Are you trying to conceive but encountering urinary tract infections (UTIs)? UTIs can be pesky and uncomfortable, but did you know they could also affect your chances of conceiving? In this article, we will explore the impact of UTIs on conception and why it's essential to prioritize your urinary health.
What is a UTI?
First things first - what exactly is a UTI? A urinary tract infection is an infection that affects any part of the urinary system, which includes the kidneys, bladder, urethra or ureters. The most common type of infection occurs in the lower part of the urinary system - your bladder and urethra.
Experiencing symptoms such as a burning sensation when urinating, frequent urge to urinate with little urine production or cloudy urine are signs that you may have contracted a UTI. While both men and women experience these symptoms often than not females suffer more from this problem due to their shorter anatomy connecting all three parts (ureter- bladder-urethra) together. So ladies need extra care!
Apart from experiencing painful urination, if left untreated for too long and reaching upwards toward our Kidneys (upper section) , kidney damage might occur leading us towards bigger problems like kidney disease even causing death sometimes(scary huh!?) We must take care while dealing with even these seemingly small issues as ignorance would lead us further away from our goals like childbearing.
What causes these notorious infections/ Believe it or not:Mostly Bacteria, namely Escherichia coli (E.coli). Other bacteria species such as Staphylococcus saprophyticus (wowza thats mouthful), etc., can cause recurring episodes too. All sorts of activities during intercourse like engaging in anal sex where E.coli resides mostly might develop into an infection soon through their fecal matter reaching into the urethra. It's like a warzone.
If you are one of those people who can't resist having sex on your period (Guilty), You might be in luck there as it discourages UTIs probably due to shedding the infiltrating bacteria out earlier than expected from our body!
The Impact of UTI on Conception
Now that we have established what a UTI is let’s move onto how they might affect conception:
Inflammation of Reproductive Organs
Prolonged exposure or recurrence of urinary tract infections may lead to inflammation, not only limited to (but including) reproductive organs causing significant pain and swelling during sexual intercourse worsened if accompanied by these tricky infections. Both males and females can suffer from reduced libido because one loses interest when hurt physically especially in genital parts(obviously!). If this occurs, TTC (Trying To Conceive) becomes difficult since sex might turn infrequent or comes off painful. Furthermore, chronic inflammation could lead to infertility- something nobody wishes for!
Complications with IVF
Sometimes couples opt for advanced fertility treatments such as In-Vitro Fertilization where the eggs meet sperms outside before placing them back inside for better chances at fertilization.(It's like lending pairs some privacy space). Women placed under antibiotics after antibiotic therapy right before implantation showed lesser success rates demonstrating its negative effects (NOOOO)on embryos success rate. Therefore treating underlying urinary health issues becoming vital before embarking on potentially expensive sophisticated options below-
Affecting Sperm Quality/Count
Most times, ladies get blamed & thought responsible for any shortcomings related to childbearing but fear not women: men are also affected too! Certain bacterial species cause abnormal sperm morphology development leading toward an unhealthy count reducing chances at successful impregnation. Mostly chlamydia trachomatis, ureaplasma parvum (haven't encountered yet but working with ''it's ok honey'') are the main culprit.
Prevention of UTIs
So what can you do to prevent infections given their ability to cause so much trouble?
Drink Plenty of Water
First and foremost- HYDRATION, consume several glasses of water a day (>8 recommended) gives your body more chances at flushing out harmful bacteria quicker acting as an excellent defense mechanism.
Stopping urination for too long might allow evil bacteria colonizing easily in our urinary tract the chance to fester, since its during that time they multiply like crazy making it tough on us fighting them off(-_-).
Sexually Active? Ensure Safe Practices!
Sexually active citizens, listen up! We know how wonderful sex can be but make sure always practicing safe hygiene practices as mentioned above; proper cleaning before touching and frequently washing provided extra protection against any bacterias found down there!
Cranberries!!! One of the pretty tasty fruits if I am being honest. It has been scientifically researched that regular consumption reduces one’s chances at UTI proliferation lest we forget extracts or supplements incorporating Vaccinium macrocarpon, believed capable of inhibiting adherence potential among pathogenic species present which eventually enables an easier flow right through our urinary passages (whew) (Small steps like these makes way towards healthier lifetsyle!)