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Portsmouth Regional Hospital

Lifestyle Changes to Manage a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

General Guidelines for Managing UTI

  • Drink plenty of water.—Make sure that you drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. Drinking plenty of water can help flush the bacteria out of your urinary system. It also helps flush the antibiotics through your system. Drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry tablets has been shown to help prevent UTI in some people.
  • Do not hold it.—When you feel the urge to urinate, do so as soon as possible. Holding back on urination may cause an increase in bacterial growth in the urinary tract. In addition, urinate before and after sexual intercourse.

Other steps to keep bacteria out of your urinary tract include:

  • Empty your bladder completely and drink a full glass of water after having sex.
  • Wash genitals daily.
  • Women should wipe from front to back after a bowel movement.
  • Women should avoid using douches and feminine hygiene sprays.

Revision Information

  • Jepson RG, Craig JC. Cranberries for preventing urinary tract infections. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008 Jan 23;(1):CD001321.

  • Uncomplicated urinary tract infection (UTI) (pyelonephritis and cystitis). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated July 8, 2016. Accessed September 12, 2016.

  • Urinary tract infections in adults. American Urological Association Foundation website. Available at: Accessed September 12, 2016.

  • Urinary tract infections in adults. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: Updated May 2012. Accessed September 12, 2016.