your travels, it might be a smart move to stock up on cranberry supplements. Once regarded as a myth, recent research has demonstrated the potential of cranberry in promoting the prevention of UTIs. Cranberries contain A-type proanthocyanidins, a powerful substance that hinders bacteria from sticking to the bladder walls. While cranberry juice may offer a tasty remedy, cranberry supplements pack a stronger punch, increasing the likelihood of isolating and flushing away the bacteria responsible for bladder infections or UTIs.
UTIs cause a range of symptoms that both men and women should be on the lookout for. Some common signs of a UTI include:
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Burning sensation during urination
- Strong-smelling urine
- Cloudy or dark urine
- Lower abdominal pain or discomfort
- Passing persistent but small amounts of urine
- Temporary urinary incontinence
UTI Management and Relief
If you notice UTI symptoms and suspect an infection, it’s important to seek medical help. Early detection is best and can help curb the pain and other symptoms. Untreated UTIs can lead to complications such as recurring bladder infections or kidney infections, kidney damage and disease, sepsis, or septicemia. Acting promptly will help get rid of an infection quicker and reduce the risk of other problems.
Your healthcare provider may prescribe a short-term antibiotic to treat a UTI, or you can opt for natural remedies to support your urinary system. Natural urinary system supplements can aid in supporting the prevention, management, and relief of UTIs. Here are our top recommendations:
Cranberry Extract delivers a more concentrated formula (4:1) than most cranberry supplements on the market. It contains the highest level of phytochemicals to support the urinary system and promote relief from painful UTIs.
Urinary System Kit is an all-natural two-part system formulated with powerful herbs to promote kidney and bladder health. Uva Ursi contains antimicrobial properties to help alleviate UTI symptoms, while Chanca piedra contains phytochemicals that may promote increased urine flow, reduced inflammation, and assist in combatting harmful bacteria and viruses.
Ury Care™ promotes urinary tract and kidney health with a combination of D-mannose, cranberry, and cinnamon extracts. These ingredients help support the inhibition of bacteria from sticking to the wall of the bladder, and cinnamon may also promote healthy blood sugar levels, benefiting the kidneys.
By staying hydrated, practicing good hygiene, stocking up on cranberry supplements, and seeking prompt medical attention, when necessary, you can enjoy a summer free from the "pee"-rils of UTIs. So, make a splash, soak up the sun, and enjoy the delights of the season while staying UTI-free.
Your Hispanic American Health Store
Health Hispanica® is a Hispanic-American health store specializing in supplements from Hispanic-American-owned brands such as Natura-Genics® and Yerba Farma®. We strive to provide quality and innovative supplements at fair prices and educate our clients and community on healthy living.
The statements above have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.