Around 50-60% of all women are known to suffer from urinary tract infections UTIs at least once in their lifetime. To prevent these infections, women are commonly advised to drink more water but the concept was not backed by any research. Researchers from University of Miami, led by Dr. Thomas Hooton have recently shown the effects of drinking water in reducing the risk of developing UTIs in women.
Dr. Hooton explained that UTI may not be transmitted through sexual intercourse but may increase the risk of such infections or episodes of cystitis. It mainly occurs when bacteria enter into the bladder from the urethra, and drinking water could significantly flush out the bacteria. Prior to research study published in an issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, there were no evidences that showed the effect of water on urinary tract infections, said Dr. Hooton. The study has also shown that one in five women are at risk of developing recurrent UTIs.
In the latest study, researcher examined 140 pre-menopausal women with recurrent UTIs, who habitually drank less than the required amount of water each day. The researchers assigned these women to increase their water intake by six to eight ounces glasses each day, over the next year.
The results proved that women who are adequately hydrated have 50% less chances of developing a urinary bladder or tract infections. Over the study period, women who continued to consume low volumes of fluid suffered from UTIs with an average frequency of 3.7 infections per year. On the other hand, women who drank enough water averaged 1.7 UTIs per year which is two times less than the former result.
The study was funded by 11 bottled water companies including Danone which sells Evian water that was extensively used in the study. Dr. Deborah Grady, a deputy editor for JAMA Internal Medicine added, plain tap water or any safe drinking water will be similarly effective in alleviating the risk of UTIs.
Although antibiotics are commonly used to treat urinary tract infections, World Health Organization (WHO) has warned about certain bacteria becoming resistant to these antibiotics. Dr. Hooton said, “It is an important study in the time of antibiotic resistance.” Drinking water can clear out the bacteria from the bladder and reduce their concentration in the urine, he added.