The monsoon season brings a respite from the hot weather, but it also increases the humidity in the air. This increases your chances of developing infections like urinary tract infections (UTIs). Did you know this notorious companion affects millions of women across the globe? While the pitter-patter of raindrops creates a soothing ambiance, the humid weather provides the perfect breeding ground for bacterial growth, increasing the risk of UTIs. If you are still wondering why UTIs are more common in monsoon, scroll down!
Health Shots reached out to Dr Jyoti Bandi, Laparoscopic surgeon, Cosmetic gynecologist, and Director of DYU Woman and Child Care to know all about UTIs in monsoon.
Why are UTIs common in monsoon?
The monsoon weather is the ideal time for bacteria to grow and multiply. Your risk of getting UTIs increases when you use unclean public bathrooms and do not maintain intimate hygiene during the humid weather. Moreover, women who wear tight-fitting clothes and synthetic underwear during the season are also more susceptible. This happens when there is a reduction in the genital area. Hence, there is a higher chance of developing urinary tract infections in monsoon, explains Dr Bandi.
However, the question one may ask is – the same factors affect men as well, then why is it that women are more affected by UTIs? This is because of our anatomy. The expert elucidates, “The urethral opening of women is very close to that of the anal opening and hence it is easy for germs and other harmful micro-organisms to affect the urethra if proper hygiene is not followed. Secondly, as the urethra is shorter in women than in men, the rate of infection increases.”
Using perfumed or alcohol-based products around your genital area tend to cause UTIs in women. Even wearing sanitary napkins/using tampons for longer than they are required.
Signs of UTIs in monsoon
Urinary tract infection (UTI) in monsoon can present itself with various symptoms. It generally begins with a burning sensation while urinating, followed by lower abdominal pain and pain around the urethral opening. There will be an urge to urinate frequently and in small quantities, sometimes, with an inability to control the urge. It is common for people to get chills as well as a fever. It becomes pertinent that the patients see a doctor if these symptoms persist otherwise they can travel up the urethra and cause kidney infections, adds the expert.
If the early symptoms are ignored, UTIs can cause concern as they can travel upwards and cause kidney infections or can even result in pus formation. Menopausal, pregnant, and diabetic women are more prone to UTIs and they should be educated about UTIs. Make sure that you consult a doctor when you notice the signs.
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Also Read: 4 reasons why women are more prone to UTI than men
How to avoid UTIs in monsoon?
There are certain preventive tips and natural ways that can help you avoid urinary tract infections during monsoon. Let us check them out!
- Drink a lot of water to stay hydrated. The more you consume, the better will your bladder be able to get rid of harmful micro-organisms, if any.
- You should maintain intimate hygiene and clean your genital area properly. You should clean it after using the washroom from front to back.
- Change out of wet clothes immediately.
- Change sanitary pads every 3-4 hours and tampons within 4-6 hours, irrespective of your flow and the day of your period to avoid both, urethral and vaginal infections.
- Always urinate after intercourse and wash the area thoroughly.
Make sure you consult a doctor if you notice any symptoms.