Here’s Why You Keep Getting UTIs (& What To Do)

Mary Hilliard
4 minute read

If you find yourself dealing with frequent urinary tract infections, know you’re not alone.

UTIs are the second most common infection, according to Everyday Health, and account for millions of doctor visits annually. If you find yourself dealing with multiple UTIs—specifically, more than twice in a span of six months—this is considered a recurrent UTI. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases estimates that one in five women have a recurring UTI. So, how are you supposed to deal with what seem like non-stop infections? We’re here to help.

First of all, what is a UTI?

Essentially, a UTI is when bacteria enters the urinary tract, resulting in frequent trips to the bathroom or burning feeling when you pee.

“A UTI is an infection of the bladder or kidneys,” says Dr. Darria Long Gillespie, a clinical assistant professor at the University of Tennessee School of Medicine. “When healthy, neither of these have bacteria in them, so an infection occurs when bacteria gets into the urethra, which connects the outside of the body to the bladder, and proceeds up the body into the bladder or kidney. UTIs are more common in the bladder, and more common in women.”

According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, symptoms of a UTI include:

  • Frequent urgency to pee
  • Burning sensation when you go
  • Pee that is tinted or has a strange odor

Why do you keep getting recurring UTIs?

1. You don’t pee when you should

A key factor in preventing a UTI is peeing. Basically, peeing is part of your body’s self-cleaning process (another reason why you shouldn’t be using hygiene products besides simple soap and water). It’s meant to flush out your urinary tract and get rid of harmful bacteria, like the kind that causes a UTI. Trying to hold it when you really have to go can result in a UTI.

2. You don’t drink enough water

Dehydration means infrequent trips to the bathroom, and then your body can’t execute its self-cleaning process. Drinking enough water everyday will keep harmful bacteria from infecting your urinary tract by keeping your peeing cycle regulated.

“Staying hydrated is always a good idea,” says Gillespie.

3. You don’t pee after sex

Again, peeing is a cleansing process!

“One of the easiest ways to prevent UTIs is to always urinate shortly after intercourse,” says Gillespie. “Since UTIs happen when bacteria travels up the urethra and into the bladder (and the bacteria can be introduced with intercourse), think of this as a way to ‘flush out the bacteria’ before it has a chance to settle and create an infection.”

Related: 5 Myths You Probably Still Believe About Your Vagina

4. You use scented feminine hygiene products

Since your body has its own self-cleaning plan, douches and deodorants are unnecessary. If you do use those products and they are scented, they can actually do your body more harm than good because they can mess with the balance of healthy and harmful bacteria. Plus, the fragrances can cause irritation.

5. You wipe from back to front

This can transfer harmful bacteria towards your urinary tract instead of cleaning things up—so make sure you wipe from front to back.

6. You wear the wrong kind of underwear

Cotton underwear can help prevent recurring UTIs because it’s a more lightweight and breathable material, so it isn’t super sweaty and gross down there.

7. You use the wrong kind of birth control

Sometimes the pill can be preferable to other forms of contraception. “Consider a new method of birth control if you use spermicide, particularly if you also use a diaphragm, as that may increase your risk of recurrent infection,” Gillespie advises.

Treating a UTI

As soon as you experience any symptoms, head to your doctor to get tested so you can be prescribed an antibiotic.

“One thing I see is that women mistake another infection (such as a yeast infection or other condition) for a UTI, since they may have similar symptoms,” Gillespie says. “However, they have very different treatments! So, especially if you have not had a UTI before, it’s important to see your doctor to get tested, so you can get treated appropriately.”

Recurrent UTIs can occur when the first one isn’t treated soon enough. Your usual family doctor or healthcare provider can treat a UTI. Do NOT wait to go to the doctor—UTIs can quickly progress into bladder infections. Regardless of what the internet tells you, cranberry juice will not cure your UTI!

Preventing a UTI

Essentially, drink lots of fluids throughout the day to keep your urine flow consistent and flush out your urinary tract, so when you gotta go, go. Keep things clean down there with soap and water—nothing scented. Taking a probiotic can help regulate the balance between good and bad bacteria by boosting healthy bacteria that can then kill off any harmful bacteria. According to Women’s Health Specialists of California, eating acidic foods such as berries, citrus, and apples can also help prevent an infection.

And that urban myth that cranberry juice can prevent or treat a UTI? Not so much.

“When it comes to cranberry juice and cranberry products, there is not strong evidence that they help,” Gillespie says.

