Are UTIs More Common in the Summer?
Summer is a favorite season among many people. The longer days and warmer weather make it a prime season for enjoying outdoor activities and making memories. While there are plenty of positives associated with summer, there are unfortunately some negatives, too. Aside from the more obvious cons like bug bites and sunburns, there is also the fact that urinary tract infections (UTIs) are more common in the summer.
What Is a UTI?
A UTI is an infection in any part of your urinary system—that includes your kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Urinary tract infections typically occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra and begin to multiply in the bladder. While UTIs can affect everyone, women are at a greater risk of developing them due to the fact that they have shorter urethras than men.
Urinary tract infections don’t always cause symptoms, but when they do they can include:
- A strong, persistent urge to urinate
- A burning sensation when urinating
- Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
- Urine that appears cloudy
- Urine that appears red, bright pink or cola-colored (a sign of blood in the urine)
- Strong-smelling urine
- Pelvic pain (in women)
Why UTIs Are More Common in the Summer
It’s possible to develop a UTI any time of year, but summer does certainly increase the risk—and for multiple reasons. Most bacteria thrive in a warm, moist environment, which is more likely to happen when you’re sweaty and damp on a hot day or hanging out in a wet bathing suit during a pool or beach day.
A UTI can also happen if you’re dehydrated, which is more likely to happen in the summer. If you’re outside sweating in the heat and not replenishing your fluids, you won’t be peeing as frequently and flushing out bacteria.
Finally, summer is also the season of love. More sexual activity tends to happen during this time, especially early summer, so this can also increase one’s risk of getting a UTI.
How to Prevent UTIs This Summer
You don’t need to hide away alone in the air conditioning this summer to avoid getting a UTI. There are some simple precautions you can take to prevent UTIs, like:
- Hydrating - Drinking plenty of fluids and frequently peeing helps flush out your urinary tract.
- Staying dry - Make it a point to wear underwear made from a breathable material like cotton and change out of wet swimsuits as soon as you can.
- Peeing before and after sex - Again, this helps clear out bacteria from your urinary tract.
Don’t Let a UTI Go Untreated
There’s no need to panic if you do end up developing a UTI this summer, but it is important to promptly treat it. If for some reason you can’t see your primary care doctor or get to an urgent care clinic, you do have the option of receiving in-home
UTI treatment from DispatchHealth. We’ll send an experienced team of medical professionals to you and can also communicate with your primary care physician and electronically send any prescriptions to your pharmacy.
It’s easy to get in touch with DispatchHealth through our website, mobile app, or via phone. We can send a team to your home in only a few hours after being contacted!
For life-threatening and time-sensitive injuries and illnesses, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. DispatchHealth shouldn’t be used in a life-threatening emergency and doesn’t replace a primary care provider.
DispatchHealth relies only on authoritative sources, including medical associations, research institutions, and peer-reviewed medical studies.
Sources referenced in this article: