Drinking more water reduces bladder infections in women



Drinking an additional 1.5 liters of water daily can reduce recurring bladder infections in premenopausal women by nearly half, a yearlong study of otherwise healthy women with a history of repeated infections has found.
In the controlled trial, women who drank an additional 1.5 liters of water daily experienced 48 percent fewer repeat bladder infections than those who drank their usual volume of fluids, said senior author Dr. Yair Lotan, Professor of Urology and with the Simmons Cancer Center at UT Southwestern. The participants self-reported their usual volume as less than 1.5 liters of fluid daily, which is about six 8-ounce glasses.
“That’s a significant difference,” said Dr. Lotan, Chief of Urologic Oncology at UT Southwestern Medical Center. “These findings are important because more than half of all women report having bladder infections, which are one of the most common infections in women.”
More than a quarter of women experience a secondary infection within six months of an initial infection and 44 to 77 percent will have a recurrence within a year, said Dr. Lotan, holder of the Helen J. and Robert S. Strauss Professorship in Urology at UT Southwestern and Medical Director of the Urology Clinic at Parkland Health and Hospital System.
Physicians suspect more fluids help to reduce bacteria and limit the ability of bacteria to attach to the bladder.
Symptoms for acute uncomplicated cystitis, a type of urinary tract infection (UTI), include painful or difficulty in urination, a feeling of a full bladder, an urgency or frequency of urination, tenderness in the lower abdominal area, and possibly blood in the urine.
Because these infections are typically treated with antibiotics, the increased fluid could help reduce use of antibiotics and thereby help control antibiotic resistance, the researchers said.
The findings appear in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Source: UT Southwestern Medical Center: utsouthwestern.edu/news