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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: