A UTI is known in the medical community as acute cystitis. It is very common in women because the urinary tract is much shorter than males. Essentially, you get an infection in your urinary tract that causes symptoms like burning, frequency, and urgency. If you have these symptoms we can treat them infection with antibiotics taken by mouth. The concern is that the bacteria could travel up in the bladder. If that occurs, symptoms are more severe and cause pain in the lower part of your back (flank pain) and usually causes a fever above 100 degrees F. It is helpful to take antibiotics if you have these symptoms to prevent the bacteria from traveling further up into the body.
But if you are really dealing with repeated infections, there are things you can do to keep from getting more infections. You can:
- Using spermicides (sperm-killing creams) especially with a diaphragm – seems to promote bladder infections in some women. A different method of birth control such as the pill, ring or patch may help reduce UTI’s.
- Drink more fluid. There is no proof that this helps, but many doctors suggest doing it. It might help flush out germs, and it does no harm.
- Urinate right after sex. Some doctors think this helps, because it helps flush out germs that might get into the bladder during sex. There is no proof it works, but it also cannot hurt.
- Ask your doctor or nurse about vaginal estrogen, if you are a woman who has been through menopause. Vaginal estrogen comes in a cream or a flexible ring that you put into your vagina. It can help prevent bladder infections.
Can cranberry juice or other cranberry products prevent bladder infections? — The studies suggesting that cranberry products prevent bladder infections are not very good. Other studies suggest that cranberry products do not prevent bladder infections. But if you want to try cranberry products for this purpose, there is probably not much harm in doing so.