Can a bladder infection be prevented?

Jill Rabin
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)

Here are some tips that will help prevent a bladder infection:

• Drink lots of liquid to flush bacteria out of your body.

• Wear cotton underwear - it breathes and, therefore, doesn’t provide a
  good breeding ground for bacteria.

• Avoid tight clothing, which tends to make you sweat and which
  promotes the growth of bacteria.

• Make sure you void frequently enough so that bacteria can leave your

• Wipe from front to rear.

• Avoid detergent bath additives and colored and perfumed soaps and
  toilet tissue, because the dyes and perfumes may be irritating.

• Schedule frequent bathroom breaks. Don’t try to “hold it in.”

• Emptying the bladder soon after intercourse helps to wash away any
  bacteria that may be lurking in the vaginal area. Also, since urinary
  infections can occur as the result of using a diaphragm and spermicide,
  and since many women are allergic to the most common spermicide,
  nonoxynol-9, an alternative contraceptive method may eliminate
  bladder problems.

Mind Over Bladder: I Never Met a Bathroom I Didn't Like!

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Mind Over Bladder: I Never Met a Bathroom I Didn't Like!

Advance praise for Mind Over Bladder "Where is the closest bathroom?" If you listen hard enough, these are the words you hear from the lips of millions of women as they enter malls, lobbies, museums,...

For women, there are several lifestyle changes that may help to prevent a bladder infection. No long-term, substantive studies have confirmed these applications, however. Urinating before and after sexual intercourse, wearing underwear that allows air to reach the genital area, wiping from the urethra towards the anus, and drinking plenty of liquids all may help to clear bacteria from the area, thus avoiding bacterial infection. You should also avoid products like scented douches and hygiene sprays that might irritate the urethra. If you use a diaphragm as a method of birth control, consider avoiding spermicides. If you are a postmenopausal woman, consider using estrogen creams or suppositories to strengthen the thinning tissues.

If you experience recurring infections, the doctor may recommend taking low daily doses of antibiotic at night before bed, using dipsticks to detect the change of nitrate to nitrite by bacteria in the urine, and using an antibiotic after sexual intercourse. If you are a smoker, you should quit smoking to avoid further damage to the bladder.