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Urine Infection (cont.)

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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

REFERENCES:

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>.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/7/2014


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