Women’s Health Kuel Category Expert: Lisa King
In any given year ten percent of all women will experience a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) and over half of all women will experience a UTI at least once in their lifetime.
Symptoms from urinary tract infections include pain with urination, frequent urination and feeling the need to urinate despite having an empty bladder. UTIs are not only painful but they can make it difficult to navigate through everyday life. They are especially something that you will want to avoid when you are heading on a vacation!
Several factors can increase your chances of getting a UTI while traveling. These factors include infrequent bathroom use, decreased hydration, and possible increase in intimacy while vacationing.
Here are some smart strategies to prevent Urinary Tract Infections while traveling so you can enjoy your vacation without worrying about having to find the nearest bathroom!
- Start taking a probiotic before you travel. This will build a healthy gut and is one step for preventing UTIS. Probiotics help to boost your immune system and are one way to possibly prevent Urinary Tract Infections.
- Many women turn to cranberry juice to prevent urinary tract infections. Cranberries contain A-type proanthocyanidins (PAC)s that interfere with bacteria’s ability to adhere to the bladder wall. D-Mannose is another alternative for UTI prevention. D-Mannose is the non absorbable sugar in cranberries. It provides a preferred surface for bacteria to adhere to so they are removed from the urinary tract upon urination as opposed to sticking to the bladder wall and possibly causing an infection. Both cranberry and D-Mannose come in tablet form which is convenient for travel.
- Stay hydrated! Drinking water helps to remove bacteria from the urinary tract. Aim for half your healthy body weight in ounces daily.
- More intimacy during vacation times can lead to increased chances of urinary tract infections. Be sure to follow proper hygiene and void afterwards. If feminine dryness is an issue, use a natural lubricant. Feminine dryness can cause increased chances of UTIs as this provides an environment where good bacteria can not thrive and the bacteria that cause UTIs can become prevalent.
- Many foods can cause bladder irritation and while vacation is a time to enjoy; remember there are foods that are bladder irritants. Sugar, alcohol, coffee, chocolate, and spicy and acidic foods can irritate the bladder wall and can increase bladder urgency. Make the trip about experiences instead of what you are eating and your bladder will be much happier especially if you start feeling any bladder irritation.
- Although finding bathrooms is not always easy while traveling, aim for urinating every four hours. This is the length of time it takes for bacteria to travel up the urinary tract.
Even if you are a homebody; travel at times is inevitable. There are times you may need to travel for special celebrations such as a wedding or graduation. Business travel is sometimes a part of a job requirement or can even be part of a goal achievement with celebratory work trips! Looking forward to a vacation can be very exciting! Preparing for your trip with smart strategies for preventing Urinary Tract Infections while traveling will make your time away even more enjoyable!