The urinary tract is the set of organs responsible for the production, storage and expulsion of urine.
The purpose of urine is to eliminate nitrogenous metabolic waste (urea, creatinine, uric acid) and other toxic substances from the body.
The urinary tract consists of the following organs:
- The kidneys, which produce urine to eliminate waste substances.
- The ureters, two tubes that carry the urine from the kidneys to the urinary bladder.
- The urinary bladder, the organ where the urine accumulates.
- The urethra, the channel through which the urine leaves the body from the bladder.
In women, the urethral tract is shorter than in men and the urethra is closer to the anus. For this reason, women tend to suffer discomfort more frequently than men.
However, despite being better protected, men can also be prone to complications.
We refer to urinary well-being as the optimal state of the urinary tract and the physiological conditions that allow good urinary health.
In women, maintaining good vulvovaginal health also plays a significant role.
Good habits that help care for the urinary tract and maintain vulvovaginal health
- Ensure adequate daily hydration: drink at least 1.5 litres of water or healthy drinks a day. Hydration is very important for the proper functioning of the urinary system and also prevents constipation.
- Not resisting the urge to urinate and urinating frequently. Urine should not be retained for more than 3 or 4 hours, except during night-time rest. It is important to empty the bladder completely with each urination.
- Always urinate after sexual intercourse and maintain good hygiene of the genital and anal area to avoid urinary tract infections.
- Wipe your genitals from front to back after going to the bathroom and when showering.
- Wash your intimate area with water only or with a specific soap that respects vaginal pH. Do not use sponges, as they can accumulate microorganisms.
- Wear cotton underwear and change it if you have sweated a lot. For example, after practising sports.
- Do not stay in wet swimsuits for a long time.
- Replace sanitary towels and tampons frequently.
- Consume an adequate amount of fibre every day: it is important to include foods rich in fibre, such as cereals and fruits, in your usual diet to prevent constipation and avoid an increase in intra-abdominal pressure, a factor that can lead to urinary tract infections.
- Avoid tobacco and alcohol consumption, as both are risk factors for the development of bladder cancer.
- Maintain optimal weight: being overweight or obese are direct risk factors for bladder pathology and also for the development of diabetes and high blood pressure, two of the most frequent cardiovascular disorders associated with kidney disease.
- Avoid eating too many spicy foods, as they can irritate the bladder if eaten in excess.
- Strengthen your bladder muscles: strengthening the muscles of the perineal region provides secondary toning to the ligaments that support your bladder and the rest of your urine excretory tract. This also contributes to sphincter control and prevents urinary incontinence.