How to Prevent a UTI When You Feel It Coming On

How to Prevent a UTI When You Feel It Coming On - Increase water intake, take cranberry supplements, pee after sex, maintain proper hygiene, and try over-the-counter remedies.

UTIs are common, especially among women. They happen when bacteria get into the urinary system. This includes the urethra, bladder, ureters, and kidneys.1 Because women have a shorter urethra, it’s easier for the bacteria to reach the bladder.1 The signs of a UTI are pain when you pee, needing to go often, and feeling pressure over your pubic area. Luckily, you can do a lot to stop a UTI from getting bad when you first notice the signs.

Key Takeaways

  • Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water can help flush out bacteria and prevent UTIs.
  • Urinating after sex can help wash away bacteria before they make you sick.
  • Wiping from front to back can keep germs away from your urethra and cut your UTI risk.
  • Cranberry supplements might stop bacteria from sticking to your bladder lining.
  • If you keep getting UTIs, it’s important to see a doctor to find out why and get help.

What is a UTI?

A UTI is an infection in the urinary system. This includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra.1 Women are more likely to get UTIs. This is because their urethra is shorter. Bacteria can easily travel into the bladder.1

Symptoms of a UTI

Common symptoms of a UTI are a strong urge to urinate often. You might feel a burning when you do. Your urine could be cloudy or bloody, and you might have pelvic pain.

Risk Factors for UTIs

Frequent sexual activity and using spermicides can up your UTI risk. So can being pregnant, in menopause, or having certain medical conditions like diabetes.1 Postmenopausal women may get UTIs more often. This has to do with low estrogen. It changes the vaginal and urethral tissues.1 Plus,2 having more than two UTIs in six months or three in a year counts as recurrent. Women after menopause, those with prolapse, weak immune systems like diabetics, and who get kidney stones might have more recurring UTIs.2

If you think you have a UTI or start feeling a fever, chills, confused, or have back or side pain, see a doctor. This might mean the infection has reached your kidneys.1

Drink Plenty of Fluids

The Importance of Hydration

Drinking lots of fluids, especially water, is super effective in UTI prevention. When you’re hydrated, urine gets diluted. This helps flush out bacteria from your urinary tract.1 Aim to drink around 50 ounces, which is roughly 1.5 liters, of fluids each day to avoid UTIs.1 More water also means your bladder stays healthy and bacteria find it hard to grow.

How Much Water Should You Drink?

If you up your fluid intake, you might just clear a UTI by yourself.1 For example, research shows that women who drank an extra 1.5 liters of water each day were less prone to UTIs.3 Around half of all UTIs can be handled simply by drinking lots of fluids.3 It’s advised to pee four to eight times daily to keep UTIs away.1

Empty Your Bladder Regularly

It’s vital to always empty your bladder to avoid UTIs.4 Holding urine in your bladder creates a cozy place for bacteria.4 Try to pee 4-8 times every day to wash out bacteria and keep your urinary system clean.5

Urinate After Sexual Activity

After sex, peeing helps get rid of any bacteria. This bacteria might have gotten into your body.6 It comes from the private areas and the anus. Going to the bathroom after sex takes some of this bacteria out before it causes any harm.

Some experts think peeing after sex does not always prevent UTIs. Studies show mixed results.7 But, it’s still a good habit that might help.7 Always pee when you need to. This can stop UTIs from starting.

To be safer, use condoms, especially during anal sex. Clean sex toys well too. These extra steps can prevent bacteria from spreading. This lowers the chance of getting a UTI after sex.7

Take Cranberry Supplements

Cranberry supplements are well-liked for their ability to fight UTIs. They don’t work for everyone, but there’s a good reason to believe they help.8 This is because cranberries have substances that might stop bacteria from clinging to your bladder’s inside wall.9

The Benefits of Cranberry

Research has found that taking cranberry pills can make bad E. coli less harmful.9 Also, drinking cranberry juice changes how E. coli sticks to your urinary tract’s cells.9 Early studies show that eating dried cranberries may boost some healthy markers in women’s urine.9

Concentrated Supplements vs. Juice

Choosing concentrated cranberry pills over juice is best. Juice often has a lot of sugar.8 Experts suggest using pills with 36 mg of PAC for the most benefit.8 These pills can be part of a plan to avoid UTIs.8

Practice Good Hygiene

Keeping clean, especially in the bathroom, cuts down on UTI risks.10 Always wipe from front to back when you use the toilet. This stops bacteria from your back passage moving to your urethra or vagina.10 Also, shower often, stay away from strong soaps or douching, and pick cotton undies. Good hygiene means fewer chances of bacteria causing a UTI.1

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Wipe Front to Back

10 Wiping the right way, from front to back, stops UTIs. It makes sure bacteria doesn’t go from your bottom to the urethra or vagina, causing infection.

