Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common and can be painful. They occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract and infect the bladder or kidneys. UTIs can be caused by a number of things, including sexual activity, wiping from back to front, and not urinating after sexual activity.

There are a number of things you can do to prevent UTIs:

  • Drink plenty of fluids. This helps to flush bacteria out of your urinary tract. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water per day.
  • Wipe from front to back. This helps to prevent bacteria from entering your urinary tract.
  • Urinate after sexual activity. This helps to flush bacteria out of your urethra.
  • Avoid using feminine hygiene products. These products can irritate your urethra and make it more susceptible to infection.
  • Empty your bladder regularly. Don't hold your urine for long periods of time.
  • Shower instead of bathe. This helps to prevent bacteria from entering your urinary tract.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing. Tight clothing can trap bacteria near your urethra.
  • If you are sexually active, use condoms. This can help to reduce your risk of getting a UTI from your partner.
  • If you have a history of UTIs, your doctor may recommend additional steps you can take to prevent them, such as taking cranberry supplements or low-dose antibiotics.
  • Here are some additional tips to help prevent UTIs:
  • Wash your genital area with soap and water before and after sexual activity.
  • Drink plenty of water during and after exercise.
  • If you are using a diaphragm or cervical cap for birth control, make sure to clean it regularly.
  • Avoid using douches or other vaginal products. These products can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina and increase your risk of getting a UTI.

If you think you may have a UTI, see your doctor right away. UTIs can usually be treated with antibiotics.