If you are experiencing recurring urinary tract infections and have already been seen by a urologist to rule out an abnormality that needs correction, perhaps there are some steps you can take to prevent future infections. Our doctors have outlined simple precautions that if followed consistently, may make the difference for you.
FOLLOW PROPER HYGIENE TECHNIQUES
Always wipe from front to back using plain white toilet tissue after having a bowel movement or after urination. This is to avoid spreading bacteria from the anal area to the vagina or urethra. If possible, use a hand held shower to wash the genital area daily.
INCREASE YOUR INTAKE OF FLUIDS
You should drink fluids in the form of water or natural juices, without chemicals, at room temperature. Drink enough so that your urine is almost clear when collected in a clear transparent plastic cup. You should check to see if your urine is clear using this method once a week. 8 – 10 glasses measuring 8 ounces per glass per day might meet your requirements. You should urinate at least 2 liters/24 hours.
EMPTY YOUR BLADDER FREQUENTLY — Whenever you feel the desire to urinate, do not wait. Failure to promptly empty your bladder may be one of the causes of recurring Urinary Tract Infections.
IF YOU ARE SEXUALLY ACTIVE
Empty your bladder before sex and immediately after sex. Before sexual activity make sure that you are adequately lubricated and that you assume a comfortable position to avoid injury to the urethra.
TRY TRIPLE VOIDING
Triple voiding means attempting to urinate three times. After you have finished passing urine for the first time, you should wait for 10 seconds and try to pass urine the second time. Wait for another 10 seconds and try to pass urine the third time. The second and third try should be dry ones and done without pushing hard. The reason for triple voiding is to make certain that after urination no drops of urine are left behind as a place for the bacteria to multiply in the bladder and cause an infection.
EMPTY YOUR BLADDER EVERY TWO HOURS
Even if you do not have the desire to urinate. Every two hours when you are awake you should empty your bladder by triple voiding. The reason for this is to prevent the bacteria from significantly multiplying in the bladder and resulting in infection.
TAKE HIGH POTENCY B-COMPLEX VITAMINS
B-Complex vitamins can help compensate for the loss of minerals when you have increased your fluid intake to flush out bacteria from the bladder. Maintaining adequate nutrition and getting sufficient sleep are important contributing factors that increase the body’s resistance to infections and prevent recurring urinary tract infections.
WEAR COMFORTABLE CLOTHING
Refrain from wearing tight jeans and nylon pantyhose for long periods of time because they place indirect pressure on the urethra. Nylon pantyhose are not absorbent. Use 100% cotton undergarments because trapped perspiration acts as a conduit for bacteria to grow and the constant moisture is irritating to that part of the body.
USE CAUTION WITH YOUR DIAPHRAGM
If you are using one, make sure that it is properly fitted to protect the urethra from injury during sexual intercourse.