How to Prevent UTI in Women?
The common methods helpful in the prevention of UTI include maintenance of adequate hydration. Consume 4 to 5 liters of water in hot climate. Consumption of cranberry juice may help as it contains certain chemicals which prevent the bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract epithelium as well as due to its antioxidant properties.
Genital area hygiene should be maintained by washing with warm water and mild soap followed by keeping the area dry. One should learn to wipe the urethra from front to back with toilet paper. Avoid wearing tight-fitting undergarments as it results in maceration along skin folds. Cotton clothes are better and should be changed once or twice daily.
Sexually active women should empty their bladder soon after an intercourse. This helps in flushing the lower urinary tract and reduces the incidence of infections. If UTI is recurrent, a post-coital antibiotic may also be considered. Female hygiene sprays and douches should be avoided as they itself may induce inflammation. Also, avoid spermicidal jelly as it destroys normal healthy vaginal flora.
Dr. Alex Shteynshlyuger is a board-certified urologist in NYC who specializes in treating men and women with frequent urinary tract infections (UTI).
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