UTIs may be uncomfortable to talk about, but they are even more uncomfortable (and even painful) to deal with. Taking precautions to keep your urinary tract healthy now will save you in more ways than one. If you’re frequently dealing with UTIs, try the preventative measures suggested and try to determine the cause. Gillespie advises talking with your doctor if you continue to deal with a recurring UTI, as it may actually be something more serious, or you may be put on a preventative antibiotic.

Curated from Her Campus
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4 Reasons They Might Be Ghosting You

Dajin Kim | University of Texas at Austin
3 minute read

When it comes to modern day dating, there’s no question that things aren’t the way that they used to be. Instead of meeting people the old fashioned way, Platforms like Tinder and Bumble have taken over the dating world. Although convenient, the use of apps and texting communication has caused a rise of of ghosting. For those who aren’t familiar with the term, “ghosting” refers to when a person that you’ve been romantically chatting with simply ignores you without any explanation. No matter how great you think the date may have gone or how much chemistry is there, you could totally still get ghosted. Not sure why? Take it from the people who have done the ghosting:

They’re scared of hurting your feelings.

One of the main reasons that people get ghosted is because the person doing it simply doesn’t want to deal with having to hurt your feelings. Although we may think that sending a rejection over text is much easier than doing so in person, not responding altogether is even easier. Especially if it’s someone that you wouldn’t necessarily run into on a daily basis, ignoring someone’s text doesn’t seem so bad. Whether it’s gradually texting less and less or completely ignoring them altogether, this is definitely a big one.

Joshua Keys, a senior at the University of North Texas, explains that “sometimes it’s just easier than trying to think up a formal rejection, even if it is through text message. I feel like it would’ve been better than giving a straight rejection.” Not everyone can be as brave as we want them to be, right?

They found someone else.

Although this may sound like one of the worst reasons to ghost someone, some say that the reason for their ghosting is because they simply found someone better for them. This may not make you feel the greatest, but it’s important to remember that this doesn’t mean that they found someone more superior than you, they just found someone with better compatibility for their needs. Most ghosters say that they started to ignore the person they were talking to because they found a bae that they truly wanted to invest in.

M​egan Dibbern, a grad student at the University of Texas at Austin, says that this is a big reason why people go ghost. “I just don’t find it necessary to continue to talk to someone when you know that it’s not going to last,” she explains. “For me, it’s not necessarily that I chose someone over someone else, but I just think of it as going with the better choice for myself.” That makes sense, right?

They don’t feel like it’s worth discussing.

One big reason for ghosting that most people don’t consider is that the relationship didn’t seem serious enough to require an explanation. We know, it’s hard to tell how invested in you someone is, but without communication there’s no way to truly know where your “almost” relationship stands.

Holly Brookshire, a graduate from the University of North Texas, explains her reasoning. “For me, I didn’t think that we were talking long enough for it to require a formal ending,” she says. “I feel like if we’ve only been chatting a little bit for a short period of time, simply not replying anymore sends the message across.”

It’s important to remember that sometimes it’s not always about someone being a jerk, but just differing mindsets. Something that seems okay to one person may not be the same as yours.

Related: 7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Date Someone New 

They’re not motivated enough to keep it going.

Now here’s the big one: Although it may seem like one specific text or message may have ruined the budding relationship, the answer may be a lot simpler than you think. Most people, whether they’re experienced or not, can often lose interest for no reason at all. We all know that the feeling of butterflies in our stomachs and fast heart beats don’t really happen all that easily.

Joe Lee, a sophomore at the University of Texas at Arlington says that this is a main reason he ghosts people. “With my busy schedule, when I’m not super interested in the girl I’m talking to, I just don’t feel motivated to keep it going,” he says. “Honestly, most of the times I just forget to reply.”

It’s hard to find someone who truly makes us feel like we are in love. More often than not, two people feeling that way about each other is very rare, but that’s what makes it special, right?

Curated from Her Campus:

ZICOSU TUMBLES AT NUST

By Costa Nkomo| Nust- ZW

ZIMBABWE Congress of Students Union (Zicosu) lost National University of Science and Technology (NUST) student union elections yesterday to National Students Council (NSC).

Pablo Tinashe Chimusoro, the NSC representative, together with five Councillors from his camp, romped to victory after he garnered 1227 votes (47%) followed by a ZICOSU representative Natasha Aliki who got 757 votes (29%), while ZINASU  represented by Pashor Sibanda came third with 643 votes (24%)

For the first time in four years,  2627 students participated in an election. This is also the first  time  in the history of Nust SRC elections that either Zinasu or Zicosu  have failed  to secure the top student  leadership post.