Personal Hygiene Tips

10 Skip products with scents, like douches, pads, tampons, powders, and more, to sidestep UTIs. Showering regularly and choosing cotton underwear helps, too. They keep you clean and lower your UTI risk.

Seek Medical Attention for Recurrent UTIs

If you get two UTIs in 6 months, or three in a year, you might have recurrent UTIs.1 Some people are more likely to get these, especially if they have a lot of sex, use spermicides, have trouble emptying their bladder, or have a thinning vagina after menopause.1112 It’s crucial to see a doctor if you keep getting UTIs. They can look for what’s causing it and make a plan to help you avoid UTIs in the future.

This condition is more common in people who have sex often or use spermicides.1 It’s also a bigger risk for postmenopausal women, those with certain health issues, or who frequently make kidney stones.2 Having sex more than twice a week makes you three times more likely to have a UTI.11 Using condoms with spermicide increases this risk too.11 If your mother or sister has had a lot of UTIs, genes may play a role.11

Risk Factors for Recurrent UTIs

How to Prevent a UTI When You Feel It Coming On

Feeling early UTI symptoms like the need to pee a lot or a burning feeling? There are steps you can take early on.1 Drink lots of water, take cranberry supplements, pee after sex, and keep good hygiene. Acting fast can sometimes prevent a UTI from turning into a full infection needing antibiotics.

UTIs are more common in women because of their shorter urethras.1 Also, postmenopausal women have a higher UTI risk. This is due to lower estrogen which changes the vaginal and urethral tissues.1 Emptying your bladder regularly, about four to eight times daily, can reduce UTI chances. It helps get rid of the space bacteria like to grow in.

For those with frequent UTIs, seeing a doctor is a good idea.1 Recurrent UTIs mean two or more infections in six months. Medical help is key for understanding and managing the issue.

Sometimes, UTIs clear up on their own if caught early.12 Drinking plenty of water can prevent bacteria sticking to the bladder walls. This happens by increasing how often you pee and flushing your system. Cranberry juice may also help by stopping bacteria from sticking to the bladder.12 Avoiding penetrative sex can reduce the risk. It prevents bacteria from moving from the vaginal area into the urethra.

UTI meds from the store often have antibiotics and can help early on.12 For more serious cases or if UTIs keep happening, seeing a healthcare professional is wise. Getting help at places like Doylestown Women’s Health Center can provide better care.

UTI Prevention During Pregnancy

Pregnant women face a higher risk of UTIs, which are more dangerous for them.13 About 2 to 10 percent of those expecting a child will have a UTI.13 These infections can happen often during pregnancy.13 Women who had UTIs before are more likely to get them now.13 It’s crucial to see a doctor if you might have a UTI, especially when you’re pregnant.14

From week 6 to 24 of pregnancy, the risk of UTIs is higher.14 Good hydration and peeing after sex are key for preventing UTIs during pregnancy.13 At around six weeks of pregnancy, ureteral dilation can start, making UTIs easier to get.13

Women have shorter urethras that let bacteria reach the bladder easier, causing UTIs.14 Pregnant women’s urethras can dilate too, increasing this risk.14

An untreated UTI during pregnancy can cause pyelonephritis, a serious condition.13 This is dangerous for both the mother and baby.13 If you’ve had UTIs before pregnancy, you’re more likely to get them now.14

Around 7% of pregnant women might have a UTI with no symptoms.15 An untreated UTI can slowly reach the bladder and then the kidney.15 This risk is at 25%.15

Drinking plenty of water and sometimes cranberry tablets or juice can lower the UTI risk.14 Good hygiene like wiping correctly and urinating after sex is helpful.14 Also, avoid hot baths and use water-based lubricants to cut the chance of getting a UTI.14

