As many of you know, urinary tract infections (UTIs) are torture.
And for those of you who don’t, well, you’re lucky. The painful and straight-up annoying symptoms can bring rain clouds to any sunny day.
Recent studies project that one in every three women in the U.S. will have contracted at least one urinary tract infection by the age of 24. Scary stuff, yes, but don’t let it put a damper on a good time!
Here are some helpful tips that have saved me on my travels through the desert, sea and everywhere in between…
1) Stay hydrated
I know all too well the beauty of holiday season: the sun, the fun and the copious amounts of cute umbrella cocktails.
But when the symptoms of a urinary tract infection hit, you need to listen to your body and the call of nature.
2) Stay away from irritants like alcohol and caffeine
But drink plenty of water. Around 8 cups of fluid a day is just right for kicking bad bacteria out of the bladder.
3) Use Cranberry Juice and Vitamin C
If Cranberry juice (the real thing, none of that sugary cranberry juice cocktail nonsense) is available, drink that.
An easy alternative to the juice are cranberry pills, sold at any pharmacy or health food store.
Vitamin C is another handy aid at suppressing bacteria in the bladder.
4) Use the Bathroom Often
A huge factor in the recurrent UTI is holding your pee, so listen to your body and go when you have to go!
I have the tendency to fall into an instant sleep once I step foot on any means of transport- cars, planes, trains. It could be the recycled air or some weird subconscious deal I’ve made with myself.
Either way, sleeping for an entire transcontinental flight = Bad News! So set an alarm if you have to and pee on the regular. And if you’re sexually active, do your thing, but remember this:
5) Safe Sex is Smart Sex
Be safe, be smart, use a condom. Pee before and after sex. You will thank me later…
6) Take Showers, Not Baths
Keep yourself clean and take showers instead of baths. Use mild soaps, fragrance-free are your best bet.
If you have a tendency to contract UTIs and you’re about to leave on some epic journey, pack accordingly.
7) Get The Right Medications Before You Travel
Contact your doctor before you leave and get the proper antibiotic and symptom relief medications just to be safe. The most common antibiotics used in treating UTIs are amoxicillin and doxycycline, which are fairly easy to find in pharmacies worldwide.
And luckily, antibiotic names seem to translate pretty closely from English to other languages.
A common drug to help with discomfort and pain is Pyridium (Pirimir in Spanish).
Remember, UTIs are nothing to be taken lightly. These are some tips I’m sharing to help in times doctors and medical professionals can’t.
You know your body better than any outside force so be smart and travel on!