I find my practice lately is full of women with recurrent UTIs. Although each woman is different and the
underlying reason for their recurrent infections does vary slightly, there are common threads to always
consider when treating UTIs. Often there are patterns relating to sexual activity, hormonal changes that
cause something called “genitourinary syndrome of menopause,” bladder irritants (such as caffeine) or
sometimes it turns out that the assumed “UTI” is actually something else like interstitial cystitis, or may
related to her birth control (like a diaphragm). We can also see recurrent UTIs with certain patient
populations that may have underlying health conditions like diabetes.
While there are many important areas to investigate here in the context of recurrent UTIs, it is
important not to lose sight of the fundamentals. Apart from ensuring proper bathroom and sexual
hygiene practices that decrease UTI risk, there are many supportive lifestyle interventions that can help
prevent UTI:
1. Hydration: Stay well-hydrated with water! This is an important concept for most individuals, but is
especially important for UTIs. Cranberry juice may also be helpful. There are even studies on regular
cranberry juice that if taken daily, can reduce recurrent UTIs.
2. Urination habits: Be mindful or urination habits and don’t hold your urine when you feel the need to
empty your bladder. It is best to urinate regularly to flush out our urinary system.
3. Hygiene: Consider washing before a sexual encounter (especially if you are prone to UTIs), and
remember to urinate after sexual activity, especially if it involves vaginal penetrations, to help flush
away bacteria. While it may seem very obvious, wiping front to back after bowel movements is also
very important.
4. Dietary Considerations: Avoid or minimize intake of sugary foods/simple carbohydrates, and alcohol
as these items can feed bacteria. In addition to alcohol, certain foods can irritate the bladder. Some
common ones include citrus, coffee, spicy foods, chocolate, tomato, and others (I know, all the good
ones!). Foods high in probiotics or a probiotic supplement may help with UTI prevention.
If you are having urinary symptoms like frequency, urgency, or pain it is best to speak with your
naturopathic physician to determine the cause with appropriate testing and discuss what prevention
and treatment options are best for you. We are happy to see you at our clinic, A Woman’s Time. We
utilize botanical and nutraceutical products that include ingredients that have been researched for
acute and chronic UTIS and when necessary, prescription antibiotics and intravaginal low dose bio-
identical, plant derived estrogen for prevention and treatment.