How Can I Prevent Urinary Tract Infections?
- When you go to the bathroom, wipe from front to back after you urinate or have a bowel movement.
- Wash the area between the anus and genitals.
- Showers are better than baths. Don’t use douches, or sprays and powders “down there.”
- Go to the bathroom when you feel the need – don’t hold it in. Try to urinate before and after sex.
- Don’t wear tight clothing or nylon underwear (cotton is better).
- If you use birth control, choose a kind that’s not a diaphragm and/or spermicidal jelly.
- Drink plenty of fluids (water is best) to prevent dehydration.
- Drink unsweetened cranberry juice or ask your doctor if cranberry supplements could help. The research on how well these work to prevent UTIs is mixed.
Your doctor may prescribe small doses of antibiotics regularly for prevention if you get urinary tract infections often. If you get a prescription for an antibiotic, follow the instructions and take all the pills.