If you have sickle cell disease or diabetes, you’re more at risk of UTIs.15 UTIs are usually treated with oral antibiotics for 3 to 7 days.15 If it’s a kidney infection, you may need IV antibiotics in a hospital.15

Asking for a urine test during prenatal check-ups is vital.15 Doctors test your urine several times while you’re pregnant.15 Later in pregnancy, your urine is checked for proteins and sugars, not just for UTIs.15

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If you have a C-section or an epidural, you might get a UTI from a catheter.15 They try to remove the catheter 6 to 8 hours after birth to lower this risk.15 After birth, the doctors don’t always check for UTIs.15 But, if you feel unusual pain, tell them right away.15

Preventing Hospital-Acquired UTIs

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) happen often in hospitals, mainly due to using catheters.16 Doctors and nurses work to take catheters out quickly to stop UTIs.16 It’s also helpful for patients to move around early, as this may prevent them from needing a catheter at all.2

A 2016 study by Saint et al. shared a way to lower UTIs from catheters in a hospital setting, in the New England Journal of Medicine.16 Another study, this by Gould et al. in 2000, showed that most UTIs from catheters don’t cause symptoms. They studied 1,497 patients.16 Meddings et al.’s 2010 work reviewed using reminders to cut UTIs and catheter use in hospitals.16

In 2009, Timsit et al. studied how using special sponges and changing dressings less often could help in intensive care.16 Ramritu et al. in 2008 reviewed how well catheters with antimicrobial coating worked in that setting.16

To fight UTIs, taking out catheters fast is key.2 Drink lots of water and pee every two to three hours to push bacteria out.2 Aim to drink eight glasses daily, unless your doctor says otherwise.2

Probiotics, vitamin C, D-mannose, or methenamine salts are also good for avoiding UTIs.2 Vaginal estrogen is beneficial for postmenopausal women with UTI risks. It helps keep their urinary and genital health in check.2

Don’t Hold Your Urine

Holding your urine for too long can up your UTI risk.1 Your body tells you to pee to get rid of bacteria and avoid infections. If you don’t go when you should, bacteria can grow in your bladder, causing a UTI.4 Make sure you listen to your body and pee every 2-3 hours. This helps stop UTIs.

Over-the-Counter Remedies

Some items you can buy without a doctor’s prescription might help with UTIs. Vitamin C supplements are good because they make the urine more acidic. This can stop bacteria from growing.1 Probiotic supplements are also a good idea. They help good bacteria grow in your urinary tract and fight off the bad ones.17

Vitamin C and Probiotics

Vitamin C can be part of your routine to avoid UTIs. It changes the urine’s environment, making it hard for bacteria to live.1 Probiotics do not cure UTIs directly. But, they may lower the chances of getting an infection again, according to recent studies.17

Vaginal Estrogen for Postmenopausal Women

After menopause, some women get UTIs often. Using estrogen cream in the vagina can help.1 This cream makes the tissues healthier, lowering the infection risk. Without enough estrogen, the urinary tract can change, making infections more likely. Adding estrogen through a cream or suppository is a good way to fight this.

Maintain Overall Health

Staying healthy is key to avoiding UTIs. Keep diabetes under control1. Rest enough, eat well, and exercise. This supports a strong immune system and urinary tract. It helps keep infections away.1

Taking care of yourself is the best UTI prevention.

Women get UTIs more often. Their shorter urethra lets bacteria into the bladder easier than men’s.1 After menopause, UTI risk rises due to lower estrogen. This affects vaginal and urethral tissues.1

Keeping healthy helps fight against these risks.

Drink 50 ounces of fluids a day to flush out bacteria.1 Pee often, about four to eight times daily, to keep the bladder clear.1 Make these habits part of your day. It’s good for your urinary health.

