How to Prevent Urinary Infection in Women?
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How to Prevent Urinary Infection in Women?

Published on Nov 11, 2016 and last reviewed on Apr 03, 2023   -  4 min read


Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a very common problem during the lifetime of women. The below article discusses various measures to prevent UTI in women.

How to Prevent Urinary Infection in Women?


Urinary tract infection is a condition that causes bacterial infection of the urinary system. The infection may occur in any region of the urinary system. The urinary system is responsible for storing and excreting the body’s liquid waste. The urinary system includes a pair of kidneys, two ureters, a sac-like urinary bladder that stores urine, and the urethra. The symptoms of urinary tract infection depend on the part of the urinary system that is affected. It is a painful condition and has the highest rate of recurrence. This article will discuss urinary tract infections, their symptoms, causes, and various preventive measures.

What Is a Urinary Tract Infection?

Bacterial infection of the urinary system can cause urinary tract infections. Urinary tract infection (UTI) starts as a mild burning sensation during voiding and can lead to a more dangerous kidney infection. Normal urine is sterile and does not contain any bacteria. When some bacteria enter the urinary bladder through the natural urinary passage (urethra), they are usually washed away. However, if the bacteria is virulent or the natural defenses are weak, they can multiply and stick to the bladder wall, causing an infection. Infection of the urethra is called urethritis, pyelonephritis involves the infection of the kidney, and infection of the urinary bladder is cystitis.

Why Are Women More Prone to UTIs?

Women are more commonly affected by urinary tract infections than men accounting for about 50 to 60 percent worldwide. It is because of the anatomical positioning of the urinary tract in women which makes them more prone to UTIs.

What Are the Symptoms of UTI?

Common symptoms of urinary tract infection are mentioned below.

  • Scanty and frequent voiding.

  • Burning sensation while voiding.

  • Dysuria (pain while urinating).

  • Fever.

  • Nausea and vomiting.

  • Chills.

  • Frequent urgency to urinate.

  • Lower back pain.

  • Abdominal pain.

How to Prevent Urinary Infection in Women?

A few preventive measures to avoid the risk of getting urinary tract infections in women are mentioned below.

1. Staying Hydrated: It is recommended to stay hydrated as much as possible. It is necessary to drink fluids throughout the day. This in turn increases the frequency of urination. This will keep the kidneys healthy and also wash out any bacteria that enter the bladder.

2. Emptying Bladder Frequently: Regular and frequent emptying of the urinary bladder is important to prevent bacteria from staying in the bladder for a long time and multiplying. Patients with recurrent urinary tract infections are advised to empty their bladder more frequently. It is recommended to empty the bladder every three to four hours.

3. Proper Toileting Techniques: Practicing proper toileting techniques is important to prevent urinary tract infections. The anal region is more susceptible to bacteria and the genital region is generally clean. Therefore, it is necessary to prevent the contamination from going back to the front. It is advisable to always wipe from front to back. It is always better to use two separate wipes for cleaning the genital region and anal region.

4. Urinate After Intercourse: Studies show that sexual activity increases the chances of getting a urinary tract infection. It is recommended to clean the genital region before having sexual intercourse. It is advised to urinate before and after having sex. This helps in washing away the bacteria which may have entered the urethra while having intercourse.

5. Prefer Showering: Women with a history of recurrent urinary tract infections are advised to prefer showers instead of bathtubs. Bathtubs are easily contaminated with bacteria which facilitates bacterial infiltration through the urinary tract.

6. Avoid Artificial Feminine Products: Recent studies show that using artificial intimate products is highly likely to cause bacterial infection in women. These products tend to irritate the urethra and the vagina. They disrupt the normal healthy flora of the vagina and urinary tract which are necessary to fight infection and facilitate the growth of harmful bacteria.

7. Avoid Diaphragms and Spermicidal Condoms: Diaphragm is one of the birth control techniques that uses a reusable silicone cup to create a barrier between the sperm and uterus. Spermicidal condoms are also a birth control method that uses condoms coated with a spermicide to protect the sperm from contacting the uterus. These are coated to give an extra layer of protection. Diaphragms and spermicidal condoms can promote bacterial overgrowth and change the normal vaginal pH respectively. Women with recurrent history of urinary tract infections are advised to use other birth control measures.

8. Appropriate Underwear: It is recommended to use cotton underwear and loose garments which allow for good aeration and prevent accumulation of moisture. Moisture is a prerequisite for bacterial growth.

9. Natural Remedies: Taking probiotics can increase the natural healthy flora of the vagina and urinary tract. Probiotics refer to live microorganisms that are essential for facilitating healthy bacterial growth in the urinary tract. Taking probiotics can help in preventing UTIs. Fermented foods such as yogurt and curd are natural probiotics rich in lactobacilli. These protective bacteria are normally present in the vagina and help in preventing harmful bacterial growth. Cranberries are rich in proanthocyanidins (a chemical compound that prevents bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall). Apples, oranges, and peaches are naturally rich in D-mannose. This also helps in preventing UTIs.

10. Vitamin C Supplement: Vitamin C supplements of 500 to 1000 mg (milligrams) per day help to keep the urine acidic and prevent bacterial growth.

