Urinary Tract Infections: Why Do I Get Them and How Can I Stop Them?!

urinary tract infections

Ladies, I have great sympathy for you. Monthly cramps, annual Pap smears, childbirth and carpools. That’s a lot to deal with. I’d be whining about those things 24/7. And I didn’t even mention the worst one, urinary tract infections. Ugh.

Question #1: So what exactly is a UTI (urinary tract infection) and why do they hurt so much?

When bad bacteria (E. coli)  get inside the plumbing system (bladder or kidneys) and set up shop, our body’s immune system goes bonkers. The immune system sends our white blood cell army into action to fight the bacteria. This causes a battle for the ages (inflammation) in the bladder and/or kidneys. Inflammation leads to: fevers, chills, nausea, vomiting, pain, bleeding, and frequent/urgent urination. Ouch. 

Question #2: Sounds awful!!!!. How do infections happen?

The cause of UTIs varies from woman to woman. What’s certain is that hygiene doesn’t play a role. I’m not advocating au naturale 70’s hippy hygiene (gross). However, if being dirty down there mattered, then dirty diapers would cause infections all the time. 

Every woman has bacteria down there. The good bacteria (The Bergdorf Goodman kind) keep the bad bacteria and yeast at bay. This explains why ladies get yeast infections after courses of antibiotics.

So what factors do play a role? 

  • Genetics: some women are just more prone to getting infections. 
  • Hormones: UTIs become more frequent post-menopause as estrogen goes away.
  • Intercourse: having the playground near the plumbing facility was not the best design.
  • Dehydration: water, water and water!!!!
  • Infrequent voiding: go to the potty often to flush out those nasty little bugs
  • Urology issues: you may have some plumbing issues that require my attention

Question #3: No thank you! How can I prevent UTIs?

Water, water and water. I’m a broken record on this, but H2O solves many problems. Frequent potty visits, especially before and after intercourse, can only help your cause as well. But what if you do these things and they’re not enough? That’s where a urologist comes in.

  • Cranberry supplements: The juice is just sugar and doesn’t contain enough of the  good cranberry chemicals that prevent bacteria from sticking to your bladder. Instead, try these safe pills!
  • Low-dose antibiotics: Nitrofurantoin (or macrodantin) is a safe antibiotic that won’t kill good bacteria. Taken either after intercourse or even daily, this prophylactic can prevent UTIs for women who get way too many.
  • Vaginal estrogen cream: Estrogen plays a role in keeping the lady business young and fresh. When estrogen is depleted post-menopause, the area becomes inflamed and more prone to infections. Using estrogen cream a few times a week can not only prevent infections, but it can improve dryness, itching and scarring down there.
  • Fix plumbing issues: Sometimes there are kidney stones, blockages and congenital issues of the plumbing system. Once these are discovered and fixed by a urologist, UTIs can become a thing of the past.

Did you find something that may help you? Do you have any further questions? Please contact me at joe@drpazona.com and I’d be happy to help.

In the meantime, go drink some water, go potty every two hours, and let me know if you find any of those Bergdorf Goodman bacteria for sale. Amazon is out of stock.

Thanks Stream Team!

Dr. P 

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