Preventing A Urinary Tract Infection

A urinary tract infection, or UTI, is both unpleasant and painful.

Symptoms of a UTI include frequent urges to urinate with little urine production, pain and burning on urination, abdominal pain, and the presence of blood and pus in the urine. Women are more likely to have UTIs than men.

Here are some ways you can avoid getting a painful UTI.

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of liquids. Drink extra liquids during and after exercise. Avoid alcohol and beverages with caffeine.
  • When you feel the urge to urinate, go to the bathroom. Do not “hold it” or delay urination.
  • When you urinate, be sure to empty your bladder.
  • You should wash your hands and genitals before and after sexual contact. You should also be sure to drink water and urinate shortly after sexual activity.
  • Showers are less likely to lead to UTIs than baths. If you do choose a bath, be sure to urinate soon afterward.
  • A daily glass of cranberry juice or cranberry extract supplement may be helpful for individuals who are prone to UTIs.

Women should be sure to wipe from front to back after going to the bathroom. They should also change feminine hygiene products regularly, and consider changing birth control methods if UTIs are frequent.

If you think you have a UTI, you can try treating it with natural remedies or contact your doctor. If natural remedies are ineffective after 48 hours, see your doctor. Left untreated, a UTI can move further up the urinary tract from the bladder to the kidneys and become serious.