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General Medical Questions
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Question : I have had 3 bladder infections in the past year. Each required treatment with antibiotics. What can I do to prevent another one?
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The Trusted Source
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Howard LeWine, M.D.

Howard LeWine, M.D., is chief editor of Internet Publishing, Harvard Health Publications. He is a clinical instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital. Dr. LeWine has been a primary care internist and teacher of internal medicine since 1978.

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January 17, 2014
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Women commonly get bladder infections. And some women, like you, get them frequently.

Women have short urethras. So, bacteria at the opening of the urethra don’t have far to travel to make their way into the bladder.

Here are some time-tested ways to help lower your risk of another infection:

  • Urinate whenever you have to go. Don’t try to hold urine in.
  • Get up to urinate immediately after sex. And take the time to empty your bladder completely.
  • Always wipe front to back.

Do your bladder infections seem to happen most often when you are more sexually active? Then consider changing sexual positions. The goal is to have less direct force on the opening of the urethra.

If bladder infections keep returning, see your doctor. Some women need to take an antibiotic after sex to help prevent them.

If you still get recurrent bladder infections despite trying all of the above, your doctor may recommend a daily antibiotic to prevent them.

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