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Urinary Tract Infections in Teens and Adults

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You can take steps to prevent new or relapsing urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Prevention tips for men and women

  • Drinking more water and other liquids may help.
  • When you urinate, take time to empty your bladder as much as possible.

Prevention tips for women

  • Urinate immediately after sexual intercourse. This is the best protection women have against UTIs, because it helps prevent bacteria from moving into the urethra.
  • Avoid using condoms coated with spermicide or a diaphragm for birth control if your doctor believes they are causing you to get UTIs.
  • Change sanitary napkins often.
  • Wipe from front to back after using the toilet to avoid spreading bacteria from your anus to your urinary tract.
  • Some women have found cranberry juice to be helpful, although the evidence from studies isn't strong.
  • If you get UTIs often, ask your doctor about taking antibiotics right after sexual intercourse to prevent recurrent UTIs.
  • Post-menopausal women may want to ask their doctors about using vaginal estrogen to prevent recurrent UTIs.

Prevention tip for men

Keep the tip of your penis clean, especially if you are uncircumcised. The foreskin can trap bacteria, which can then get into the urinary tract and cause infection.


WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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