It has been alleged that Zicosu  embarked on a vote buying drive in a bid to secure the top post for Aliki. Former student president, Shadowlite Ndou, was also present to drum  up support for Aliki.

Zicosu is alleged to have distributed about $500 plates of sadza, alcohol worth about $800 and $600 worth of airtime among other goodies.

When contacted for a comment Zicosu campaign manager, Blessing Zhou did not deny Zicosu’s attempt to buy student votes. However, Zhou could not be drawn to disclose the exact amount of money that his party spent.

“It was a tough race, anyone could do anything to make it,” said Zhou.

“Without vote buying, Pashor should have been the Vice President, so vote buying counted ” added Zhou.

Zicosu had lured ZBC news presenter, Rumbidzai Takawira, to campaign for them in a video clip that went viral on social media.

Takawira who addressed herself as ZBC Newsbae said, “Vote Aliki, vote Tanaka Alice, and you will see change at Nust.”

While ZICOSU was left disappointed by the students who enjoyed the goodies, for Chimusoro, it was personal integrity and selfless character that won him this year’s Nust SRC elections.

” I am proud of Nust students, I’m happy for the faith and trust they have in me, I owe them desirable service delivery” said Chimusoro.

Chimusoro also welcomed elected Councillors saying that he was ready to work with everyone despite different political orientation.

“I am ready to work side by side with everybody, Zicosu, Zinasu, NSC, everyone is important, and I do hope we are going to deliver as a united team,” Chimusoro said.

NSC secretary general, Kudakwashe Chikondowa urged students to stand for values and integrity as these are the most important traits that a leader should possess.

“If Zicosu arranges bashes for you, you are welcome to go and enjoy yourselves, those who received bribes like airtime enjoy it, but when you go to the ballot remember who is capable to defend your interests throughout the year,” said Chikondowa on election day.

Efforts to contact Aliki were fruitless as he was unreachable immediately after the pronouncement of election results.

Meanwhile, the newly elected SRC leadership is expected to be sworn in early next week at a hand over take-over ceremony to be held in the Council Chambers at Nust.

LIFE HACK: VOTER APATHY & WHY IT IS A PROBLEM

By Crispen Rateiwa| Nust-ZW

 So many  issues affect students, yet a few cast votes effectively surrendering power and overall decision making to a small student segment 

What are the effects of voter apathy? How does boycotting participation in student council elections affect our welfare? Why are youths taking this right to choose a representative through ballot casting for granted?  What can be done to increase the level of voter participation? The more students understand the benefits of voting in student elections, the more increase in the level of voter participation.

Colleges and universities are places were election reform and systems could be studied and tested. Each academic year student representative council (SRC) elections are held. However, there is widespread low voter turnout characteristic of the national electoral system. Voting is a duty, but people ignore this and a scant percent of eligible voters cast ballots.

The present and future generation of students should learn to value and enjoy democracy. In the first and second Chimurenga, Zimbabweans successfully fought for freedom ideals and principles. The greatest barrier to voting is the lack of patriotism in a majority of young adults. Students should revisit history and understand that in the second Chimurenga, the black majority fought for one man one vote – voting as the ability to use our voices, to make things happen.

Anyone who has interest in their welfare should care about politics. When the biggest student segment fails to take part in elections, they automatically surrender their entire academic year welfare to the student council elected by a small segment. What this means is the elected council will only serve, consult and do what pleases its voter constituency thereby sidelining issues and views relevant to the majority students. It is almost as if they don’t exist at all, as long as they don’t mobilize and force the student council to listen to them. Voter apathy affect students in all spheres of life.

Generally, only about 25% of students cast their votes in student council elections. What could be the reason? Is it issueless campaigns? Is it an insufficient electoral system? Is it because they are uninformed and uninterested? Surely, if there is no good candidate, why can not one field themselves for the posts? Many students claim that their courses do not allow much time for extra-curricular activities such as voting. When asked why they do not vote, many people report that they have too little free time. Some may argue that incumbency advantage and student representative council unresponsiveness to constituent desires is enough to deter even the most politically conscience person from voting. The right to vote is not seen as powerful, it is seen as pointless. However, students need to know that voices really can change the system.

