How to prevent UTIs

Brian King3/18/14
Diane K Newman, RN-C, MSN, ANP posted:
Changing some of your daily habits may help you avoid urinary tract infections.
  • Drink lots of fluid to flush the bacteria from your system. Water is best. Try for 6 to 8 — 8 ounce glasses a day.
  • Drink cranberry juice or take vitamin C. Both increase the acid in your urine so bacteria can't grow easily. Cranberry juice also makes your bladder wall slippery, so bacteria can't stick to it.
  • Urinate frequently and go when you first feel the urge. Bacteria can grow when urine stays in the bladder too long.
  • Urinate (passing your water) before and after sex. This can flush away bacteria that might have entered your urethra during sex. Drinking a glass of water will also help.
  • After using the toilet, women should always wipe from front to back, especially after a bowel movement.
  • Wear cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothes so that air can keep the area dry. Avoid tight fitting jeans and nylon underwear, which trap moisture and can help bacteria grow.
  • For women, using a diaphragm or spermicide for birth control can lead to urinary tract infections by increasing bacteria growth. If you have trouble with UTIs, consider modifying your birth control method. Unlubricated condoms or spermicidal condoms increase irritation, which may help bacteria grow. Consider switching to lubricated condoms without spermicide or using a nonspermicidal lubricant.