How to Prevent Urinary Tract Infections

If you’re familiar with the pain of a urinary tract infection, chances are you’ve taken your fair share of antibiotics. Antibiotics are effective weapons against infections, but only if you take all of them. If you don’t finish taking your antibiotics, you may have only injured the bacteria. They might regroup in a slightly different form and attack again.

Doctors are becoming very concerned that antibiotics are not the potent weapon against infection they once were. You can help yourself and others by always finish­ing your antibiotics, and trying to avoid getting an infec­tion in the first place by following these suggestions.

  • Drink plenty of water. Drinking lots of water may help wash bacteria from your urinary tract.

Urinary Tract Infections

  • Chug some cranberry juice. Drinking cranberry juice is an old home remedy for UTIs, but many doctors think it really helps. If you drink enough of it, cranberry juice makes your urine more acidic, which makes it more difficult for bacteria to grow.
  • Add some C. Vitamin C may also help acidify your urine, so if you can’t stand cranberry juice, taking vitamin C supplements might help.
  • Go whenever you feel the need. You may be tempted to resist the urge to urinate if you think it’s going to be painful, or even if you’re just too busy to bother. Just remember, the longer urine sits in your bladder, the more time bacteria have to multiply.
  • Wipe carefully. Women should take special care to wipe from front to back. If you wipe from back to front, you may drag bacteria from your anus for­ward to your urethra, giving germs easy access to set off an infection.
  • Ditch the tub. Tub baths may be relaxing, but sit­ting in the water may give bacteria an opportunity to enter your body. Take showers instead whenev­er possible.
  • Keep it clean. Wash your genital area before hav­ing sexual intercourse. This may help prevent spreading bacteria from one person to the other.
  • Choose birth control carefully. Studies find that women who use diaphragms for birth control are more likely to get urinary tract infections. Recent evidence also indicates that women whose part­ners use condoms with spermicidal foam may also have a higher risk of infection.
  • Go unscented. Scented douches and feminine hygiene sprays may smell pretty, but they may also irritate your urethra.
  • Avoid irritants. Certain foods and beverages may irritate your bladder. Common offenders include coffee, tea, alcohol, carbonated beverages, and spicy foods.
  • Stop smoking. In case you need another good rea­son to get rid of your cigarettes, the leading cause of bladder cancer is smoking.

Filed Under: Health & Personal Care


About the Author: Andrew Reinert is a health care professional who loves to share different tips on health and personal care. He is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo and lives in Canada.

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