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5 Ways to Fight Off UTIs—Or Soothe Symptoms If You've Already Got One
Drinking or taking supplements is one way to prevent bacterial overgrowth, since it keeps the urine acidic, says Sherry Ross, M.D., ob-gyn at Providence Saint John's Health Center in California. (The more acidic your urine is, the less likely you are to form bacteria, says Kasper.) And since it can also give your immune system a major boost, the vitamin may also come in handy to help stave off future UTIs, adds Kasper. However, it isn't effective in killing the bacteria responsible once a UTI has gone rogue, says Ross, who recommends using vitamin C as a preventative measure only.
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Keep refilling that water bottle. Upping your H2O intake helps to decrease the amount of bacteria present in the bladder or urethral tissue, which is especially helpful if you're someone who is prone to repeat infections, says Sarah Yamaguchi, M.D., ob-gyn at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles.
If you find yourself getting UTIs on the regular, chances are it's related to sexual activity. "When having sex, bacteria can get pushed into the urethra, and therefore cause an infection," says Yamaguchi, who recommends peeing before and after sex to help keep infections to a minimum.
You may also want to consider avoiding the use of diaphragms, vaginal sponges, menstrual cups, and sex toys if you're prone to UTIs, says Ross. "These foreign bodies can disrupt the normal pH balance in the vagina and attract unwanted bacteria," she says.
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Cranberry juice (or cranberry tablets) won't cure a UTI, but can assist in alleviating symptoms, like that burning sensation when you urinate. "Cranberry juice can make your urine more acidic, which helps to decrease the likelihood of more bacteria forming," says Kasper. It's also a super-tasty way to boost your pee quota, giving your bod more opportunities to flush out the bacteria.
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