Women are more prone to acquire urinary bladder infections because they have shorter urethras as compared to men. This causes bacteria to ascend rapidly and enter inside the bladder. Secondly, women’s urethra lies in close proximity to vagina and anus where bacteria reside. Most common bacteria to cause bladder infection is Escherichia Coli, it lives in rectum. It is very essential to take care of bladder health to avoid infection.
Maintain good hydration status:
Plain water is the best fluid for bladder health. Water helps in flushing out the harmful bacteria and preventing infections. The colour of urine is a good indicator of bladder health. If it’s pale yellow, it shows good hydration status and if it’s dark it means you need to increase fluid intake. Keep on sipping small amounts of water throughout the day even if you’re not thirsty. There is evidence that drinking a lot of fluids also decreases the risk of bladder cancer as it washes away the chemicals that enter the bladder due to food, fluids and medications.
Do not hold urine for longer times:
Holding urine for longer times puts stress on the bladder muscles and eventually leads to weakening of the bladder muscles, and their dysfunction. It also increases the number of bacteria in urine causing increased likelihood of bladder infections. Try to pee after every three hours to make bladder infection less likely.
Kegel exercises are for pelvic floor strengthening . You can do this exercise while sitting, standing and even when lying down. Squeeze the pelvic floor muscles as you’ll do while stopping a stream of urine. Hold the squeeze for a few seconds and then relax for a few seconds. Try doing at least three sets of contractions everyday. They strengthen the muscles that control the urethra and are especially important when bladder control and muscles get weak due to pregnancies.
Take your time in the washroom:
Do not hasten while passing urine as rushing may not allow you to fully empty the bladder. Be in a relaxed position to pass urine. Do not hover over the toilet seat as it makes bladder muscles difficult to relax.
Clean from front to back:
Women shall always clean themselves from front to back to avoid urethral contamination by fecal bacteria especially after passing stool.
Wear cotton underpants:
Always wear cotton and airy undergarments that help to keep urethra stay dry. Tight fitting trousers and nylon underpants retain moisture and make a favourable environment for bacteria to grow.
According to the American Cancer Society, smoking is a very important risk factor for bladder cancer. It causes half of bladder cancers in both men and women.
Limit use of products that irritate bladder:
Coffee, tea, colas, energy drinks increase the urge and frequency of urination. They should be consumed in moderation.
Role of stress:
Prolonged and frequent stress can lower the immunity and make you prone to develop recurrent infections.
Control blood sugar level in case of diabetes:
diabetes causes a lot of bladder problems like increased frequency of urination, inability to fully empty bladder, overflow incontinence and overactive bladder. In case you are diabetic,, try to control blood sugar level. Take a healthy and balanced diet with an ample amount of fibre in your diet. Drink 6-8 glasses of water. Avoid caffeine, colas and fizzy drinks.