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Urinary Tract Infections: How to Reduce the Risk

Urinary Tract Infections: How to Reduce the Risk

The material provided below is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the diagnosis or treatment by a qualified healthcare professional. You should always seek medical advice before consuming any new medicines or supplements. AZO products referenced on this website are not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease such as overactive bladder, urinary tract infections, or vaginal infections.

In a recent blog, I discussed urinary tract infections, their symptoms and how to know if you have one. Now that you know what to look for, I’d like to share the steps you can take to help reduce the risk of getting one. 

As you may know, women are more likely to develop UTIs than men, due to the fact that the urethra is shorter in women than in men and it is closer to the anus, making it easier for bacteria to transfer and cause infection. Keeping in mind how easy it can be to develop a UTI, here are nine choices both men and women can make to reduce the risk.

  1. Always wipe from front to back when you go to the bathroom: It’s better not to reach from behind to wipe as germs from your rectum can be transferred to tissues.
  2. Stay hydrated: Drinking lots of water can help to flush out the bacteria in your urinary tract.
  3. Pee before sex: If you are sexually active, go to the bathroom right before and right after you have sex.
  4. Don’t hold it: Go to the bathroom as soon as you feel the need, rather than waiting until the urge becomes strong.
  5. Take showers and avoid prolonged baths: Bath water can be contaminated by your bacterial microbiome and can help transfer an infection.
  6. Stay dry: Don't hang around in a wet bathing suit or a damp towel. Get into dry clothing as soon as you can. Bacteria like dark, damp environments. 
  7. Consider using tampons instead of sanitary pads: Pads can trap moisture around the vagina, and since bacteria like dark, damp environments, pads can increase the chances of developing an infection.
  8. Opt for loose, breathable clothing: Loose-fitting clothing made of breathable, natural fibers like cotton allow for air circulation and discourage the warm, moist environment necessary for bacteria growth. Wear clean, cotton underwear and avoid tight clothes like skin-tight jeans.
  9. Supplemental help: Studies show that cranberries can help make the urinary tract more slippery, making it hard for bacteria to attach to the urinary tract. Try AZO Cranberry® Caplets, AZO Cranberry® Softgels or AZO Cranberry® Gummies as a convenient way to maintain your healthy urinary tract without extra sugar (check the labels).*

Feel free to send questions to Dr. Roizen at AgeProoflife@gmail.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @YoungDrMike and get updates on the latest and most important medical stories of the week.

About Dr. Roizen

Dr. Mike Roizen MD, a paid spokesperson for AZO®, is the first Chief Wellness Officer at any major healthcare institution. He is a professor at the Cleveland Clinic Learner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University. He founded RealAge (RealAge.com), co-invented a drug now approved by the FDA, helped start 12 other companies and co-authored nine books on health, including four New York Times #1 bestsellers on health. He also has chaired an FDA advisory committee and was an editor for six medical journals.

^Dr. Mike Roizen is a paid spokesman for AZO®.

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