UTIs aren’t just annoying. If ignored, they can cause serious damage. That’s why raising awareness is essential.
Often considered a private matter, UTIs are not openly discussed. The lack of conversation has led to a lot of misconceptions, which can make it difficult for women to identify the symptoms or discuss with their doctors what they’re experiencing.
“This is particularly concerning considering there are over 11 million cases of UTIs reported annually, and statistically, 60 percent of women experience a UTI at least once in their lifetime,” explains Dr. Dana Rice, urologist. “It’s important to seek medical advice, because if left untreated, UTIs can lead to serious health complications.”
Recognizing the symptoms
A UTI occurs when bacteria enters the urethra and makes its way up the urinary tract to the bladder. UTI symptoms include frequent urination, a burning sensation while urinating, cloudy or bloody urine, a strange smell to the urine and pelvic pain.
Most of the time, women can simply flush out bacteria when urinating. But several risk factors can cause it to linger and multiply, causing problems.
UTI symptoms include frequent urination, a burning sensation while urinating, and cloudy or bloody urine. Women may also detect a strange smell to their urine and experience pelvic pain.
Facing the facts
Women are eight times more likely than men to suffer a UTI, and these infections become more frequent with age. The symptoms can be debilitating and painful.
Even worse, many females who suffer from recurrent UTIs (more than three episodes per year) become resistant to the antibiotics used to treat the infection, and are left scrambling for solutions without success. The constant need for medical attention becomes a burden to them and their families.
Suffering in silence
According to Dr. Rice, many women feel embarrassed to admit they suffer from UTIs, for fear of being unfairly judged for either being considered overly sexual or having poor hygiene.
“Sadly, these stigmas have led to a lot of ignorance around this topic that has made it harder for women to openly discuss their health issues, even with their trusted medical professionals. This is concerning, as UTIs are extremely common, and require medical attention.”
Consult your doctor
If a UTI is ignored and left untreated, the infection can spread to the kidneys and cause severe complications.
“In extreme cases, an untreated UTI can cause sepsis, which could be fatal,” says Dr. Rice. “What is particularly interesting about UTIs is that while some patients may become sick, others are not symptomatic with infections. For this reason, it’s important to check with a doctor how to best care for the urinary tract and seek natural ways to help promote a healthy urinary tract.”
Reducing and preventing UTIs is a personalized strategy dependent on risk factors. Understanding what works best for you with fluid intake, timed urination, birth control/hormone regulation and hygiene is powerful knowledge. Knowing which natural supplements for UTIs are proven to work is also key.
Tiny, but potent
Faraz Nomani, co-Founder of Utiva Health, a brand that is leading the way in natural UTI prevention,says there’s a lot of mixed data as to whether cranberries are effective in helping to prevent UTIs.
“This is because many different formats have been tested separately, such as cranberry juice, eating raw cranberries and standard cranberry supplements in pill or capsule format. What many people don’t know is that there is now clinical evidence that cranberry capsules with 36 mg of Proanthocyanidins (PACs), the bioactive component from cranberries, help to prevent UTIs.
“Most cranberry supplements and juice cocktails don’t have the required amount of PACs, so consumers need to look for brands which provide the clinically proven dose in each capsule.”
While UTIs will continue to be a source of frustration and discomfort for women of all ages, being proactive can make a difference.
Says Nomani, “UTIs can be prevented and managed with some lifestyle changes, such as hydrating well throughout the day, and taking natural, clinically proven supplements such as Utiva Cranberry PACs.”
Cranberry PACs are included in urology guidelines and are clinically proven to help prevent UTIs.