Can Eating Cranberries Help you Avoid Getting UTIs?

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a common type of infection which can affect your urethra, kidneys, or bladder (your urinary system). They can affect both men and women; some people may get them frequently throughout their lifetime.

 

Common Symptoms of a UTI

UTIs can manifest with various symptoms, including:

  • Frequent urination
  • Pain or burning sensation during urination
  • Urgent need to urinate
  • Cloudy or bloody urine
  • Lower abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Feeling tired or shaky
  • A strong, persistent urge to urinate

Symptoms may vary depending on which part of the urinary tract is infected and the severity of the infection.

What Causes a UTI?

UTIs are primarily caused by the presence of bacteria in the urinary tract. The most common culprit is Escherichia coli (E. coli), a bacterium found in the gastrointestinal tract. Factors that increase the risk of UTIs include:

  • Sexual activity, as it can introduce bacteria into the urethra.
  • Urinary retention or difficulty emptying the bladder completely.
  • Use of certain types of birth control, like diaphragms or spermicides.
  • Kidney stones or other urinary tract obstructions.
  • A weakened immune system.
  • Diabetes or other underlying health conditions.

UTIs and Cranberries:

 

A common belief is that cranberries, cranberry supplements or cranberry juice can help prevent and treat your UTIs. The question is whether this belief is just a myth and does it actually work.

Below we will discuss why people may think they do help, what the science says, and the preferable ways to prevent and treat UTIs.

 

Why may they help with prevention and treatment?

 

The reasons why people believe that they may help is because cranberries contain phenolic acids and flavonoids. These compounds can specifically help in several ways:

  • They can reduce inflammation and regulate bacteria in your gut,
  • Decrease the number of bacteria which is present in the bladder and gastrointestinal tracts, which can lead to UTIs, and
  • These compounds can stop the bacteria from sticking to the lining of the urinary tract.

Therefore, taking these factors into consideration, it is believed that cranberries would effectively treat and prevent UTIs. However, lets look at the facts in more detail.

 

What is the science on this?

 

One study conducted in 2013 with thirteen different trials using cranberry-containing products, such as cranberry juice and tablets, found that cranberry-containing products did reduce and protect against UTIs.

However, two other studies, one conducted in 2012 and another in 2016 , found that cranberry-containing products in 176 participants and 185 women in nursing homes, respectively, did not significantly effect or reduce UTIs on the participants.

Therefore, the evidence is mixed on how effective using cranberry-containing products is. However, there is no harm in using cranberry-containing products while using more reputable preventatives and treatments. Below we have listed some other ways to prevent and treat UTIs.

 

How to prevent and treat UTIs:

 

  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water 🚰
  • Wipe from front to back 🧻
  • Pee before and after sex 🚽
  • Avoid using irritating feminine products 🧼
  • Switch to a different birth control method 💊
  • If you think you have a UTI, sign up to Contro to speak to one of our qualified Partner Doctors, who will be able to provide you with the correct medication and advice 💻

Contro offers a convenient and efficient solution with our Partner Doctors being able to assist you with treatment for your UTI Symptoms!

 Skip the waiting room and get the help you need from the comfort of your own home. Take control of your health today! Click here to explore our online UTI treatment options and experience the ease of Contro. 

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