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.
  • 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.
  • Avoid using douches and feminine hygiene sprays.

Revision Information

  • American Urological Association Foundation website. Available at: http://www.urologyhealth.org .

  • Dambro MR. Griffith’s 5-Minute Clinical Consult. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2001.

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

  • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: http://www2.niddk.nih.gov/ .

  • Riley, Julie. Urinary Tract Infection. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary/ . Updated July 2010. Accessed July 31, 2010.