Urinary Tract Infection: How To Prevent While Travelling?

An infection of the urinary system, where harmful bacteria enter the urine from outside the body, causing infection and inflammation, is called urinary tract infection or UTI. Most women will know what we are talking about as it affects 50 per cent of women, and, once you’ve had it, the probablity of it recurring is higher.

“The most common culprit of UTI is E.coli followed by Klebsiella and Proteus. It usually involves an infection in the urinary bladder. Women experience the infection more than men as the female urethra is shorter, and the anus is in close proximity. Hence ascending infection is the usual route for getting the infection. In males the bacteria reside within the body, usually the prostate gland, and on and off gives rise to symptomatic UTI,” explains Dr Harish Bhat N, Clinical Lead, Urology, MGM Healthcare, Chennai. The more time one spends travelling on the road, the more chances of contracting UTI. Long car or bus travel, unclean toilets, poor maintenance hygiene, weakened immune system, skipping water intake especially while travelling all contribute to the infection.


Warning Signs

“A burning sensation while passing urine, increased urinary frequency and urgency, traces of blood in urine, foul smell are some of the common symptoms to watch out for,” says Dr Bhat, who adds that fever and loin pain usually indicate a complicated UTI probably involving the kidney. It is a challenge to find clean toilets, especially during road trips in unfamiliar cities, but try not to hold for long as this helps with preventing and treating the infection. “Proper personal hygiene, washing hands and genitalia prior to and post urination, regular passing of urine every four hours, avoid constipation, liberal water intake, washing anus, frequent change of sanitary napkins, passing urine and wash prior to, and post intercourse are few preventive measures,” suggests Dr Bhat. He advises an immediate medical intervention the earliest to prevent developing further complications.


Keep It Handy

1. Drink water, water and more water to flush the bacteria out from the system.
2. Drinking fresh juices and tender coconut while traveling helps to cool your body.
3. Cranberry juice has been found in certain studies to help decrease UTI recurrence.
4. Hit the pharmacy before you travel and keep the antibiotics handy that were prescribed by your doctor.
5. Urinate immediately after sexual intercourse.
6. Use toilet sanitiser sprays while using facilities in unknown cities and malls.

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