A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection that is caused when bacteria travels from the urine up the urethra and into the bladder. While men can have a UTI about 60% of women will have at least one UTI in their lifetime. Women are more prone to getting UTIs because their urethra is shorter than men and the urethral opening is closer to the rectum making it easier for bacteria to travel to the bladder. For women, preventing UTIs and maintaining good vaginal health go hand in hand.
There can be many causes for UTIs, one of which is that there could be a large amount of bacteria around the vagina, rectum, or skin and that bacteria can spread to the urine and travels up the urethra. Some other causes are bacteria being introduced through sexual intercourse and having a compromised immune system. Women who have gone through menopause are more at risk for UTIs because menopause can cause changes in vaginal bacteria (1) and they also lose the protection of estrogen which helps prevent infections in the bladder. (2)
Symptoms of a UTI can be confused with other infections, it is important to see a doctor so they can diagnose you and start treating it right away as the lining of the bladder or urethra become inflamed or irritated and may cause some of these symptoms:
- Lower abdomen, lower back, or pelvic pain.
- The sensation to urinate more frequently.
- Burning or pain when you urinate.
- Urine smells bad or is cloudy.
It’s very important to see a doctor right away, as a UTI can spread to your kidneys and become an even more serious issue as it could then enter your bloodstream. Symptoms of a kidney infection are: fever, upper back pain, nausea, and vomiting. If you see blood in your urine, see a doctor immediately. (3)
An imbalance of microflora and pathogens can cause yeast overgrowth & bacterial infections both in the digestive tract, vagina and urinary tract, all while suppressing the immune system.
There are ways that you can prevent UTIs
It is possible to prevent UTIs and remain in optimal health. While some women are more susceptible to UTIs, it’s important to take appropriate measures to prevent UTIs.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Urinate when you need to. Holding in urine or not urinating completely can cause bacteria to build up in your bladder and this can cause UTIs.
- Urinate before and after sex to flush out any bacteria.
- Maintain good vaginal hygiene on a daily basis.
- Wear breathable underwear. Bacteria thrives in moist, humid environments and breathable underwear will prevent this. (4)
According to urologyhealth.org, between 20-40% of women will have more than one UTI, so it’s important that you are doing everything you can to maintain your vaginal and urinary health. (5)
Living Alchemy’s Your Flora WOMAN
Living Alchemy has a desire to help a variety of health issues through fermented whole food supplements and has now created a new supplement specifically formulated for women’s concerns: Your Flora WOMAN. This natural supplement is made with our unique Kefir-kombucha fermented organic soy, dried cranberry juice, and roselle leaf (a species of Hibiscus). Your Flora WOMAN was specifically formulated to help women maintain vaginal health, treat and prevent UTIs, all while giving you good gut health too!
Our Kefi-Soy is a unique certified organic, non-GMO, fermented freeze-dried soybean with 35 strains of live mico-organisms to create a complete living ecosystem. The 35 strains include good mico-organisms for women's wellbeing such as, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus fermentum, Lactobacillus rhamnosus. The vaginal microbiome can change quickly and it’s important to do the best you can to keep your vaginal bacteria in good health. Studies have shown that probiotics can help good bacteria to thrive in the vagina, specifically Lactobacillus Plantarum. This good bacteria can help balance your pH, as well as prevent the growth of pathogens in the vagina. (6) Kefi-Soy has been shown to increase Lactobacillus Plantarum by 80%, which is very beneficial for a healthy vaginal flora. With the added bonus of optimizing your gut health, Kefi-Soy will keep your vaginal and gut microbiome in check.
With growing concerns about antibiotic resistance and the side effects that they may cause, many studies have been conducted to see whether cranberry juice is a viable treatment for UTIs. Research has shown that fructose in cranberries prevents bacteria from adhering to the tissue of the urinary tract, hindering bacteria from infecting the bladder. Cranberry lowers the pH in the urinary tract thereby killing bad bacteria. Cranberries also contain D-Mannose which helps draw bacteria away from the urinary tract. (7)
Roselle leaf provides membrane support in the urinary tract by protecting and nourishing the tissues. It is also rich in vitamin C for antioxidant support, enhances the effect of cranberries, and aids prevention of bacterial infections. (8) Cranberry juice and hibiscus work together harmoniously to prevent bacterial infections while nourishing the urinary and vaginal membrane.
Your Flora WOMAN is the best supplement for your vaginal, urinary tract health and digestive system too, as it combines our unique Your Flora Symbiotic (probiotics, prebiotics, enzymes, and nutrients), plus cranberries and roselle leaf so that you get the best support for your vagina and gut, as well as treatment and prevention of UTIs and other vaginal infections.