Preventing Summer UTIs

Preventing Summer UTIs 645d544bbf2e9.png

Preventing Summer UTIs

Summer is here, and with that comes sunny beach days, vacations, barbecues with family and friends, and an increase in Urinary Tract Infections.

Yep, you read that correctly. Each year, more than 8 million people are treated for urinary tract infections, and research shows that the majority of them happen in the summer. According to a report on, one particular study tracked a 15% increase in diagnosed UTI cases when temperatures climb to around 80 degrees.

Why is this?

First, let’s look at what a UTI is.

A UTI is an infection that occurs when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra and travel up to the bladder. These bacteria are the result of e. Coli or other bacteria which can grow in the urine, affecting both the upper and lower urinary tracts. This includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. This bacteria thrives in warmer temperatures, making it more likely that the urinary tract will be exposed to bacteria during the summer months.

Common symptoms of a urinary tract infection include:

  • Frequent urination
  • A burning sensation when urinating
  • A strong, persistent urge to urinate
  • Cloudy, bloody, or strong-smelling urine
  • Pelvic pain or pressure in your lower abdomen
  • Fever or chills

It is estimated that about one-third of men with benign prostatic hyperplasia will develop urinary tract infections. The reason is, that when the prostate gets bigger, it can squeeze or partially block the urethra, which leads to problems urinating, such as the inability to empty the bladder completely. That stagnant urine can then act as a growth medium for bacteria, which can potentially lead to a UTI.

Given that BPH is most common in older men, this can also coincide with other problems, such as fecal incontinence. This occurrence can significantly increase the likelihood of developing a UTI. One way this can be avoided is to always wipe from front to back after going to the bathroom. This will prevent bacteria, such as ecoli, from having access to the urethra. Another contributing factor to UTIs is the long-term use of urinary catheters since using a catheter can also introduce bacteria into the bladder.

So what can be done to help prevent a UTI this summer?

Practice safe sex: Condom use can help prevent bacterial infections that are transmitted through sexual contact. As well as urinating after sex to clear out any bacteria that may have entered the urethra.

Don’t “hold it in”: Urinate when you feel the urge. Holding it in can lead to a collection of bacteria in the bladder or urinary tract.

Use good hygiene: Wipe from front to back after bowel movements, and wash your hands thoroughly afterward.

And a big one, when it comes to the summer months, is wearing the right clothing and drinking enough water. This means, instead of playing that game of beach volleyball in your wet swimsuit, which can promote bacterial growth, switch to a dry pair of shorts.

As for drinking enough water, this is critical for a number of reasons- one being, that dehydration can increase the likelihood of a UTI. So, in order to avoid dehydration, it’s important to sip cool drinks throughout the day. Not only can water help to prevent UTIs, but it also helps our blood to more efficiently transport nutrients and oxygen throughout the body. Even more, staying hydrated lubricates joints, keeps mucus membranes moist, and helps regulate not only our body temperature but also our heart rate and blood pressure.

Most UTIs are easily treated with antibiotics, depending on the bacterial strain, and do not cause significant complications. However, if left untreated, UTIs can cause many serious issues, most commonly, kidney infections. These infections can cause permanent damage, including reduced kidney function, scarring, and more. And, if the infection spreads from the kidney to the bloodstream it can even cause septicemia – which can be life-threatening.

If an underlying cause of a UTI is an enlarged prostate, treatment may be needed to avoid a recurring infection. Undergoing a procedure such as Prostate Artery Embolization, which we offer here at MidAtlantic Prostate Care, can improve lower urinary tract symptoms caused by a Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, thus helping you to avoid not only UTIs but other uncomfortable symptoms as well.

For more information, call us today at: 301-622-5360.

Request An Appointment

Mon-Fri: 8am-5pm
Weekends: Closed

* All required fields.Please only include non-medical responses.

Accessibility Toolbar