Just like in national elections, student politics conforms to a pattern that whoever has the most money and big business support will have the best ads and with them, an improved public image. The vote is not seen as influential, as it does not translate to genuine student representation. This leads to elected student representative council unresponsiveness to constituent desires, but to their sponsors. Many voters are discouraged that their views are not represented by their elected student representatives, and consequently, that they have no real power in their student council.

“I feel politicians are fake, they claim to represent us. Actually, they represent powerful business people and politicians who sponsor their colourful public campaigns. Some get bribed when they get influential positions” said a NUST student, on condition of anonymity.

vote-initiative

What must be done?

The desire to vote is one that needs to be taught. Tertiary level students need education on political matters so that they differentiate propaganda and buzzwords and focus on reality of issues at hand when they vote. Political awareness or voter education in school need to be established in order for university and college youths to participate politically. Thus, students need the important message that their vote matters and as soon as they start to vote they are more likely to continue voting, as they grow older.

A needlessly archaic voting procedure that creates barriers to voting should be dealt with. Internet voting would increase voting by drastic standards. University students have excellent access to computers and enjoy using them. Online voting would be an excellent means by which to not only simplify the process, but increase its accessibility as well. Internet voting provides a great deal of ease for voters, allowing them to vote from the comfort of their home or even from a dorm room. Telephone voting, early voting, and absentee voting can also be considered for those who have difficulty making it to the polls. Schools, libraries, and work places all have internet access. These plausible and indispensable alternatives skyrockets voting availability. Students on attachment can also vote! Aren’t they also paying fees?

Voting can be made fun and rewarding through multimedia. Internet graphics, pictures, and sounds can attract young, first time voters in tertiary institutions. The internet has become a useful resource and (powerful) advertising tool for many political candidates. Politicians need to court virgin voters through new information technology. Advertising campaign and candidate information web sites could increase issue awareness; thereby, getting young people excited about voting.  Politicians should successfully run engaging social media handles such as facebook, twitter, youtube and Instagram.

Since all paid up university students are eligible to vote, they would be expected to vote. At university, a student identity card qualifies one to vote in student council polls. Fines should be enacted upon those who do not show up at polls on election day. After an election is held, voter checklists should be monitored for no-show voters, and these persons should be sent a notice for a fine. Should this fine not be paid within a set time limit, these non-voters would face a disciplinary hearing for a more significant punishment.

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In order to aid voters to follow through with their constitutional right, and avoid fines, universities and colleges must provide transportation to all eligible students, especially those learning in places away from the main campus to the polls at no expense. To eliminate excuses many non-voters give such as the burdensomeness to travel to polls, transportations is necessary.

To increase voter turnout there is need to eliminate wasted votes. In order to assure the electorate that their vote counts, the electoral system should allow vote casting according to the voter preferences. The voter will mark against his or her best five candidates in order of the first choice to the last fifth choice. This system more accurately targets the student’s choice for the student council. Instead of voting for just one candidate, a voter would rank them in preference. Therefore, if a voter’s first choice for office has no chance of attaining a majority of the vote, the voter’s second choice would receive the vote. This style of voting system would especially attract young voters, giving them reassurance that their vote will not be wasted if they don’t initially vote with a mainstream political candidate or party. This ensures limited cases of vote boycotts as the outcome remains unpredictable.

Proportional representation makes elections more exciting to the electorate because their voice and vote will make a difference. For example, a 50/ 50 gender representation in student elections encourages both men and women to vote; everyone would be fairly represented according to his or her vote. A system of unequal representation has mainly sidelined women.

Political conscience is important and institutions should provide credible platforms that allows issue-based campaigns and ideology based campaigns to take center stage during election period so that the electorate make informed decisions in the ballot box. There is need to aim for 100 percent voter turnout to avoid situations where politicians generate benefits for those who vote, and mostly ignore those who don’t. Strong media coverage and public debate provide the best means to distinguish between candidates. Both campus print and broadcasting media should contribute free airtime to every student political candidate.

Conclusion

The more the rise in voter turnouts and youth participation in student representative council (SRC) elections, the more representative the council is of the people.  So many political, academic, social, economic and technological issues affect students, yet a few cast votes thereby surrendering power and overall decision making to a small student segment throughout the academic year.

If only the middle – and upper- income students turn out at the polls, student politicians can concentrate on the issues pertaining to that group of people. Lower – income and working- class student views will be trashed. Implementation of programs such as internet voting, better voter education, and an election day holiday are necessary to fight voter apathy. Other notable point, although debatable is making voting compulsory, which has a direct and dramatic effect on turnout. Last but not least, there should be more secure polling stations.

