Urinary Tract Infections Are One of the Most Common Maladies affecting women and is a source of pain, discomfort, and inconvenience. There are several action steps that most women can take to help reduce the frequency of these infections.
There are several simple, do-it-yourself techniques that may prevent a urinary tract infection. Some may work some of the time, or only in some women. But, because they carry no side effects, they certainly are worth trying to prevent the often painful and bothersome symptoms the infection can bring.
Here are some steps you might consider if you have more than 3-4 infections a year.
• Drink plenty of fluids – the equivalent of six to eight 8-ounce glasses of liquids – every day to flush bacteria out of your urinary system.
• Make sure you’re getting vitamin C in your diet, either through food or supplements. Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, makes your urine acidic, which discourages the growth of bacteria.
• Drinking cranberry juice may also produce the same effect. Cranberry tablets are a more concentrated form of cranberry juice without the sugar content.
• Urinate every two to three hours whether you have the urge or not. Keeping urine in your bladder for long periods gives bacteria an opportunity to grow.
• Avoid using feminine hygiene sprays and scented douches. They also may irritate the urethra.
If you suffer from urinary tract infections more than three times a year, your health care professional may suggest one of the following therapies to try to prevent another recurrence:
• See you doctor about a low dosage of an antibiotic medication, such as trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole or nitrofurantoin, taken daily for six months or longer
• If you infections occur after sexual intimacy, a single dose of an antibiotic medication taken after sexual intercourse.
Bottom Line: Recurrent urinary tract infections impact millions of American women. A few of these steps can probably reduce the frequency of these infections. If you have any questions, check with your doctor.