If you’ve ever had a UTI before, you know they can make even the simplest of everyday activities feel absolutely miserable. Burning, itching, pain while urinating – it’s enough to drive anyone crazy. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to discourage the development of a UTI before it ever comes to that stage. One of the most popular methods in recent years has been the use of probiotics as a natural UTI prevention. However, there are plenty of skeptics out there asking if this really works, or if it’s simply a way for companies that sell these probiotics to make money. Exploring how UTIs occur, what probiotics do and how they target specific areas of the body can resolve this issue.
How Do UTIs Happen?
The vagina is home to a huge host of bacteria, a balance of both “good” and “bad” bacteria. Ideally, the good either outnumbers or matches the bad, which keeps the vagina and bladder in good condition. However, there are plenty of circumstances that could easily knock this balance out of whack, such as:
- Swimming in public pools and unfiltered bodies of water
- Skipping showers
- Incorrect wiping methods
Regardless of how it happens, the balance of bacteria gets thrown off, and bad bacteria spreads – usually to the urethra. When it travels up this opening and to the bladder, the bacteria begins to multiply further on the inner walls. This is when a UTI occurs.
What Do Probiotics Do?
Probiotics are, in short, live, beneficial bacteria and yeasts that are ingested to balance out a number of internal systems where both good and bad bacteria are present. They can be found in a variety of foods, the most common of which is yogurt. They seek to prevent this unwanted shift between good and bad bacteria from ever happening in the first place. Probiotics promote the growth of the good bacteria throughout the body, which in turn helps to keep the bad bacteria at bay. This helps to eliminate the spread of unwanted bacteria in key areas, including the vagina and urethra.
Targeting Key Areas
The magic of probiotics lies in finding the right option for the issue you’re trying to battle or prevent. For example, eating yogurt may not help you prevent a UTI because the bacteria found in this food product are more aligned with gut health, and keep your intestines in check. In order to use probiotics for bladder health and support, you’ll have to use a product designed specifically for that purpose.
Do Probiotics Work for UTIs?
The short answer is yes, probiotics can help prevent UTIs. They provide your body with the tools needed to build good bacteria that keeps bad, problem-causing bacteria at bay, which means there’s less unwanted materials to cause an infection in the first place. Probiotics are especially useful at preventing recurring UTIs because they serve as an easy ongoing source of good bacteria.
If you’ve had ongoing issues with UTIs, it may be time to try something new in your prevention routine. Talk to your doctor and find the right balance of probiotics to restore balance to your body and heavily reduce the likelihood of developing a urinary tract infection in the future.