Say goodbye to UTIs (without antibiotics!)
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the second most common type of infection and account for approximately 8 million doctor visits every single year! Turns out, paying attention to your pee is important!
WATCH REPLAY of "Say Goodbye to UTIs" with Dr. Colleen McDermott (May 5, 2022)
Are you challenged by UTIs or keen to prevent? Please scroll to the bottom as we are currently recruiting members to share their lived experiences so you and others may benefit by living your healthiest midlife & beyond!
What is a UTI?
A UTI occurs when bacteria enters the urinary tract, overstays its welcome, and multiplies.
Most UTIs happen in the bladder, but if left untreated, they can spread to the kidneys and wreak havoc. Both women and men get UTIs, but the female anatomy makes women 8 times more susceptible.
UTI signs and symptoms can include any of the following:
Sudden urges to pee
Burning sensation when you pee
Cloudy or bloody urine
Your pee has a not-so-cute smell
Once a urinary tract infection is diagnosed, the most common form of treatment is antibiotics. These powerful prescription drugs battle the bad bacteria in your urinary tract and stop it from spreading. Antibiotics are a quick fix. But when repeated, in the long-run, they can stop working and even cause potential harm.
Here’s everything you need to know about the dangers of antibiotics and how to prevent UTIs without a prescription:
What causes a UTI?
From toddlers to grandparents, urinary tract infections can impact anyone at any age. All it takes is a build-up of bacteria to bring on a painful UTI.
Bad pee habits are a major UTI cause. Holding your pee for long periods of time or not peeing enough can motivate bacteria in the bladder to multiply.
About 90% of UTIs are caused by a bacteria called E. coli, which is found in the intestines. As soon as E. coli moves to the urinary tract, it can take over and cause infection. Poor bathroom hygiene, like wiping back to front, is usually the culprit for E. coli spread.
Sex is another UTI trigger. Penetration can cause the bacteria in a woman’s vagina to shift and find its way to the urinary tract. Certain contraceptives, like spermicides, diaphragms, and condoms, can also trigger a UTI.
Women are more susceptible to UTIs because their urethras are shorter and closer in proximity to the vagina and anus. This means bacteria can spread easier and move up the urinary tract faster.
60% of women will have at least one UTI in their lifetime and 25% of women will experience a recurrent UTI within one year.
Pregnant women and women in post-menopause also have a higher risk of UTI. This is because hormonal fluctuations (estrogen decline in post menopause, in particular) and physical changes can impact the bacteria in the vagina and bladder, making it easier for infection to spread.
Older people are highly susceptible to UTIs because of their weakened immune systems. In fact, older adults often develop silent UTIs, which can cause life-threatening damage without any of the usual UTI symptoms.
On top of it all, certain health conditions, urinary tract abnormalities, and even genetics can make you a victim of frequent UTIs.
How are UTIs treated?
Here’s the good news: over 25% of UTIs go away on their own. By drinking plenty of water, peeing often, and taking certain supplements, you can politely ask the bacteria to exit your urinary tract. But if your symptoms don’t go away within a couple of days after noticing them, it’s important to start treatment.
Antibiotics are one of the most common way to cure a UTI already in progress. In fact, UTIs account for about 20% of all antibiotic prescriptions. Your doctor will diagnose your infection through a urine test. Then they’ll prescribe antibiotics for about 3 to 10 days, depending on how severe the infection is.
Why do antibiotics sometimes not work for UTIs?
While antibiotics are tough on infections, it’s actually quite easy for bacteria to become resistant to them. The more resistant bacteria are, the less effective future antibiotics will be. In fact, antibiotic resistance is a serious global health concern. Over 35,000 people die every year from antibiotic-resistant infections in the US alone.
There are a few ways you can become antibiotic-resistant.
First, if you stop taking your antibiotics UTI treatment before you’re supposed to. This is a common problem since most people start to feel better after three days of treatment and toss the remaining pills. Taking the same antibiotics over and over again can also lead to resistance. This is a major concern for people who struggle with recurrent UTIs.
But antibiotics can cause other issues, too. They can disrupt the gut and vaginal flora, allowing bad bacteria to take over. Taking a daily probiotic, like Utiva’s Probiotic Power supplement, can improve gut flora and urinary tract health while reversing any damage caused by antibiotics.
Plus, antibiotics can sometimes get confused between good and bad bacteria. If the good bacteria is killed off too, you’re more likely to develop future complications, like yeast infections. 22% of women who take antibiotics for a UTI will get a yeast infection.
If antibiotics don’t work, the untreated UTI becomes serious business. Not only could it spread into the kidneys, but it could also make its way into the blood or body tissue. At that point, you’re dealing with a potentially life-threatening situation.
Do cranberries prevent UTIs?
For decades, scientists have been searching for natural remedies to treat UTIs. The most popular? Cranberries.
Now, many of us love a good crantini now and then. But the real power of cranberries comes from a bacteria-fighting compound called proanthocyanidins (or PACs). This all-natural ingredient prevents bacteria from sticking to the walls of your urethra and bladder. In other words, it’s the UTI’s worst enemy.
But simply eating more cranberries or chugging cranberry juice cocktail won’t do the trick. You need at least 36 mg of PACs per day at a high concentration, such as 15%, to effectively prevent UTIs. The most accurate method to measure PACs is called DMAC/A2 and is used primarily by professional brands. Utiva’s UTI Control Supplement has all of the above, packaged in a 100% plant-based and doctor recommended capsule.
To help prevent UTIs naturally, 36mg of cranberry PACs are clinically proven to be effective.
Most of us are not drinking 4 glasses of cranberry juice per day
9 cranberry pills = 4-8 oz. glasses of cranberry juice = 1 capsule of UTIVA's UTI Control 36PAC Cranberry pill.
Taking one capsule per day of UTI Control 36PAC Cranberry Pills Supplement will significantly decrease your risk of urinary tract infection and free you from the antibiotics cycle.
Pro tip: make sure to always check that a supplement has the correct dosage before relying on it for UTI prevention. Even big-name cranberry pills for UTIs might not have enough PACS to get the job done (or have any PACs at all).
How else can UTIs be prevented without antibiotics?
To tackle painful and recurrent UTIs, the best thing you can be is proactive. Here are some suggestions:
Always wipe front to back.
Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water per day to pee more frequently and flush bacteria out of the system.
Pee before and after sex and always clean toys and genitals to avoid bacteria spread.
Keep the pelvic floor healthy: work with a pelvic floor physiotherapist, moisturize your vulva and vagina with hyaluronic acid vaginal moisturizer and have a conversation with your health care provider about the potential benefits of localized estrogen therapy.
Take more Vitamin C to boost the immune system and make your urine more acidic so that it kills off harmful bacteria.
Wear cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothing
Currently challenged by UTIs or keen to prevent?
I want to hear from you! Write to me at shirley@MenopauseChicks.com and share your story.