Summer is finally here and we can expect at least a few months of hot, humid weather. In many ways, this is a good thing. Summer means ice cream and swimming and lounging in the sunshine. It also means that the conditions are prime for bacteria to thrive both inside and outside of the body. According to research, summer is the season in which UTIs are much more common, especially in young women.
UTI is a urinary tract infection, a treatable condition that can develop in either the upper or lower urinary tract. The urinary tract includes the bladder itself, the urethra, the ureters, and also the kidneys. Seeing that approximately 40 percent of all women develop at least one urinary tract infection in their lifetime, it is essential that we gain awareness of the cause, treatment, and prevention of this condition.
One of the most common causes of urinary tract infections is the introduction of e. Coli bacteria into the urethra and, from there into the bladder. During the summer, several factors can contribute to an increased UTI risk, including:
- Urination habits. During the summer months when many people are busy traveling, there may be more than a handful of moments in which one holds their urine for longer than is healthy. This can increase the risk of bacteria in the urinary tract.
- Dehydration is also more common in the summer months. A lack of hydration means less dilution of the fluids being flushed from the kidneys and also less frequent urination that clear the urinary tract.
- Bathing suits and wet suits. As if the heat and humidity were not enough of a factor for thriving bacteria, we also throw in ample time lying around in a wet bathing suit. This combination is a win-win for the microorganisms and a lose-lose for you.
- Sexual activity doesn’t necessarily increase during the summer months but this is a contributing factor to UTIs that is often overlooked so needs to be mentioned. This risk can be significantly decreased by cleaning the genital area before and after sexual intercourse (both partners) and also by urinating after sex.
Treating the Average UTI
Signs of a UTI include a strong urge to urinate followed by little urinary output. UTIs also typically include burning or cramping upon urination. At the first signs of infection, it is beneficial to visit a healthcare provider. A simple urine test can quickly confirm a UTI. Antibiotic treatment typically begins immediately and clears the infection within a matter of days.
The longer a UTI lasts without treatment, the more challenging it can be to treat. Don’t wait to receive proper care. We’re here to help. Call UT Urology in Chattanooga at (423) 778-5910 to schedule your consultation and examination.