- General Tips
- Keeping Your Genitals Clean and Dry
- Always Use Clean and Fresh Towels
- Practice Safe Sex and Stay Hygenic in the Process
- Embrace the Right Toilet Habits
- Monitor Your Alcohol Intake
- Avoid Fungal and Yeast Infection
- Treat or Combat Fungal and Yeast Infections
- Keenly Observe the Right Travelling Practices
During the summer months, any pre-existing issues with bladder and bowel health can be made worse through dehydration and not keeping on top of hygiene in the warm weather. This guide to looking after your bladder and bowels this summer provides helpful information on how to avoid the complications.
There are three key things to remember when taking care of your bladder and bowels this summer. They include keeping proper hygiene, consuming enough fluids and having a proper diet, and taking extra caution when travelling. These will help you promote your bowel and bladder’s well-being.
Keeping Your Genitals Clean and Dry
One of the things that cause urinary tract infections are moisture and dirt. Bacteria, fungi, and viruses thrive in these conditions, which can lead to bladder and bowel complications. This means that you must clean the area well using clean water to help prevent bacteria from spreading from the faecal matter that is often trapped in skin folds. Avoid using soaps and creams, since they are likely to kill bacteria that keep your genitals healthy. You must then wipe the area using clean towels and avoid wearing wet underwear.
Always Use Clean and Fresh Towels
Once you wipe your body, you are likely to hang your towel in a place where dust and dirt accumulate on the towel. There are chances that you will soon get infections if you fail to clean the towels because bacteria and fungi are likely to breed in dirty and moist areas. Take care of your bowels and bladder this summer by cleaning your towels as often as possible and ensuring that they are completely dry before using them. It is also advisable that you have more than one towel to use and that you replace old ones regularly.
Practice Safe Sex and Stay Hygenic in the Process
Summer gives you a perfect opportunity to have intimate moments with your spouse or partner. Unfortunately, you may end up having bowel and bladder issues if you are unaware of the relevant and necessary safety and hygienic practices. Infections will spread quickly to your genitals and to the adjacent organs.
One of the practices that you must engage in while having sex is to use a condom. It helps you to avoid the spread of infection to the urinary tract (Holroyd 2015).
Furthermore, you must take a shower before and immediately after having sex. The temptation in many cases is to sleep, which can lead to bacteria spreading to the urinary tract. It’s a small precautionary measure to take a quick shower and sleep afterwards. Even more importantly, urinating after sex will flush microbes out of the urinary tract.
Embrace the Right Toilet Habits
You should always be aware of using the right toilet habits this summer. The first is that women should wipe from front to back, using quality toilet paper. This is because stools contain thousands of microbes and wiping from back to front means spreading them to the urethra, which can cause urinary tract infections.
To wipe properly, ensure that you wipe from front to back. Avoid touching the stool with your hand. Ensure that you apply enough pressure to wipe the stool from the skin. Even so, you must not add excessive pressure because it can lead to injuries, inflammation and discomfort. You must then wash your hands thoroughly with clean water and soap to eliminate any bacteria that may have come into contact with your hands.
You should also not withhold urine and instead, opt to go to the bathroom at regular intervals. Withholding urine gives bacteria a chance to circulate in the bladder and establish infections (Very Well Health 2019). It also weakens the bladder over time. Doctors recommend that you should urinate at least every 3 or 4 hours. This will, however, depend on the amount of water and fluids that you take in a day.
Even more importantly, you must take enough time to ensure that the bladder is fully empty during urination. Do not rush the process, no matter how many other things you have to handle this summer. It is also vital to take a relaxed position when urinating. This will help you to empty the bladder fully. Women who hover over the toilet seat will find it difficult to relax; always sit on the toilet seat, relax and empty the bladder completely. Again, you must not forget to keep your genital area clean after visiting the toilet.
Monitor Your Alcohol Intake
Summertime is a season when you’ll be having fun with your family and friends and alcoholic drinks. Alcohol will work against your bowel and bladder’s state of health and is known to affect the two organs significantly.
