You are here

General measures to prevent recurrent urinary tract infection (UTI)

Some of the general measures recommended to reduce the rate of recurrent urinary tract infections in women include:

  • Having sufficient fluid intake.
    • Excessive fluid intake on a regular basis (e.g. more than 2 litres of urine produced per 24 hours) has not been shown to reduce the rate of recurrent UTIs
  • After using the toilet, wiping from “front to back”
  • Passing urine after intercourse which may help flush out any bacteria that have entered the urethra with intercourse
  • Use of lubrication with intercourse (especially with vaginal dryness and after the menopause) to reduce urethral irritation
  • Avoiding the use of spermicides and diaphragms as a form of contraception
    • The use of spermicides and diaphragms may encourage the overgrowth of certain bacteria that are more likely to cause UTI.
  • Use of cranberry products (e.g. cranberry juice and supplements) may potentially reduce the “stickiness” of bacteria to the urinary tract.
    • The evidence regarding the effectiveness of cranberry is inconclusive.
  • Use of vaginal oestrogen pessaries in women after the menopause (i.e. oestrogen inserted vaginally such as Vagifem Low® pessaries or Ovestin® cream) helps improve the health of the vaginal tissues and encourages the growth of healthy vaginal bacteria
  • Correcting any other health issues that may contribute to recurrent UTIs such as:
    • Ensure good diabetic control
    • Treatment for problems with poor bowel control that can result in faecal incontinence