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How do you prevent a UTI?

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Prevent UTIs by drinking plenty of water, wiping from front to back after using the bathroom, avoiding the use of douches and feminine hygiene sprays and emptying the bladder when the urge arises, according to Tracee Cornforth for About.com. In addition, opt for a shower rather than a bath, wear cotton underwear, take vitamin C regularly and clean the genital area before and after having sex.

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Cornforth explains that drinking lots of water helps flush bacteria out of the urinary tract, while wiping from front to back after using the bathroom makes it less likely that fecal bacteria enter the urethra. Douches and feminine sprays can cause irritation that leads to UTIs, so they are best avoided. Emptying the bladder rather than holding in the urine keeps the urine flowing, giving bacteria less of a chance to cause infection.

Showering instead of taking a bath makes it less likely that bacteria enter the urethra, and wearing cotton underwear permits any moisture to escape, making the area less friendly for bacteria to thrive, notes Cornforth. Ingesting vitamin C regularly acidifies the urine, making it less hospitable to bacteria. Cleaning the genitals before and after sex removes bacteria from the area before it has a chance to enter the body. Mayo Clinic also recommends emptying the bladder after intercourse to help flush out bacteria.

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