Alcohol intake affects the bladder in various ways. To start with, alcohol increases urine production and as such, you are likely to pass more urine. This leads to dehydration (Holroyd 2015). The urine is also concentrated, which causes irritation and inflammation on the bladder lining. It is also worth noting that alcoholic beverages have a lot of sugar, which is known to irritate the bladder, and someone with a sensitive bladder is likely to have more infections if they don’t monitor their alcohol intake.
Additionally, alcohol affects the bowel because it can cause diarrhoea and constipation. The dehydration impacts the contractions in the bowel and its motility. More so, irritation and inflammation are likely to occur, which in turn leads to other issues such as diarrhoea. Patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome will be affected more than others.
Based on the negative consequences of taking alcohol, you may want to reduce its intake or cut it out completely this summer. The ideal solution if you do want to drink is do it in moderation and monitor changes on the bowel or bladder. Smoking must also be avoided because it can irritate the bladder and become a risk factor for diseases such as cancer.
Avoid Fungal and Yeast Infection
Fungal and yeast infections are likely to be on the rise during the summer season. You can avoid them by engaging in a number of practices. Foremost, you should not wear tight underwear because they raise your temperature and moisture accumulation in your genital area. Yeast and fungal infections prevail in such conditions (Holroyd 2015). Underwear should be comfortable and breathable. The best option is to wear cotton underwear because it does not hold moisture.
You should also avoid scented feminine products such as soaps, sprays, and tampons. Most of them are known to interfere with the acidic environment of the vagina, leading to infections. Change wet clothes once you get out of a swimming pool or after gym sessions. You must also manage your diabetes well, so that the sugar levels are kept under control.
Treat or Combat Fungal and Yeast Infections
If you are unable to avoid a yeast or fungal infection, treat them before they start causing serious infections. The first thing you need is to know is that yeast is a type of fungus that can live anywhere. It is found in the body and controlled by the immune system. An excessive accumulation of yeast in the genital area will cause an infection.
To treat a yeast infection, you may want to find an antifungal cream or ointment, which can be bought over the counter in pharmacies. Some infections only need a day or two of treatment, while others require use for several days or weeks. Taking a sufficient amount of yoghurt will also be helpful, since it contains good bacteria. When the yeast infection persists, you may want to consult your GP.
Keenly Observe the Right Travelling Practices
Travelling and holidays overseas are common during summer. You should take care and observe good practices when away from home. To start with, you must eat right while abroad. This means that you must drink plenty of water to aid digestion. In adults, that’s at least 8 to 10 glasses of water on a daily basis. In some countries, it’s always recommended to drink bottled water because tap water may not be treated in the same way it is in the UK and can cause stomach bugs and diarrhoea. Always drink bottled water.
Avoid junk food as much as you can and instead, eat fresh food and fibre-laden foods; these keep your bowels in the right shape. Some foods that you may want to consider are:-
Whole wheat pasta
|Nuts and Seeds|
If you have a sensitive bladder or bowel, you should also avoid certain foods such as spicy foods and citrus fruits, since they are known to irritate the bladder. Always eat from reputable restaurants or food outlets with a good standard of cleanliness, avoid street food and fast food outlets, and always clean your hands after visiting the bathroom.
In summary, following a few simple steps can help you maintain your bladder and bowel health this summer.
|Such as: –
Always seek medical attention if you have a persistent infection.
- John Hopkins Medicine, 2019, Bladder and bowel dysfunction. Available from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/bladder-and-bowel-dysfunction on 19th June 2019.
- Very Well Health, 2019, Urinary tract infection prevention. Available from https://www.verywellhealth.com/urinary-tract-infections-prevention-3520513 on 19th June 2019.
- Boskey, E. 2019. Douching? Don’t! The vagina does a good job of cleaning itself. Available from https://www.verywellhealth.com/douching-dont-3133090 on 19th June 2019.
- The Office on Women’s Health, 2019. Douching. Available from https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/douching on 19th June 2019.
- Holroyd, S. 2015, What can we do to improve the patient experience of continence care. Journal of Community Nursing, vol.29, no.2, pp.66-73.