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Preventing Urinary Tract Infections

Drinking cranberry juice does not prevent urinary tract infections, contrary to popular belief. Some information in the past suggested cranberry juice was helpful, but most recent studies indicate it is not. Cranberries taste good and are unlikely to be harmful, but they are unlikely to help, either.

For patients who experience recurrent urinary tract infections, doctors can prescribe prophylactic antibiotics for prevention. Topical estrogen is also a prevention option for menopausal women.

If you experience blood in your urine, urinary urgency or pain while urinating, you should seek treatment immediately, because you are probably experiencing a urinary tract infection. Treatment includes a course of antibiotics. If the infection goes untreated, it may progress to a kidney infection, which is more serious and may require inpatient treatment with IV antibiotics.

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