Sometimes UTIs are out of your hands, but there are many factors that are in your control. Uqora’s CEO and co-founder Jenna Ryan explains how their pink lemonade with a purpose gives you the defense against UTIs, plus the daily habits that minimize your risk.
In 2014, I had 8 UTIs. I’ve always been susceptible to UTIs but had averaged 2 per year up until this point. This was a new record. My physicians couldn’t explain the sudden onslaught of UTIs, nor could they craft a better preventive regime than prophylactic antibiotic use. Although antibiotics did work for prevention, with antibiotics came yeast infections, and other pesky side effects. Plus, the risk of antibiotic resistance with long-term use, which is a risk I refused to take.
As a result of my UTI apocalypse, I co-founded Uqora, a company focused on UTI prevention. At Uqora, we partnered with top urologists and physicians to develop our pink lemonade with a purpose. You can mix Uqora with a glass of water to flush UTI-causing bacteria. Uqora takes a multifold approach to defense, targeting the bacteria from different angles, increasing urine flow, and giving your body a leg up with electrolytes and vitamins. A lot of our customers drink Uqora after specific activities that they know put them at risk, like sex or exercise. Others drink Uqora daily for rolling defense.
Often with UTI prevention, there is no single silver bullet. Uqora has been a game changer for me and our customers, but it’s important to cover all your bases. Below I’ve outlined the habits that are key to avoiding urinary tract infections day in and day out.
- Treat your water bottle like your phone—don’t leave your house without it.
“Fluid helps move things through the urinary tract, but it also dilutes the urine so bacteria can’t grow”, states Kimberly Cooper, MD, a urologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. If your access to purified water is limited throughout the day, LifeStraw and Brita bottles have purifiers in them so you can fill up whenever and wherever.
- Wipe from front to back.
Bacteria in your urethra comes from two main places: your rectum and your vagina. The main reason rectal bacteria makes its way to the urethra and the vagina in from improper wiping after a bowel movement. Make sure to wipe from front to back to keep fecal matter away from your vagina and urethra.
- Urinate after sex and drink a glass of water.
Make it a habit to drink a glass of water—ideally a glass of Uqora!—and then pee to flush out any bacteria that may have migrated from the vagina to the urethra during sex. If you can’t go right away, stay hydrated and go as soon as possible.
- Consider probiotics.
You can use probiotics to help maintain the population of normal flora (good bacteria) in your urinary tract and reproductive system. When you have an infection, your body is invaded by pathogenic organisms (bad bacteria) that make you more vulnerable to infections of the vaginal tracts such as UTIs and Bacterial Vaginosis. While the effectiveness of probiotics and UTI prevention is still being researched, it could be worth a try. You can also add yogurt or kombucha to your daily diet.
- Let her breathe!
Wet bathing suits, tight pants, and sweaty gym clothes trap moisture which harbors bacteria. If you are prone to UTIs, change right after your workout or beach day. If you can’t resist a good pair of tight jeans—slip into something cotton (or commando) as soon as you get home.
- Ditch the douche.
As if there aren’t enough reasons to keep douches far away from your vagina, they also kill the good bacteria (lactobacillus) you need to combat a UTI. Maintain your natural balance instead of squirting harmful antiseptic water up your vagina.
- Avoid holding your pee for prolonged amounts of time.
Holding your urine for a long time allows bacteria to multiply within the urinary tract, resulting in a bladder infection or UTI. I’m not saying to go when you feel the slightest urge—over time that weakens your pelvic floor and decreases the size of your bladder. But don’t wait until it’s an emergency.
What about antibiotics?
Although antibiotics are likely to be effective in the short term, continuing to use them can have a serious, long-term impact on your health. If you suffer from recurrent UTIs you may build a tolerance to antibiotics. Also consider the short term side effects like nausea, diarrhea or opportunistic infections like yeast infections. You can talk to your doctor about preventative (prophylactic) antibiotic use– but consider the long-term implications.
Despite your best efforts, sometimes UTIs can be out of your control. For some people, UTIs are not determined by behavior and/or habits, some people are more likely to develop a UTI than others. This can be a result of hormonal changes, anatomy, pregnancy, or conditions like diabetes. Of course, it’s healthy to take up the habits outlined above, but sometimes you need extra help — like Uqora.
— Jenna Ryan, CEO and co-founder of Uqora