Medically reviewed by Board Certified Urologist Yana Barbalat.
For most people, summer means beach days, cottage docks, and sweet, sweet sunshine. But for countless others, it means something a little less fun: urinary tract infections.
Yep, a constant urge to pee is probably not on your summer bucket list. But sadly, studies have shown that UTIs do come around more often in the warmer months. And for women especially — who are 8 times more likely to get a UTI than men — this can lead to recurrent infections and other serious health concerns.
That’s why, with the heat wave fully underway, we rounded up some expert tips to keep your summer infection-free.
What is a urinary tract infection?
A UTI is caused when bacteria enters the urinary tract through the urethra and makes itself at home in the bladder, kidneys, prostate, or epididymis.
Since women have shorter urethras than men, bacteria can travel up the urinary tract quicker. Plus, the close proximity of the female urethra to the vagina and anus makes it easier for bacteria, like E. coli, to find its way where it doesn’t belong. That’s why 60% of females will experience at least one UTI in their lifetime.
Common symptoms of a bladder infection include:
- Constant urge to pee
- Burning sensation when you pee
- Bad smelling urine
- Bloody or cloudy urine
- Lower abdominal pain
If you think you might have a UTI, contact your doctor right away to start treatment.
Does warm weather make you more prone to getting a UTI?
Let’s just say, Lizzo wasn’t lying when she said the truth hurts.
Both men and women are more likely to get a UTI in the summer. It’s especially common for young women under the age of 44. In one study, doctors saw UTI cases jump 15% after the temperatures hit 27℃. Clearly, UTIs know how to bring the heat.
Why do I get more UTIs in the summer?
Experts have a couple of theories. The first is that bacteria and germs thrive in warmer and humid temperatures, which means there are more opportunities for them to cause infections.
Dehydration is also more common in the summer. Most of the time, bacteria gets flushed out of your urinary tract when you pee. But if you’re dehydrated, you won’t pee as often and bacteria has more time to fester and spread.
Another theory? Hot girl summer. No, seriously. Simply put, more people are having sex in the summer. Sex shakes the bacteria in the vagina and may cause it to spread around and into the urethra. This is also why sex is one of the most common causes of UTIs.
Can being in a wet bathing suit increase my chances of getting a UTI?
The answer is yes. But it’s not your new bikini’s fault.
Bacteria loves anywhere that is wet, moist, and warm. It’s the perfect place to hide, breed, and spread. If you’re sitting for an extended period of time in a wet bathing suit, that’s prime time for bacteria to get onto the clothes and spread around in the moist environment.
Don’t shy away from having your Baywatch emerging-from-the-water moment. But once you’re done, change into a fresh suit or dry underwear to keep UTIs at bay.
Is it safe to go to the beach with a UTI?
At Utiva, we take summer fun seriously. If you already have a UTI but the beach is calling your name, most experts agree that it’s safe to go swimming. Make sure that you:
- Drink as much water as possible to stay hydrated in the sun and flush that bacteria out of your body.
- Change out of a wet bathing suit quickly, since it may irritate the genital area even more.
- Avoid peeing into pools if you have a UTI. Pools that are not well cared for or have low chlorine levels may harbor bacteria that can get into the urinary tract.
How can I prevent getting more UTIs in the summer months?
Just because UTIs love the summer doesn’t mean you have to hide from it. Here are some of the most effective ways to prevent UTIs when the temperature rises.
- Incorporate UTI prevention supplements into your daily routine. Utiva’s Cranberry PACs Supplement has 36 mg of PACs in every dose, which is clinically proven to stop bacteria from sticking to your urinary tract. Derived from cranberries, this supplement is 100% plant-based, antibiotic-free, and doctor recommended to prevent UTIs all year round.
- Always wipe front to back after pooping or after sexual activity to keep bacteria from finding its way into your urethra.
- Never hold in your pee for long periods of time. The longer urine sits in your bladder, the easier it is for bacteria to spread.
- Change into something dry after swimming and try not to lounge in a wet bathing suit for too long.
- Consider taking Utiva's D-Mannose supplement to target unwelcome E. coli and kill it off before it can cause an infection.
- If you have diabetes, make sure your sugar levels are well controlled. Bacteria love sweet urine.
- Take Utiva Probiotic Power to restore healthy bacteria in your vagina, and especially if you have recently used an antibiotic.
- Drink plenty of water to stay extra hydrated.
- Pee before and after sex and always clean sex toys thoroughly to avoid bacteria spread.
For maximum protection this summer, shop Utiva’s MAX Power Bundle to get Cranberry PACs, D-Mannose, and Probiotic Power all at once.