Urinary tract infections (UTI) are a common but unpleasant condition. You know you have one if you experience pain or burning when urinating, need to use the bath often, pain in the abdomen or lower back, and fever or chills.
Summer is a fun time with many activities to enjoy, but some factors make UTIs more likely to occur in summer.
What are the symptoms of a UTI?
Urinary tract infections (UTI) can be unpleasant. Symptoms include cloudy, discolored, or foul-smelling urine, need to urinate frequently, pain or burning sensation during urination.
Women are at higher risk of getting a UTI than men. But summer increases the risk of urinary tract infections for everyone. It is generally good advice to prevent urinary tract infections from urinating when you need to, instead of holding it inside, and for women to wipe from front to back after urination.
Can swimming cause a UTI?
Swimming-related activities are the number one risk factor for developing a UTI in the summer. Sitting around in a wet bathing suit can allow bacteria to grow, and these bacteria can enter the urinary tract and cause infection.
To prevent UTI caused by swimming, be sure to replace the wet swimsuit as soon as possible. Wipe well after taking off wet clothes, and change into dry clothes.
The summer heat is part of what feels good about the season. But heat also causes you to become dehydrated.
Drink more water than usual in the summer, especially outdoors. Drinking enough fluids flushes the bacteria, making UTIs less likely to occur. Cranberry juice is also recommended to reduce the risk of UTI.
Increased sexual activity
Sexual activity is a risk factor for urinary tract infections throughout the year, especially for women. If you are more sexually active during the summer, you increase your risk of UTI.
To prevent urinary tract infections caused by sexual activity, be sure to urinate after sex. Also, talk to your doctor about your method of contraception because some forms make UTIs more likely.
Risks of not treating UTI
It is essential to see your GP when you have symptoms that make you suspect that you have a UTI. Untreated urinary tract infections can cause permanent kidney damage.
Studies have found that UTIs become resistant to certain antibiotics, so keep in touch with your doctor. If you do not get better, you may need a more potent antibiotic. Be sure to complete all antibiotics as prescribed.