5 things you should never do when you have a UTI
Every woman who has had a urinary tract infection (UTI) knows they are no fun. They cause painful urination, pelvic pain and frequent trips to the bathroom. They can also be dangerous. If the bacteria from a UTI travel from the urinary tract to the kidney, the infection may enter the bloodstream.
That’s why “it’s important to avoid certain activities, to give the area time to heal, flush out bacteria, and not worsen symptoms or cause irritation to the vaginal area,” says Bilal Chugtai, M.D., urologist at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York Presbyterian. So, to help keep your bathroom from turning into an all-out torture chamber, here’s a roundup of the poorest decisions you could possibly make when you have a UTI.
1. Don`t have sexual intercourse: You don’t want to have sex after your UTI for at least two weeks until your symptoms have cleared up. Intercourse can worsen your symptoms and possibly make your infection worse. Sex during a UTI could also be uncomfortable or painful.
2. Don`t put off going to the doctor: When UTI symptoms rear their ugly head, trying to treat them yourself will only give the infection more time to spread. The more you delay getting medical attention, the more you're putting yourself at risk for serious health complications. “Waiting too long to start treatment can allow the infection to progress from a simple bladder infection treated with three days of oral antibiotics to a complex kidney infection requiring intravenous antibiotics,” says Ekene Enemchukwu, M.D., assistant professor of urology at Stanford University School of Medicine.
3. Don`t drink caffeine: You may think that you can’t get by without your cup of morning Joe. However, it may be beneficial to skip it while you’re suffering from a UTI. It has been found that those who drink caffeine regularly have more severe UTI symptoms. This is because caffeine has been shown to irritate the bladder.
4. Don`t skimp on water intake: Those dreadful bathroom visits may make you think twice about chugging a glass of water, but depriving your body of H20 sets up a cozy internal environment where the infection can really hunker down. "Water is essential for all bodily functions,” says Carolyn DeLucia, M.D., of VSPOT Medi SPA. “If we are dehydrated, then the bacteria can fester in the bladder. When we are well-hydrated, we urinate regularly, and the water cleans the walls [of the urinary tract] easily. It’s like cleaning out a glass that you had tomato juice in. If you just try to wipe off the glass without water, you can’t be sure you cleaned off all the sides.”
5. Don`t drink alcohol: While you should get plenty of fluids, you need to stay away from alcohol. Alcoholic drinks can irritate the bladder and worsen the infection.