Crispen Rateiwa is the chairperson of College Youth Art Club and president of Democratic Alliance for Academic (DAA). He is a publishing studies student at National University of Science and Technology. You can contact him on crisrateiwa@gmail.com. This article only focuses on student elections in tertiary institutions. You can read more articles by him on ayaasite.wordpress.com

 

HOW TO START A STUDENT SOCIETY

STARTING a student soci­ety can be a great way to meet new people, have some fun and boost your CV. However, you can’t start one just like that. You’ve got to go through the right motions and tick the right boxes first.

Here’s our guide to starting a stu­dent society. We hope it helps!

STEP ONE: GET AN IDEA…

Ok, this may sound a bit obvious, but it’s essential that your society is fresh, origi­nal and unique. You can’t just start another football society if one already exists. You’ll need to decide on the society’s name, its purpose, its main initiatives and the events and activities that you intend to provide.

One thing to remember when you’re developing your idea is that your soci­ety proposal must be approved by your university’s student union. Therefore, a society known as the Bunghole Scratch ‘n’ Sniff Society might not get accepted!

STEP TWO: PLAN EVERYTHING METICULOUSLY…

Like anything, if you’re going to succeed, you can’t just go storming into this like an absolute nutcase; you need to plan your society in great detail. You need a mission statement, an organisational structure and plan of action. Sit down, brainstorm all your ideas and then work them all into an initial scope document.

STEP THREE: FIND SOME DISCIPLES…

To get your society off the ground, you need to garner a decent amount of sup­port from your fellow students. Some students affairs sections/ SRCs won’t let you even think about starting your society without a minimum number of members. You might need at least 20 or 30 people that are willing to become a member.

Make some calls, chat to your friends, start talking to random students at the canteen, start a Facebook group and ba­sically do whatever you can to promote your idea and get other people excited about your society. Once you’ve got a bunch of like-minded people express­ing an interest, you need to get all their names, student numbers, contact details and signatures onto a piece of paper.

STEP FOUR: WRITE A CONSTITUTION…

This is where you’ll get all your ideas, objectives, plans, values and protocols down on paper. Keep it simple, concise and all-encompassing. Ideally, everyone and everyone should have the right to join your society. Get together with your other members to discuss the constitution. This should be a collaborative process and the final document should reflect the beliefs and motivations of all your members.

STEP FIVE: APPOINT YOUR DREAM TEAM…

Choose a bunch of your members to take on important roles as part of your society’s committee. You could do this through a nomination and election pro­cess, or you could just take the lead and ask the people that you think will be the most effective and enthusiastic.

STEP SIX: REGISTER WITH THE STU­DENT’S AFFAIRS SECTION/SRC

Once you’ve got your list of mem­bers, your constitution and your committee, it’s time to submit your application for registration to your uni­versity’s student affairs section/ SRC.

You might get your proposal approved straight away or you might have to at­tend an interview, where you’ll be asked searching questions about your soci­ety and your future plans. Once you’ve passed the test, you will be granted status as an official student society.

STEP SEVEN: GET A STALL AT THE CLUBS EXPO…

Now you’ve got approval, you need to get more members. The more members you have, probably the more funding you will get from the student union. It can also be pretty satisfying to get a multi­tude of excitable and enthusiastic mem­bers flocking to your humble society.

The best place to start is the Freshers’ Fair. Get yourself a stall and try to attract as many impressionable first years as pos­sible; offer free sweets, hand out free condoms, pump some big tunes out of a hifi or get a busty lady and a six-packed lothario to stand near your table (ok, maybe not this last one!). Get their email addresses and start messaging them about your upcoming events and activities.

STEP EIGHT: CARRY ON THE HARD WORK…

When you’ve got a dedicated army of followers, you can’t just sit back and re­lax. You need to start organising events, meetings and social activities. People will have joined up for a reason, so you need to give them what they want. You should also keep your promotional efforts go­ing; use social media, posters. You could even pull some one-off marketing stunts.

STEP NINE: TO INFINITY & BEYOND…

Once your society is established, just keep doing what you’re doing. Running your own society is a lot of hard work, but it’s def­initely worth it! It can look great to poten­tial employers and can give you immense personal satisfaction. Hopefully, when you eventually leave university, somebody else will continue to run the society and carry on the legacy that you have left be­hind!- adapted from allaboutcareers.com | cover image: Alicia D Weaver.