Do you often suffer from urinary tract infections (UTIs)? A new study suggests that drinking an additional three pints of water may reduce the recurrence of UTIs in women.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 40-60 percent of women will develop a UTI during their lifetimes and one in four have a repeat infection unless precautions are taken.
"It's good to know the recommendation is valid, and that drinking water is an easy and safe way to prevent an uncomfortable and annoying infection," lead author Thomas M. Hooton, Clinical Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Miami, said in a statement.
The study revealed that women have shorter urethra -- a tube that connects the urinary bladder with urinary meatus and removes the fluids from the body -- than men.
This enables the bacteria to travel from the rectum and vagina to the bladder, making women more vulnerable to UTIs than men.
Therefore, drinking more fluids increases the rate of flushing of bacteria from the bladder and reduces the concentration of bacteria that enter the bladder from the vagina, at the same time, the researchers said.
"This reduces the opportunities for bacteria to attach to cells that line the urinary tract, which is necessary to cause an infection," Hooton added.
The researchers surveyed over 140 healthy pre-menopausal women.
Women who increased their water intake on an average suffered UTIs 1.6 times, while those with low intake were 3.1 times more affected with UTIs.
"If a woman has recurrent UTIs and is looking for a way to reduce her risk, the evidence suggests she should increase the amount of water she drinks," Hooton added.