Can a urinary tract infection be prevented?

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Once the symptoms of a urinary tract infection have appeared, medical treatment is likely to be required. However, there are several things that one can do to minimize the risk of a urinary tract infection beginning in the first place. Women should make every effort to wipe from front to back after urinating and after bowel movements. This decreases the likelihood that bacteria from the anal area will spread to the area around the opening of the urethra and may protect against urinary tract infection. Increase oral intake of water is thought to guard against urinary tract infections by essentially increasing the sterile irrigation of the urinary tract system. Additionally, women should urinate soon after engaging in sexual intercourse and avoid the use of irritating feminine hygiene products.