UTIs can strike any time, and easily spoil an otherwise great holiday. Read our top tips for avoiding a urinary tract infection on your next holiday.
How to avoid a UTI when travelling
Urinary tract infections can be extremely uncomfortable, and make you feel quite under the weather. While they are much more common in women, it’s a myth that men can’t also contract a UTI. Unfortunately, a few of the habits we tend to pick up while on holiday and travelling can make us much more susceptible to contracting a UTI, which can cause a great deal of inconvenience and pain, and easily ruin your holiday.
Here are a few top tips and tricks to help lessen your chances of developing a bothersome UTI on the move…
1. Don’t Delay Going to the Toilet
Whether you’re stuck in an airplane, train, bus or car, it can be tempting to ‘hold it in’ and put off going to the bathroom as long as possible. The trouble is, since urination is what flushes bad bacteria out of the bladder before it is given a chance to multiply, delaying your next bathroom break can wreak havoc on your urinary tract. If this bacteria is left to sit in the bladder for too long, it can overpower the bladder’s natural defences and cause a painful infection.
Take care of yourself by listening to your body’s signals, and finding a toilet as soon as you can to keep those bad bacteria flushed out of your system.
2. Stay Hydrated
When we’re travelling, it can be all too easy to forget about – or avoid – drinking enough water. It may be because you have a long journey ahead, and you’re too busy to stop and hydrate, or because you’re in an area where fresh, safe drinking water is harder to come by. Perhaps you’ve been designated the window seat, and don’t want to risk multiple trips to the toilet.
Unfortunately, dehydration causes many unpleasant symptoms, from dry skin and lethargy to headaches and dizziness – all of which can make your journey more unpleasant. Another bad side effect of not getting enough water can be an increased susceptibility to UTIs; without enough liquid passing through the bladder, bad bacteria has more opportunity to ‘take over’ and give you a nasty infection.
Make sure you are always armed with a reusable water bottle, and keep it topped up with clean, drinkable water whenever you get the opportunity.
3. Change Out of that Wet Swimming Costume
Lounging around in a wet swimming costume means that you are creating a warm, moist and dark environment, which is ideal for the growth and spread of bacteria. If you’re prone to UTIs, then regularly changing out of a wet swimming costume and into a dry one will give the bacteria less opportunity to thrive, and lower your risk of contracting an unpleasant infection.
4. Treat Constipation
New and unusual food can cause a variety of issues for travellers. While many suffer from traveller’s diarrhoea, constipation is also a common reaction to a change in eating habits, dehydration, higher alcohol intake, and a more sedentary lifestyle.
Sadly, constipation can increase your chances of contracting a UTI, so aim to maintain a high-fibre diet, move around, and drink plenty of liquids.
5. Bring a Gentle, pH Balanced Soap
We all appreciate the little extras provided in our hotel bathroom. The problem is, hotel soaps can be heavily perfumed, which may cause irritation or even an allergic reaction. If you have an allergic reaction to a new soap, it can cause a growth of microorganisms, which may result in a urinary tract infection.
Bringing your own pH balanced soap will prevent you from experiencing any negative effects from the hotel amenities, which will put another layer of defence between you and a UTI.
6. Arm Yourself with the Right Travel Medicine and Buy Antibiotics Online
Sometimes, even armed with all of the info above and all the will in the world, a urinary tract infection is unavoidable. If this happens, you might notice pain when you go to the toilet, tiredness, pain in your lower back, traces of blood, or off-colour urine.
When you’re travelling, it can be more difficult to find the right treatments – especially if you’re in a rural area, or a country where medicine is not as tightly regulated as it is within the EU.
Bringing the right travel medicine can give you peace of mind and extra protection against common health issues while travelling. Whether you’re prone to urinary tract infections, or have never experienced one before, it’s a good idea to buy antibiotics online before any trip or holiday, and arm yourself and your family against the misery of a UTI abroad.
Anytime Doctor is here to help!