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Habits That Can Help You Prevent a UTI

To prevent UTI, you must adopt certain habits that can help reduce the risk of the infection.

Tenzin Chodon
Written by: Tenzin ChodonUpdated at: Apr 26, 2023 09:30 IST
Habits That Can Help You Prevent a UTI

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Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is a common health problem that especially affects women. It can lead to distressing symptoms and can worsen if not treated on time. Many times, people confuse it with yeast infections and other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), which leads to misdiagnosis and delayed treatment. However, it is best to consult your doctor or gynaecologist. In this article, we will cover all aspects of UTI, ranging from its symptoms to how it can be prevented. Speaking with the OnlyMyHealth editorial team, Dr. Gayathri Kamath, Senior Consultant - Obstetrics & Gynecology, Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore, discussed some of the daily habits that can help reduce the risk of UTI. 

Also Read: Intimate Care: 7 Tips To Maintain pH Levels Of Vagina

What Is UTI?

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) refers to any form of infection in the urinary system, which includes the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra. According to the Mayo Clinic, infections usually occur in the lower urinary tract, which is the bladder and the urethra. 

UTI is caused by a bacteria called Escherichia coli (E.coli). It occurs when E. coli enters the urinary tract from the urethra and spreads to the bladder. This can happen due to several reasons. Common causes include:

  • Sexual Intercourse
  • Dehydration
  • Unhealthy habits, such as wiping from back to front, not keeping intimate areas clean, etc.
  • Weakened immune system
  • Pregnancy

Common Symptoms Of UTI

Some of the common symptoms of UTI include:

  • Burning or painful sensation while urinating
  • Urge to pee frequently
  • Cloudy, dark, and strong smell in urination
  • Blood in the pee
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever and chills

Preventive Habits 

Some of the habits that can help prevent or reduce the risk of UTI are as follows:

Stay hydrated

Drinking plenty of water is the best way to reduce the risk of UTI. While anyone can get infected, staying hydrated helps flush the bacteria out of the urinary tract. 

Wipe front to back

Bacteria that cause UTIs usually dwell in the rectum. Therefore, wiping from back to front after passing stool can facilitate the spread of the bacteria to the urethra. Hence, it is important to wipe from the front to the back. 

Dab it dry after sexual intercourse

For those of you who are sexually active and engage in sexual intercourse, it is important to dab the vagina dry with a tissue instead of douching it with a hand jet as it may drive the good bacteria out of the vagina and predisposes the vagina and the urinary tract toward further infections. It is essential to educate women to use a dry tissue and dab it dry rather than using a health faucet to douche the vagina as the good bacteria (lactobacillus) in the vagina gets driven out and can land up in repeated vaginal and urinary infections.

The doctor also advises against the irrational use of antibiotics, whicc can also lead to depletion of the good bacteria.'

Also Read: Irregular Menstrual Cycle: Possible Causes And Treatment Options

Avoid using scented products

Everyone wants their intimate areas to stay healthy and balanced. Surprisingly, the vaginal area is naturally aided with a type of bacteria called Lactobacilli, which helps balance the pH level in the vagina. Using scented products because it promises to “clean” your intimates is an unwise decision. Fragrant intimate products only disrupt the natural environment of the vagina, leading to infections, such as UTIs, bacterial vaginosis, and yeast infections.


UTI is a common illness among women. While it is inevitable, there are several ways to reduce the risk. Adopting healthy hygiene habits can prevent infections and improve sexual and reproductive health. On the other hand, those who are at a greater risk of infection must take cautionary measures to avoid recurrent infections.