UTI Myths That Keep You From Getting the Help You Need
The burning pain can make going to the bathroom almost unbearable. Urinary tract infections, or UTIs are very common. According to the Cleveland Clinic 60% of women will experience a UTI within their lifetimes.
Unfortunately, the UTI myths that surround them are also common.
Believing these myths can keep you from getting the help you need and—in certain cases—make the situation worse.
Because we’re dedicated to providing the best in women’s health we’d like to take a moment to debunk some of the most common misconceptions.
Don’t Fall for These Common UTI Myths
Myth: Drinking cranberry juice will get rid of a UTI.
Fact: There aren’t enough active ingredients in cranberry juice to do this.
This is perhaps the most prevalent of the UTI myths. While there is an ingredient in cranberries that can keep bacteria from clinging to the walls of the bladder, studies show that cranberry juice doesn’t have enough of this ingredient to make a significant difference.
Myth: You can prevent a UTI by washing your vagina with soap and water.
Fact: Douching, cleansing wipes or using vaginal cleaning products will not prevent or help your UTI.
In fact, in certain instances, it may even throw off the naturally occurring bacteria and pH balance in your vagina.
You should wash your vaginal area with soap and water as part of daily hygiene, but this will have no effect on clearing up a UTI.
Myth: You can only get UTIs if you’re sexually active.
Fact: While sex may increase the chances of developing a UTI, there are other ways you can get one.
A UTI is caused when infectious bacteria settle into your urinary system. In addition to intercourse, it can be caused by having uncontrolled diabetes or douching. In certain cases, the cause of a UTI may be unknown.
Myth: UTIs always require treatment with antibiotics.
Fact: In some cases, a UTI may actually go away on its own.
If you have an uncomplicated UTI, it’s actually possible for your own immune system to handle it and you’ll recover. However, this is not always the case, and there are a lot of factors to consider. That’s why we never suggest a “wait and see” approach. A UTI is always an indicator that you need to schedule an appointment with us.
In addition, you should be aware that many sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) may share the same or similar symptoms to a UTI. Only testing can determine the precise cause of the infection.
Myth: While UTIs are inconvenient, they’re not serious.
Fact: Untreated UTIs can lead to more serious health problems.
If the infection spreads from your bladder to your kidneys, it can actually cause permanent kidney damage if left untreated. That’s why a UTI should always be taken seriously.
How to Keep From Developing a UTI
There are some simple ways you can reduce your chances of developing a UTI:
- Go to the bathroom after having sex
- Continue to remain hydrated
- Don’t douche
- Minimize the use of genital sprays or powders
- When going to the bathroom, wipe front to back
Don’t Believe These UTI Myths: Come to Our OBGYNs in Raleigh to Get The Facts
Myths often keep women from getting the health care they need and deserve. As women treating women in the Raleigh and Triangle area, we have established a reputation for excellence throughout the decades.
Our philosophy is simple: the best care for your overall health—not just your gynecological health. We care about every aspect of your well-being.
If you believe you have a UTI, please contact us for an appointment so we can start an appropriate treatment tailored for you.