Urinary tract infection, also called a UTI, is an infection that occurs in the urinary system. This could include the urethra, bladder, ureters, and kidneys.
Most infections involve the bladder and urethra, known as the lower urinary tract. Although common, the disease is highly preventable, with the necessary precautions.
Follow these tips to lower your risk of a UTI with little or no potential negative side effects:
Drink plenty of fluids, especially water.
This helps keep bladder tissue hydrated and healthy. It also dilutes your urine and lowers the concentration of bacteria in the bladder. Some people can clear an infection on their own just by drinking fluids. Try drinking at least 50 ounces, or about 1.5 liters, of fluid daily to prevent infections.
Empty your bladder often
Regularly emptying your bladder ensures urine is not sitting in your bladder for long periods of time. Since bacteria like warm and wet environments to grow, this takes away good living conditions for the bacteria. It’s normal to empty your bladder four to eight times per day.
Urinate after sex
The act of intercourse can cause bacteria to get close to or into the urethra, the small tube that empties your bladder. It is necessary that you urinate almost immediately after sexual intercourse.
Take cranberry supplements
While cranberry supplements have not been shown in studies to prevent urinary tract infections, there is a reasonable biologic mechanism that using them could be helpful.
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Wipe 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.
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