Urine Infection (cont.)
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.
In this Article
- Urinary tract infection (UTI) facts
- What is a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
- What causes a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
- What are urinary tract infection (UTI) risk factors?
- Common urinary tract infection (UTI) symptoms in women, men, and children
- What are urinary tract infection (UTI) symptoms and signs in women, men, and children?
- Is there a link between urinary tract infection (UTI) and pregnancy?
- How is a urinary tract infection (UTI) diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
- What are common antibiotics used to treat a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
- Are there any home remedies for a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
- What are possible complications of a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
- What is the prognosis for a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
- Is it possible to prevent recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) with a vaccine?
- Can a urinary tract infection (UTI) be prevented?
- Is it possible to prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs) with diet and supplements?
Can a urinary tract infection (UTI) be prevented?
Many methods have been suggested to reduce or prevent UTIs. The single most important prevention measure is increased fluid intake. Many people develop UTIs simply because they do not drink enough fluids. Some of these are considered home remedies and have been discussed (see above home remedies section). There are other suggestions that may help prevent UTIs. Good hygiene for males and females is useful. For females, wiping from front to back helps keep pathogens that may reside or pass through the anal opening away from the urethra. For males, retracting the foreskin before urinating reduces the chance of urine lingering at the urethral opening and acting as a culture media for pathogens. Incomplete bladder emptying and resisting the normal urge to urinate can allow pathogens to survive and replicate easier in a non-flowing system. Some clinicians recommend washing before and urinating soon after sex to reduce the chance of urethritis and cystitis. Many clinicians suggest that anything that causes a person irritation in the genital area (for example, tight clothing, deodorant sprays, or other feminine products like bubble bath) may encourage UTI development. Wearing underwear that is somewhat adsorptive (for example, cotton) may help wick away urine drops that otherwise may be areas for pathogen growth.
Is it possible to prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs) with diet and supplements?
It is possible to reduce the chance that a UTI will develop with dietary methods and some supplements but prevention of all UTIs is unlikely with these methods. Supplements such as eating cranberries, taking vitamin C tablets, and eating yogurt and other substances also may reduce the chance that a UTI will develop (see home remedies section above). However, as stated in the prevention section, changes in a person's lifestyle may reduce the chance getting a UTI as good as, if not better than, any diet or supplement.
Medically reviewed by Michael Wolff, MD; American Board of Urology
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "Healthcare-associated Infections (HAIs): Guidelines and Recommendations." National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Disease (NCEZID) Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP). 29 June 2011. <http://www.cdc.gov/HAI/prevent/prevent_pubs.html>.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "Catheter-associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTI)." National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Disease (NCEZID) Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP). 22 Mar. 2011. <http://www.cdc.gov/HAI/ca_uti/uti.html>.
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