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What can I do About Frequent Urinary Tract Infections?

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  • Written By: K T Solis
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 27 October 2018
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The urinary system is a complex network comprised of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. Together, they form the urinary tract. Sometimes, infections can form inside the urinary tract, causing a variety of problems. They include pain during urination, the frequent urge to urinate, abdominal or back pain, fever, and urine that emits a foul smell. When a person suffers from frequent urinary tract infections, he or she can take steps to prevent infection in addition to taking medications prescribed by a physician.

One way to prevent frequent urinary infections is to consume sufficient amounts of water and other liquids such as cranberry juice. Cranberry juice increases the amount of acid in the urine, discouraging the growth of bacteria. It also makes the walls of the bladder slippery so that bacteria cannot adhere to it. Liquids and juices flush harmful bacteria from the body, thereby protecting the urinary tract from infection.

Another way to avoid chronic urinary tract infections is to urinate whenever the need arises. Urinate after sexual intercourse to eliminate bacteria that have entered the urethra as well. Delaying urination can cause bacteria to flourish in urine that remains in the body for too long. After urinating or having a bowel movement, it's important to wipe front to back. This wipes any bacteria away from the vagina or urethra.

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Wearing a specific type of underwear can also prevent the problem of frequent urinary tract infections. Cotton underwear is a good choice for those who suffer from infections in the urinary tract. Underwear made from cotton allows the underwear to stay drier. In contrast, nylon underwear harbors moisture and allows bacteria to grow. Choosing loose-fitting clothing is another method to keep urinary tract infections from recurring. This is because clothes that fit loosely are less likely to trap moisture near the body.

Women who have frequent urinary tract infections should avoid using scented feminine products and douches, as they can irritate the urethra and cause the growth of bacteria. Even using a diaphragm or spermicide can irritate the urinary tract. Women who are sensitive to these forms of birth control should explore other birth control products.

People who suffer from frequent urinary tract infections can find relief through prescription medications and at-home remedies. Physicians will prescribe antibiotics for patients who have an infection in the urinary tract. They may even give their patients a mild painkiller to alleviate the burning sensation during urination. Doctors may treat infections related to sexual intercourse by providing patients with an antibiotic they can take immediately after having sex.

Home remedies may also be used in conjunction with prescription medication. Patients can benefit from drinking large amounts of water to flush bacteria from the urine. They can also use a heating pad placed on the stomach to ease discomfort.

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