There are an overabundance of urinary tract infection (UTI) myths circulating the internet. UTIs are a serious infection and should be treated as such. That’s why we’ve examined the top five UTI misconceptions and spelled the truth out below.
Myth #1: Cranberry juice can prevent or treat UTIs.
It is true that cranberry juice has an active ingredient that could prevent bacteria from sticking to the wall of your bladder. However, taking supplements is more effective than juice, because it’s more concentrated. And if used when symptoms first start, you’ll have a better chance of preventing a UTI. Early warning signs to look out for include:
- Burning during urination
- Discomfort in between the belly button and pubic bone
- Frequent urination
Conclusion: Cranberry juice can be used as a preventative action against the onset of UTIs; however, the supplement is more potent in warding it off.
Myth #2: Poor hygiene increases the risk of UTIs.
UTIs are not based on good or bad hygiene. Someone could have the best hygiene habits and still become a victim of this infection. Researchers from Philadelphia’s Research Network have concluded that tampons, hot tubs and too tight of clothing are not UTI triggers.
Conclusion: Hygiene is not a factor in whether or not you contract an UTI, but it’s still best to practice healthy hygiene to prevent other possible infections.
Myth #3: Not having sex will prevent UTIs.
Contracting a UTI can happen at any age. However, they are most common during pregnancy, menopause or when transitioning to menopause. Researchers have found that sex is a UTI trigger, but there are many possible factors to consider. Certain types of birth control, spermicides or diaphragms, can be the culprit. It’s also possible that immune system complications and urinary tract abnormalities can initiate the infection.
Conclusion: Yes, sex can trigger a UTI, but so can birth control methods, immune system issues and abnormalities with the urinary tract.
Myth #4: Only women get UTIs.
Although women get UTIs more often, due to easier exposure to bacteria, it is possible for men to get one. About 12% of men contract a UTI in their lifetime. The younger the man the lower the risk. UTIs are more common for men past 50, especially for those in their 60s and 70s.
Conclusion: Women get UTIs much more often than men do, but men can get UTIs. It is rare when men are younger, but the risk increases with age.
Myth #5: Recurring UTIs are dangerous.
Recurring UTIs are not considered a danger to your health. This type of infection is very common and treatable. But several occurrences within a one-month time period can be a red flag for a more serious problem. Always consult with your physician to get a professional diagnosis when experiencing frequent UTIs.
Conclusion: Experiencing back-to-back UTIs is not uncommon. Every infection should be taken seriously, however. If consecutive UTIs happen within one month, be sure to consult with your physician to find an effective treatment.
UTI Prevention Tips
If you are experiencing frequent UTIs there are some home remedies that could help. Some possible prevention tips for recurring UTIs are:
- Drink a lot of fluids
- Keep the genital area clean
- Wear cotton underwear
- Take vitamin C supplements