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  • Although urinary tract infections are not sexually transmitted infections, many women will experience urinary tract infections during their lives. A UTI is defined as a lower-urinary tract infection in an otherwise healthy patient with no functional or structural abnormality of the genitourinary tract. UTIs are predominantly infections in women only.
  • Urinary tract infections are the most common bacterial infections.
  • The prevalence in females increases by approximately 1% per decade of life.
  • Approximately 1 in 3 women will have one or more UTIs by age 24.
  • 40%-50% of women will have one or more UTIs in their lives.

Risk factors that do increase your chance of UTIs include:

  • Family or personal history of UTI
  • Estrogen deficiency
  • Any and frequent sexual intercourse
  • New sexual partner
  • Use of unlubricated condoms
  • Use of spermicide
  • Use of diaphragm
  • Recent antibiotic use

Behaviors not associated with UTIs include:

  • Pre- and postcoital voiding patterns (urinating before and after sexual intercourse)
  • Urination frequency
  • Wiping patterns
  • Douching
  • Clothing selection
  • Tampon use and frequency of changing

The following will be helpful if you do experience UTIs:

  • Always finish the full antibiotic course, even if your symptoms are gone.
  • Call if symptoms do not improve within 48 hours of treatment or if you experience high fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, or low back pain.
  • Call for culture results in two to three days.
  • Rest and good diet are important in maintaining resistance to infection.
  • Increase fluids such as water and cranberry juice and decrease fluids containing alcohol and caffeine.
  • Drinking 10 ounces of a 27% concentration of cranberry juice per day helps protect the urinary tract from infection.