Fewer UTIs with more Water? Explained

Too many women are aware of the symptoms of a urinary tract infection, or UTI: burning and pain when peeing, as well as a persistent urge to urinate. According to randomized controlled research published in JAMA Internal Medicine in October 2018, recurrent cystitis in women is a common UTI that may be avoided with a small change in behavior. According to the study, increasing daily water consumption reduced the frequency of recurrent cystitis episodes and the requirement for antibiotics.

When nothing is wrong, most people take their ability to control their bladder and bowels for granted. An estimated 32 million Americans struggle with incontinence, which is the unintentional loss of urine or feces that is so large that it interferes with daily activities like going to work and maintaining proper hygiene. The good news is that procedures are getting less intrusive and more efficient.

What causes UTIs and what is cystitis?

The term “cystitis” refers to a bladder infection, also known to most women as a UTI. Female anatomy, namely the proximity of the urethra to the anus, increases the risk of infection and contributes to the high prevalence of cystitis in females. Sexual activity, the use of the diaphragm, the use of spermicides and spermicide-coated condoms, and a previous history of cystitis are additional risk factors for cystitis. Women with diabetes and those who have urinary tract anomalies are also more likely to get cystitis.

One germ, E. coli, is responsible for the great majority (up to 95%) of illnesses. Urinary discomfort, increased frequency, and an increased urge to urinate are all indications of an infection.

What is the procedure?

Depending on the antibiotic used, cystitis is treated with antibiotics for three to five days.

UTIs can be avoided or not?

If you’ve ever experienced cystitis, you’ve probably heard the advice that’s largely based on anecdotal evidence. Women are recommended to urinate after sexual activity, consume cranberry juice, consume more fluids overall, and maintain cleanliness in the perineal region, which is located between the urethra and the anus. On whether these methods can aid in cystitis prevention, the evidence is conflicting. The purpose of this study was to offer concrete proof of the advantages of consuming more fluids.

Using water to heal

According to Betsy Foxman, Ph.D., an epidemiology professor at the University of Michigan, increased fluid consumption frequently correlates with increased urine production. She added that there is strong evidence from numerous studies that higher urine production reduces the incidence of UTI.

Although the evidence is weak, it’s unclear whether increasing drinking without regard to urine output habits reduces a woman’s risk of getting a UTI. As Foxman advised Healthline, “staying hydrated and voiding frequently are solid suggestions for preventing UTI.”

So, whether you frequently get UTIs or not, should you start drinking plenty of plain H2O?

lower-tract UTI signs

Urinary and bladder tract infections (UTIs) affect them. Lower tract UTI symptoms include:

urination that is scorching

increased urgency of urination increased frequency of urination without passing much pee

pee that is hazy or red, has a strong odor, and looks like cola or tea

female pelvic discomfort

male rectal discomfort

UTI symptoms in the upper tract

The kidneys are impacted by upper tract UTIs. If bacteria spread from the diseased kidney into the blood, these might be fatal. Urosepsis is a disorder that can result in shock, fatally low blood pressure, and death.

The following are signs of an upper tract UTI:

upper back and side discomfort and sensitivity


nausea, and

vomiting, and


What can we infer from the study?

The study’s 140 premenopausal participants reported drinking fewer than 1.5 litres of water per day, or about 6 1/3 cups, and had three or more bouts of cystitis within the previous year. A little over a litre (1.1 litres, or roughly 4 1/2 cups) was the daily average for participants.

Two groups were randomly assigned to the women. One group drank their typical fluid intake plus an extra 1.5 litres of water each day. The fluid intake of the control group was the same as normal. The type and quantity of fluids the women drank each day were noted in notebooks they kept. Periodically, the volume of their urine was assessed, and its hydration level was checked.

According to the study, women who drank an extra 1.5 litres of water had 50% fewer bouts of recurrent cystitis and needed less antibiotic treatment than those who did not.

Is it okay to consume this much liquid?

While the extra fluid intake assessed in the study may appear excessive, the Institute of Medicine advises women to consume 2.2 litres (or roughly 9 cups) of fluid daily. Not all of this has to come from fluids or even simply water. Water is abundant in fruits and vegetables, which are essential components of a balanced diet.

This study assessed the advantages and disadvantages of an accessible and secure anecdotal treatment using a rigorous scientific methodology. Although it has been hypothesized that cranberry juice contains compounds that can lower the risk of urinary tract infections, no substantial research has been done to support this claim. Because it is cheap and contains no calories, water may be the greatest way to increase hydration. The outcomes of this study, which concentrated on women with recurrent cystitis, could also be generalized to a population at lesser risk.

Try to boost your fluid intake while also calling your medical team for an evaluation if you are a woman experiencing the signs and symptoms of cystitis, such as discomfort or burning when urinating, increased urgency, and frequency.

Your doctor may be able to confirm an infection and begin you on a brief course of antibiotics with the help of a straightforward urine test and the symptoms you list. Better then, by consuming more water daily going forward, you might be able to lessen your risk of contracting an illness. It’s an easy option that’s accessible for prevention, and it’s now backed by data!


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