Does wearing incontinence products make you more susceptible to bladder infections?
We’re so glad you asked.
If not changed frequently enough, the bacteria and moisture trapped in incontinence products can increase the risk of bladder infections, aka a lower UTI. So, it's an important practice to change your pad or brief frequently.
However, there may be more than one reason why you might see a correlation between incontinence and UTls.
The fear of bladder leaks often scares women into limiting their liquid intake, causing them to dehydrate themselves. But staying hydrated is so important especially if you experience urinary incontinence. Make sure you are having 6-8 glasses of liquids a day. This will flush excess bacteria from your body, as well as keep your urine from being highly concentrated and strong smelling.
Women with incontinence also tend to be older and postmenopausal. Being postmenopausal, or having low estrogen levels is a risk factor for UTIs. Ask your doctor about vaginal estrogen use. Vaginal estrogen has been shown to reduce the risk of UTl's.
Additionally, ask your doctor about a potential shift in the normal microbiome of the bladder, which could theoretically increase the risk of a UTI.
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