You can take these steps to reduce your risk of urinary tract infections:
July 23, 2015
- Drink plenty of liquids, especially water. Drinking water helps dilute your urine and ensures that you'll urinate more frequently — allowing bacteria to be flushed from your urinary tract before an infection can begin.
- Drink cranberry juice. Although studies are not conclusive that cranberry juice prevents UTIs, it is likely not harmful.
- Wipe from front to back. Doing so after urinating and after a bowel movement helps prevent bacteria in the anal region from spreading to the vagina and urethra.
- Empty your bladder soon after intercourse. Also, drink a full glass of water to help flush bacteria.
- Avoid potentially irritating feminine products. Using deodorant sprays or other feminine products, such as douches and powders, in the genital area can irritate the urethra.
- Change your birth control method. Diaphragms, or unlubricated or spermicide-treated condoms, can all contribute to bacterial growth.
- Bennett JE, et al. Urinary tract infections. In: Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed April 20, 2015.
- Urinary tract infections in adults. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/KUDiseases/pubs/utiadult/. Accessed April 15, 2015.
- Bacterial urinary tract infections. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary-disorders/urinary-tract-infections-uti/bacterial-urinary-tract-infections. Accessed April 23, 2015.
- Grabe M, et al. Guidelines on urological infections. European Association of Urology. http://uroweb.org/guideline/urological-infections/. Accessed April 20, 2015.
- Hooton TM, et al. Acute uncomplicated cystitis and pyelonephritis in women. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 20, 2015.
- Cook AJ. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 22, 2015.
- Geerlings SE, et al. Prevention of recurrent urinary tract infections in women: Antimicrobial and nonantimicrobial strategies. Infectious Disease Clinics of North America. 2014;28:135.
- Hooton TM, et al. Recurrent urinary tract infection in women. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 20, 2015.
- Jepson RG. Cranberries for preventing urinary tract infections. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD001321.pub5/abstract. Accessed April 20, 2015.
- Cranberry. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/cranberry. Accessed April 20, 2015.
- Newman DK, et al. Office-based behavioral therapy for management of incontinence and other pelvic disorders. The Urologic Clinics of North America. 2013;40:613.
- Castle EP (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz. May 1, 2015.
- Marnach ML (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 24, 2015.