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Down There Care

D-Mannose and UTIs: Everything You Need to Know

By Kathleen Morrison
Did you know urinary tract infections account for about 8 million doctor visits each year in the US? People with vaginas are particularly susceptible — 50-60% will experience a UTI within their lifetimes and about 20% will experience repeat infections. If you’ve experienced UTI symptoms before, you already know they are painful and disruptive, and that’s on top of the time and money it takes to get treatment from a doctor! Luckily, you have options when it comes to stopping a UTI before it has a chance to ruin your plans: one of them is called d-mannose.

Start Preventing UTIs Now

UTIs happen when stray bacteria travels up the urethra and is able to gain a foothold and multiply, so one of the most effective ways to prevent infection is to keep that bacteria out! There are a few things you can be doing right now (for free!) to let bacteria know it’s not welcome.
  • Choose the right undies. Wearing underwear made from a breathable fabric (doctors recommend 100% cotton) keeps you nice and dry to reduce bacteria growth. Plus, avoiding tight styles like thongs reduces the chances of bacteria migrating from the perianal area.
  • Hop in the shower right after a sweat sesh. It can be tempting to scroll your phone or get something to eat, but showering and changing into fresh clothes right after working out keeps bacteria from becoming trapped. Take the 10 minutes to freshen up! It’s worth it.
  • Pee right after sex. If you’ve had a UTI before, you’ve probably heard this one. Penetrative sex can push bacteria into your urethra and kickstart a UTI. Peeing immediately after — and we mean immediately — helps flush out the bacteria that has creeped in. Try to stay hydrated to clear out as much bacteria as you can.
  • Avoid certain foods. Alcohol, caffeine, sugar, spicy foods, and acidic foods can all irritate your bladder and urethra, making you more vulnerable to infection. We’re all only human and it’s hard to give all those up, but you can be mindful of when and what you indulge in so you can reduce your risk.

Over-The-Counter UTI Treatments

Cranberry juice is often touted as a home remedy for UTIs, but there actually isn’t a lot of evidence to back up this claim. In fact, the added sugar in a lot of supermarket cranberry juices may make a UTIs worse! So how can you separate fact from fiction? We’ve got you covered.

What is D-Mannose?

D-mannose is a first line of defense for those who experience recurrent UTIs. It may have an intimidating name, but d-mannose is actually just a naturally-occurring simple sugar that is found in commonly mentioned UTI remedy: cranberries. Scientists believe that it works to prevent UTIs by sticking to stray bacteria in the urethra and bladder, thereby keeping that bacteria from being able to adhere to your cells and multiply. But, if you've ever tried cranberry juice to treat a UTI, you know it doesn't work that well. That's because cranberry juice typically has added sugar which can actually feed bacteria and make a UTI worse. It also has nowhere near the amount of d-mannose you need to flush bacteria from your urinary tract — you need a highly concentrated amount to feel the effects.

How Do I Use It?

D-mannose can either be used prophylactically to prevent infection altogether, or you can use it in the very early stages of an infection when you first begin to feel off. You can also take a booster dose if you know if you have an event that may trigger a UTI — a honeymoon, Spring Break trip, or a beach vacation are all prime places where factors like alcohol, sex, and dehydration can contribute to an increase in your UTI risk. If you do feel early warning signs of a UTI, taking a high dose for a short time may help your body get rid of the bacteria on its own without antibiotics and a trip to urgent care. Having it on hand helps out in a pinch!
Wisp offers a prophylactic d-mannose treatment in capsule form. Taking 5 capsules daily for 3 days can help flush bacteria from your system and prep you to fight off infection naturally. Heading to Florida on spring break or going on a romantic getaway with your boo? Start treatment at the beginning of your trip to stay healthy. Each bottle of d-mannose contains 45 capsules (enough for 3 rounds of treatment) so you have extra for when you need it.
It’s important to remember that d-mannose isn’t a magic pill. If your symptoms progress or you feel nauseous or feverish, be sure to go see a doctor who can prescribe antibiotics. A UTI can turn into a kidney infection if left untreated so don’t ignore your symptoms if they don’t go away.

Other Ways to Keep Your Urinary Tract Healthy

There are a few other over-the-counter treatments you can try to keep your system generally healthy and balanced to prevent a UTI. Boric Acid is a suppository that prevents the overgrowth of yeast and bacteria by keeping your body’s pH in line. Reproductive Probiotics can also help keep your body’s natural microbiome healthy, which in turn keeps “bad” bacteria from growing out of control and causing problems. These remedies work on your whole system to encourage balance, making it more difficult for infections to occur.

Know When to See A Doctor

Sometimes over-the-counter treatments just don’t cut it. Be honest with yourself about your symptoms and don’t ignore them if they get worse. If your pain becomes severe, or you feel nauseous or feverish, go to an urgent care or call your doctor. Simple UTIs can become full-fledged kidney infections, or worse, if left untreated. Antibiotics can have unpleasant side effects, but sometimes they are the best way to kick an infection before it becomes something worse.

Help! I already have a UTI!

If you already know you have a full-fledged UTI, wisp can get you treatment fast! Checkout with our UTI antibiotics and one of our doctors will send your prescription to your local pharmacy for same day pick-up. If you get UTIs all the time, you can even subscribe to get antibiotics delivered so you always have the dose you need on hand. 

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