I find my practice lately is full of women with recurrent UTIs. Although each woman is different and the underlying reason for their recurrent infections does vary slightly, there are common threads to always consider when treating UTIs. Often there are patterns relating to sexual activity, hormonal changes that cause something called “genitourinary syndrome of menopause,” bladder irritants (such as caffeine) or sometimes it turns out that the assumed “UTI” is actually something else like interstitial cystitis, or may related to her birth control (like a diaphragm). We can also see recurrent UTIs with certain patient populations that may have underlying health conditions like diabetes. While there are many important areas to investigate here in the context of recurrent UTIs, it is important not to lose sight of the fundamentals. Apart from ensuring proper bathroom and sexual hygiene practices that decrease UTI risk, there are many supportive lifestyle interventions that can help prevent UTI: 1. Hydration: Stay well-hydrated with water! This is an important concept for most individuals, but is especially important for UTIs. Cranberry juice may also be helpful. There are even studies on regular cranberry juice that if taken daily, can reduce recurrent UTIs. 2. Urination habits: Be mindful or urination habits and don’t hold your urine when you feel the need to empty your bladder. It is best to urinate regularly to flush out our urinary system. 3. Hygiene: Consider washing before a sexual encounter (especially if you are prone to UTIs), and remember to urinate after sexual activity, especially if it involves vaginal penetrations, to help flush away bacteria. While it may seem very obvious, wiping front to back after bowel movements is also very important. 4. Dietary Considerations: Avoid or minimize intake of sugary foods/simple carbohydrates, and alcohol as these items can feed bacteria. In addition to alcohol, certain foods can irritate the bladder. Some common ones include citrus, coffee, spicy foods, chocolate, tomato, and others (I know, all the good ones!). Foods high in probiotics or a probiotic supplement may help with UTI prevention. If you are having urinary symptoms like frequency, urgency, or pain it is best to speak with your naturopathic physician to determine the cause with appropriate testing and discuss what prevention and treatment options are best for you. We are happy to see you at our clinic, A Woman’s Time. We utilize botanical and nutraceutical products that include ingredients that have been researched for acute and chronic UTIS and when necessary, prescription antibiotics and intravaginal low dose bio- identical, plant derived estrogen for prevention and...