How to Avoid a UTI: Here’s What You Need to Know

An African-American woman in jeans and a white button-up shirt sits on a sofa in pain, wincing and holding her abdomen with her hands.


Between 50% and 60% of women will have at least one UTI in their adult lifetime. Most prevalent in women 65 and older, they affect millions of women yearly with cases ranging from mild to severe.

Short for urinary tract infection, UTIs are common infections of the urinary system that can affect the bladder, kidneys or urethra.

If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms consistent with UTIs or seem to be more prone to getting them often, we can help by providing tips on how to avoid a UTI, including what not to do in your daily life.

Let’s explore UTIs in more detail, including symptoms, causes, risk factors, treatment options and effective ways to avoid them altogether.

What Is a UTI?

A UTI, or urinary tract infection, is an infection of the urinary tract that primarily involves the bladder or urethra. In more severe cases, a UTI could negatively affect the kidneys.

A UTI is sometimes interchanged with the term bladder infection, as it causes direct bladder symptoms in most people affected by the condition.

Infections limited to the bladder cause mild to moderate pain and can usually be treated quickly without further complications. Those that spread to and affect the kidneys are more severe and complicated.

If you suspect that you have a UTI, you should be treated right away.


UTI symptoms differ by person and affected area.

The most common symptoms, by area, are as follows:

Part of Urinary Tract Symptoms
Bladder ● Pelvic pressure
● Abdomen pain
● Frequent and painful urination
● Blood in urine
Urethra ● Discharge
● A burning sensation during urination
Kidneys ● Back pain
● Side pain
● Chills
● Nausea and vomiting


If more than one area is affected, you may have a mix of the above symptoms with additional symptoms that could include

  • A persistent urge to urinate
  • Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
  • Urine that appears cloudy, red, or bright pink
  • Strong-smelling urine

In some mild and rare cases, people may not experience symptoms at all.


UTIs typically occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra and begin to multiply inside the bladder.

Risk Factors

Although a UTI can affect anyone at any age, you may be at increased risk if you

  • Are a female
  • Have urinary tract abnormalities
  • Are actively having sexual intercourse
  • Take birth control
  • Are in menopause
  • Have a suppressed immune system
  • Have a catheter
  • Have recently undergone a urinary tract procedure or surgery

Treatment Options

Antibiotics are the most common and straightforward way to treat a UTI. If you’re diagnosed with a UTI, your doctor may prescribe

  • Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole
  • Fosfomycin
  • Nitrofurantoin
  • Cephalexin
  • Ceftriaxone

How to Avoid a UTI

Although you cannot avoid a UTI completely, there are various ways to significantly reduce your risk of developing one, including

  • Drink plenty of water regularly to flush out any stagnant bacteria in your bladder
  • Urinate every 2 to 3 hours
  • Urinate before and after sexual intercourse
  • Wipe front to back after urinating or defecating
  • Manage diabetes, and other preexisting conditions that could affect your urinary tract

Other ways to avoid a UTI are included on our list of don’t below.

  • Don’t use vaginal deodorants
  • Don’t douche your vagina
  • Don’t use diaphragms or unlubricated condoms
  • Don’t hold your urine for excessive periods
  • Don’t remain in wet clothes or swimsuits after time in the water
  • Don’t wear non-cotton underwear

Get Treatment for a UTI Now at State Urgent Care

If you are experiencing symptoms of a UTI, our team of compassionate medical professionals can help you feel better sooner by providing effective care to get your UTI treated promptly.

At State Urgent Care, we are here to help you seven days a week. Simply walk in or schedule an appointment online. Don’t delay; get a diagnosis and proper treatment today.