The urinary tract includes the kidneys (which filter the blood to produce urine), the ureters (the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder), the bladder (which stores urine), and the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside). A urinary tract infection (UTI) is caused by bacteria that enter the urinary tract.
You can take these steps to reduce the risk of UTIs.
- Drink plenty of fluids (at least three to four glasses of water each day) to help flush bacteria out of the urinary tract.
- Practice good personal hygiene. Always wipe from front to back.
- Empty your bladder completely as soon as you feel the urge, or at least every three hours.
- Empty your bladder soon after sexual intercourse. Also, drink a glass of water.
- Get plenty of vitamin C. It makes urine acidic and helps keep bacteria down.
- Wear cotton underwear. Bacteria grows better in moist places. Cotton does not trap moisture.
- Avoid potentially irritating feminine products. Using deodorant sprays or other feminine products, such as douches and powders, in the genital area can irritate the urethra.
- Diaphragms, unlubricated or spermicide-treated condoms, can also contribute to bacterial growth. Using an alternate birth control method is suggested.
- Postmenopausal women who develop recurrent UTIs may benefit from using vaginal estrogen.
- Taking cranberry juice or cranberry tablets has been promoted as another way to help prevent recurrent UTIs. However, several studies demonstrate no benefit with cranberry and those studies showing that cranberry reduce the risk of recurrent UTIs are not convincing.
The typical symptoms of a UTI include:
- pain or burning when urinating
- frequent need to urinate
- urgent need to urinate
- blood in the urine
- discomfort in the lower abdomen
If you experience any of these symptoms, stop by any of our clinics, we will do an in-house urinalysis on site. The results will be available in less than 5 minutes. Your urine may also be sent to the lab for culture based on the results. If an antibiotic is necessary, we will send it over to your pharmacy. No appointment is necessary at our clinics and you’ll only wait minutes to be seen. You can call ahead at (917) 310-3371 and let us know you’re on the way or you can check in online.