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The Urinary Tract:

What It Is and How to Keep Yours Healthy by Dr. Alyssa Dweck^

The Urinary Tract:

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.

Ready for some scintillating conversation? Let’s talk about the urinary tract. While I’m quite certain this has not been a big topic of discussion at most book clubs, perhaps it should be. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are super common in women, in part due female anatomy.

Explaining the Urinary Tract

The urinary tract is comprised of the two kidneys, the ureters (tubes that exit the kidneys), the bladder (the muscular storage tank that squeezes on command when it’s full), and the urethra (the tube that drains the bladder to the outside world). In women, the urethra is quite short and in very close proximity to the rectum and vagina, which are naturally loaded with bacteria. When bacteria find their way to the urethra, a UTI can occur. 

Here are four things you need to know about helping keep a healthy urinary tract.

1. Mind your bathroom hygiene habits.

When using the bathroom, always wipe from front to back; in other words, wipe from the urethra towards the rectum and never in the other direction. This will avoid transport of bacteria from the rectum and subsequent contamination of the urethra. Try not to hold the urine in for prolonged periods. Despite busy schedules and demands on your time, urinate if and when you have the urge.

2. Urinate before and after sex.

This is a good habit to get into whether you’re prone to UTI or not. Emptying the bladder before intimacy makes for a more enjoyable experience and lessens the chance of leakage. Urinating after sex mechanically flushes bacteria that may be present, away from the urethra and lessens the chance of infection.

3. Hydrate adequately.

Got water? Drink up! Your body will typically give you a heads up if you’re falling short in this department. Urine becomes dark yellow and super concentrated and may even have a more pungent scent. Dehydration might prompt urinary discomfort.

4. Be proactive.

Cranberries contain proanthocyanidins, (PACs), thought to make the bladder slippery to e. coli, a common UTI-causing bacteria. But not all cranberry is created equal. I recommend AZO Cranberry® with Pacran®, a proprietary blend of whole fruit cranberry which helps cleanse and protect the urinary tract.*

It’s prime time to pay closer attention to your urinary tract…you might just avoid the misery of a UTI!


Dr. Alyssa Dweck is a practicing OB-GYN in Westchester County, NY. She has been voted Top Doctor in New York Magazine and Westchester County. She is proficient in gynecologic surgery, has expertise in female sexual health and provides gynecologic care to women of all ages. Dr. Dweck has co-authored three books, including The Complete A to Z for Your V: A Women's Guide to Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Your Vagina—Health, Pleasure, Hormones, and More, which tells women of all ages what they need to know about their own unique health.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

AZO® and AZO Cranberry® are trademarks of DSM.

Pacran® is a trademark of Naturex.

^Dr. Alyssa Dweck is a paid spokesperson for AZO®.