Recurrent UTIs are linked to many things. Like having sex often, using spermicide, and more.1 If UTI symptoms come with a fever or back pain, see a doctor. It might be a kidney infection. This needs treatment fast.1

Stay healthy to avoid UTIs. Manage your health and prevent UTIs at the same time. This is the key to reducing UTI risks.1,12


Urinary tract infections can be frustrating to deal with. But, you can take many steps to prevent a UTI when you feel it coming on. Start by drinking plenty of water and peeing often. Also, make sure to keep your body clean. Natural products like cranberry18 can help too. These methods stop a UTI before it gets worse. Listening to your body and acting fast can lower your chances of a severe UTI. This kind of infection often needs strong medicine.19

To avoid UTIs for the long term, keep your health in check. People who get UTIs often should see a doctor. This is especially true for certain groups, like men, pregnant folks, and the elderly. Those with weak immune systems, who use catheters, or are getting radiotherapy are also at higher risk. Working with your healthcare provider to address any health issues is crucial. Together, you can find lasting ways to prevent a UTI when you feel it coming on.19

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Dealing with UTIs can be annoying. But, you can be proactive to stop them. Simple steps like drinking water, being clean, and using cranberry products can help.18 By paying attention to your health and listening to your body, you can avoid getting UTIs often. This is important because these infections can be very painful and need medical care.19


What is a UTI?

A UTI is an infection in the urinary system. This system includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. It’s very common and can cause a lot of discomfort.The main symptoms are needing to pee a lot, feeling a burn when you do, and sometimes the pee looks cloudy or bloody. You might also feel pain in your pelvis.

What are the symptoms of a UTI?

Common signs include often needing to pee, a burning feeling when you do, and the urine might be cloudy or bloody. Another sign is pelvic pain.

What are the risk factors for UTIs?

Women face a higher risk of UTIs because they have a shorter urethra. This makes it easier for bacteria to move into the bladder.Other risks include having lots of sex, using spermicides, and conditions like diabetes or menopause.

Why is drinking plenty of fluids important for preventing UTIs?

Drinking a lot of fluids, particularly water, can lessen your chance of getting a UTI. It keeps your urine less concentrated, washing out bacteria. This is a simple but effective way to stay healthy.

How much water should you drink to prevent UTIs?

Aim for at least 50 ounces, which is about 1.5 liters, of fluids daily. This amount helps keep your urinary system healthy and reduces UTI risk.

Why is it important to empty your bladder regularly?

It’s crucial to pee often to avoid UTIs. If you hold your pee, bacteria might grow in the warm, wet environment of your bladder. This increases your infection risk.

How can urinating after sex help prevent UTIs?

Going to the bathroom after sex can help. It flushes out any bacteria that may have entered the urethra. This practice is especially important in reducing UTI risk.

How can cranberry supplements help prevent UTIs?

Cranberry tablets are well-known for UTI prevention. They stop bacteria from sticking to the bladder walls. But remember, they are a supplement, not a cure.

What are some personal hygiene tips to prevent UTIs?

Good bathroom hygiene is key. Always wipe from front to back after you pee or poop. This stops bacteria from the back end from moving to the front.

When should you seek medical attention for recurrent UTIs?

If you get two UTIs in six months or three in a year, it’s time to see a doctor. Certain people, like those with diabetes, are more likely to get UTIs again and again. A doctor can find out why and help you get better.

How can you prevent a UTI when you feel it coming on?

If you think a UTI is starting, act fast. Drink lots of water and take cranberry pills. Pee after sex and keep clean. These steps can often stop a UTI from getting worse without needing antibiotics.

How can you prevent UTIs during pregnancy?

Pregnant women are more likely to get UTIs, which are risky during this time. So, keep hydrated, go to the bathroom after sex, and stay clean. These steps can reduce your risk.

How can hospital-acquired UTIs be prevented?

UTIs from hospitals often happen when a catheter is used. To avoid this, doctors remove the catheter quickly. Also, moving around after surgery can sometimes prevent the need for a catheter.

Why is it important not to hold your urine?

Urinating regularly can lower your UTI risk. Your body tells you to pee for a good reason – to push out bacteria. If you wait too long, this bacteria can cause an infection in your bladder.

What over-the-counter remedies can help prevent or UTIs?

Besides good habits, you can try some over-the-counter options for UTI prevention. Vitamin C pills can make your urine less inviting to bacteria. Probiotics are good for your gut and can crowd out harmful bacteria.For older women prone to UTIs, estrogen cream can strengthen the tissues in the vagina and urethra. This reduces the chance of an infection.

How does maintaining overall health help prevent UTIs?

Being healthy overall is key to fighting off UTIs. Take care of conditions like diabetes, sleep enough, eat well, and exercise. This keeps your immune system strong and your urinary tract healthy.

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