This occurs when dehydration is not adequately compensated by additional fluid intake, resulting in lower, more concentrated urine production. It is also important to remember that an increase in humidity in the intimate region also occurs in the summer season (perspiration, use of bikinis), which encourages a greater proliferation of microorganisms. It is therefore recommended that women take extra care with hydration (2 litres of water/day), good hygiene after urination, as well as more frequent urination.

Women have a higher prevalence of UTI, mainly due to physiological factors, such as the greater proximity of the female urethra to the anus and the fact that they have a much shorter urethra than the male. In young women, the greatest risk factors for cystitis are recent or frequent sexual activity, frequent use of nonoxynol-9 spermicide (found in some condoms), and a history of UTI. But there are also other factors that increase the risk of UTI: changes in the vaginal flora due to pregnancy or menopause, use of antibiotics, changes in bladder emptying and structural problems of the urinary tract.

The main symptoms of UTI are increased frequency and urgency to urinate, burning or pain when going to the bathroom, cloudy and foul-smelling urine, pain in the pubic area and blood in the urine. Although antibiotics are the first-line treatment for uncomplicated cystitis, they also harm the bacteria that are beneficial in our body, leading to a vicious circle of infection, treatment and reinfection. There has been a growing interest in alternative methods of preventing UTI as an alternative to antibiotics, such as the consumption of cranberries, D-mannose and the use of probiotics containing lactobacilli, which help to restore vaginal microbiota.

There are also important tips to bear in mind, especially in summer:

• Keep well hydrated. As it is hot and we sweat more, it is important to replace the lost liquids.

• Do not delay going to the bathroom. The lack of hydration combined with a more concentrated urine, increases the risk of an infection. Therefore, when the bladder gives a signal, do not delay going to the bathroom.

• Maintain a rich and varied diet and add cranberries and probiotics containing lactobacilli. Good intestinal transit is also important for the urinary system.

• Let bathing suit or bikini dry well before getting dressed, to avoid excessive humidity in the intimate area. Choose cotton underwear and avoid tight clothing.

• Choose suitable intimate hygiene products. Excessive hygiene or the use of inappropriate products can cause irritation or favour the appearance of infections. Avoid antiseptic products and opt for mild soap-free washing solutions. Wash thoroughly (front to back) and dry carefully.

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