- Drink plenty of water.—Make sure that you drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. Drinking plenty of water can help flush the bacteria out of your urinary system. It also helps flush the antibiotics through your system. Drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry tablets has been shown to help prevent UTI.
- Do not hold it.—When you feel the urge to urinate, do so as soon as possible. Holding back on urination may cause an increase in bacterial growth in the urinary tract. In addition, urinate before and after sexual intercourse.
Other steps to keep bacteria out of your urinary tract include:
- Empty your bladder completely and drink a full glass of water after having sex.
- Wash genitals daily.
- Women should wipe from front to back after a bowel movement.
- Avoid using douches and feminine hygiene sprays.
American Urological Association Foundation website. Available at:
Griffith’s 5-Minute Clinical Consult.
Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2001.
Jepson RG, Craig JC. Cranberries for preventing urinary tract infections.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008 Jan 23;(1):CD001321.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
website. Available at:
Riley, Julie. Urinary Tract Infection. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at:
http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary/. Updated July 2010. Accessed July 31, 2010.
Last reviewed September 2012 by Adrienne Carmack, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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