To help prevent urinary tract infections:
Drink several glasses of water each day. Fluids discourage the growth of bacteria by flushing out your urinary tract. Drinking cranberry juice or taking vitamin C supplements also may deter bacterial growth by making your urine more acidic.
Wipe from front to back. To prevent the spread of intestinal bacteria from the rectum to the urinary tract, women always should wipe toilet tissue from front to the back after having a bowel movement.
Decrease the spread of bacteria during sex. If possible, cleanse the area around your genitals before having sex. Urinate after sexual intercourse to flush bacteria from your bladder. If you keep getting infections, you should talk to your doctor about using antibiotics after sex to lower the risk of developing urinary tract infections.
Doctors treat lower and upper urinary tract infections with antibiotics. Laboratory testing can determine the best antibiotic for treatment. Most uncomplicated lower tract infections are treated with a three-day course of antibiotics, although women who are pregnant, or who have diseases such as diabetes that suppress the immune system, usually need to take antibiotics for longer.
People with upper tract infections are usually treated with a 14-day course of antibiotic therapy. Those with severe upper tract infections may require hospital treatment with antibiotics given through a vein (intravenously). This is especially true if nausea, vomiting and fever increase the risk of dehydration and prevent the person from taking oral antibiotics.