11. Vaginal Estrogen Cream: Women who are undergoing the postmenopausal stage tend to have low estrogen levels (female sex hormone) and an unhealthy vaginal lining. Applying estrogen cream in the vaginal route can help in keeping the vagina healthy and prevent UTIs. But it is strictly recommended to use it only if it is approved by the urologist or a gynecologist.

12. Organ Prolapse: Bladder or uterine prolapse (descend down) may interfere with urine emptying. If one suspects such issues, It is highly recommended to visit a gynecologist or urologist.


Urinary tract infection can be frustrating and annoying and it is a painful condition commonly affecting the women population. A neglected urinary infection may sometimes lead to a more critical kidney infection. The urinary tract infection is treated based on its underlying cause. There are various ways to prevent UTIs in women. It is also recommended to discuss with the healthcare provider regarding prevention of recurrent UTIs.

Frequently Asked Questions


How Do You Get Rid of a Urinary Infection?

The diagnosis part is very important for a urinary tract infection. The causative agent for urinary infection should be identified for a successful treatment plan. If the infection has occurred due to pregnancy, then you should consult your gynecologist and get a physical examination done. Depending on the type of bacteria causing the infection, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics or antifungals if the causative organism is a fungus.


What Are the Causes of Urinary Infection in Women?

The general cause of urinary tract infection in women are:
- Poor hygiene of the genitals.
- E. Coli bacteria.
- Sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea, herpes, mycoplasma, and chlamydia.


How Long Does a Urinary Tract Infection Last?

In untreated cases, the urinary tract infection might take a time of one week or more to heal. If the patient is under medication, then the symptoms usually subside within two or three days. It is necessary to treat the urinary tract infection soon because it can result in other complications like disorders of the kidney.


What Causes Urinary Tract Infection in Pregnancy?

Pregnancy is the period where the woman is highly prone to urinary tract infections. Hormonal fluctuations happening in the pregnancy are the main reason for urinary tract infections. An increase in the urinary output might also increase the tendency for urinary tract infection. If you are suffering from severe itching or abnormal discharge, then you should consult your doctor immediately.


How Can a Pregnant Woman Get Rid of a UTI?

Medications and topical ointments are really helpful in treating urinary tract infections. The fungal infections can be treated by topical application of antifungal creams. Bacterial infections can be treated well with the oral intake of antibiotics. You should get recommendations from your doctor before consuming any medication during pregnancy.


Can You Treat a Urinary Tract Infection at Home While Pregnant?

Yes, you can treat urinary tract infections at home. But, it is possible only in a few instances. The below tips might be helpful in treating urinary tract infections.
- It is necessary to empty your bladder before and after sex.
- Use underwear liners.
- You should avoid douching, sprays, and perfumes.
- Stay hydrated.
- Do not use any soaps that are harsh.


What Does a UTI Feel Like While Pregnant?

A urinary tract infection during pregnancy might be disturbing because it can cause the following symptoms.
- Burning sensation during urination.
- Painful sexual intercourse.
- Severe itching.
- Abnormal discharges.
- The increase in the frequency of urination might cause discomfort and pain.


Are UTIs Harmful During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, the woman is highly prone to infections. Not all infections are harmful to the baby. The fungal infections and some of the bacterial infections do not pass the mucus plug formation and are usually harmless. Viral infections are very infectious and can affect the growth and development of the baby in the fetus.


Can a Urinary Tract Infection Cause Birth Defects?

Yes, urinary tract infections in pregnant mothers can result in birth defects in the babies. The common problems faced by the baby due to urinary tract infections are:
- Low birth weight.
- Premature growth of the babies.
- Wide range of deadly infections in the baby.


How Can I Treat a UTI During Pregnancy Without Antibiotics?

It is necessary to identify the cause of urinary tract infections. Follow the following tips to treat urinary tract infections.
- If poor hygiene is the reason for infection, then care must be taken to keep the area clean and dry. Wash your underwear properly.
- Wipe your vaginal region from front to back.
- Involve in safe sexual practices.
- Hydrate yourself with water and cranberry juice.
- Take probiotics.


Can a UTI Cause Miscarriage?

A mere urinary tract infection alone cannot cause a miscarriage. If the urinary tract infection is seen along with the kidney problems, then there are chances for the miscarriage to happen. However, since the mother's immune mechanism is low and unpredictable during pregnancy, it is often hard to understand the prognosis.


Why Do I Keep Getting Urinary Tract Infections?

The recurrent urinary tract infections can be due to the following reasons.
- Unhealthy sexual intercourse.
- Increase in bacterial load.
- Prolonged and severe dehydration.
- Pregnancy.
- Severe and prolonged dehydration.
- Poor air circulation in the genitals.


Are Bananas Good for Urinary Tract Infections?

Bananas are very helpful for maintaining the health of the urinary tract. It helps in maintaining normal and regular bowel movements. It also helps in maintaining the pressure levels of the urinary flow. You should check with your doctor or your dietician for a proper meal plan.

Article Resources

Last reviewed at:
03 Apr 2023  -  4 min read




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