You can read my post below to see my advice for treating UTIs. However, here are some tips for prevention.
1) Daily vitamin, supplement, and dietary regimen:
100 mg tablet of vitamin C (or citrus fruit or juice), 500 mg tablet of cranberry extract (or unsweetened, natural cranberry juice), and 1 cup of yogurt (or 1 acidophilus tablet) taken daily serve as excellent preventatives of UTIs.
2) Lifestyle changes:
For other forms of prevention you might want to try wearing cotton underwear, not wearing thongs, and wiping from front to back.
3) Changes in sexual activity:
Urinate immediately before and after sexual intercourse. Wearing condoms during sex and using natural water-based lubricant (there are many plant-based, vegan, organic products on the market) can minimize the amount of bacteria and foreign substances your vagina is exposed to. Lubricant will also help decrease the amount of friction during sex, which will, in theory, limit the amount of bacteria your urethra is exposed to. This is especially important if you do not use condoms during intercourse. I recommend Intimate Organics Defence Lubricant because it contains plant materials that foster the natural flora in your vagina to help prevent against yeast and other infections.
If you wear a diaphragm, you might want to consider another form of birth control, as diaphragms have been known to increase the frequency of urinary tract infections. There have also been complaints from women who wear the NuvaRing as birth control during sex, that this has caused irritation and urinary tract infections. However, because the ring can be removed for up to three hours, you can simply pop it out, and, when you're done, rinse it off and put it back in.
These are just a few tips for preventing urinary tract infections that I have come across on my own. Obviously, if you have persistent problems you should consult a doctor.
Do you have a constant urge to urinate, but when you try and go, nothing comes out? Is there blood or a red color to the drops of urine that do come out? Does your urine have a cloudy color, and maybe even a foul odor? When you try and urinate, does it burn? It sounds like you have a urinary tract infection (UTI).
Many clinicians will say that a UTI can only be cured with antibiotics. If your symptoms persist and/or worsen after 3 days, make sure you see a doctor. However, many naturopathic doctors consider this to be a myth. If you catch your UTI immediately (within the first few hours that you notice symptoms), and are vigilant about natural remedies, it is possible to clear it up yourself. Antibiotics will ease your symptoms and fight the infection immediately. However, there are some things you can do to help you ease your painful symptoms.
1) Drink lots of fluids... more than you think you should drink.
Drink water at room temperature by the pint or quart (liter). The more fluid you drink at one time, the more urine you will have to dilute and flush out the bacteria. As soon as you pee, drink more water. Keep doing this. Usually when you get a UTI, you will feel an overwhelming sense of thirst. This is your body naturally trying to tell you to flush out the bacteria. Drinking too much water can be harmful, so don't drink more than 1 liter (~32 oz.) at one time. Wait to drink more until you pee (it should be a significant amount if you drink it all at once). Try to drink at least 6 liters (quarts) to about 8 a day while your symptoms persist. Doctors recommend at least 2 quarts of water a day for most people, although this changes with level of activity and the time of year.
2) Take lots of vitamin C.
Usually 1000 mg is the most vitamin C that should be taken without the recommendation of a doctor, and even this is considered a high dosage. However, if you take 1000 mg multiple times a day (without exceeding 6000 mg), this will boost your immune system, helping your body naturally fight the infection. The biggest benefit, however, is that, like cranberries, it will create an acidic environment for the bacteria in your urine.
3) Ingest all the cranberries you can.
You can get cranberry extract in 9000 mg tablets. Take one or two a day. Supplement these with fresh cranberries and simple (sugar free) cranberry juice. Don't buy the sugar-free shit in the juice aisle. You can get natural, unsweetened (pure cranberry juice) from health food stores and good grocery stores. It's quite expensive. So are cranberry pills. The juice isn't necessary if you have tablets, but the extra fluid is nice to flush out your system. You should definitely splurge on a bag of fresh cranberries if you can find them. They aren't tasty but they will work very well.
Make parsley tea. If you steep fresh parsley in boiling water and drink it as a tea, this will also help you. Parsley is known to have beneficial effects on the urinary tract. The extra fluid will also help flush out your system.
5) Take Acidophilus tablets / Eat yogurt.
Natural yogurt contains probiotics, the good bacteria in your body that helps fight infections. Eat one or two cups natural yogurt, with as little additives as possible, per day. It will help boost your body's natural immune powers. Activia is a really popular brand and has a great variety of flavors. If you end up getting antibiotics from the doctor, you should make sure to increase your yogurt/acidophilus intake anyway, as antibiotics destroy your body's natural good bacteria, which could result in a yeast infection.
IMPORTANT TO NOTE:
***If you are able to see your doctor and get antibiotics, make sure you check with him or her about the amount of vitamin C you are taking. Some antibiotics react badly to vitamin C.
***As I said, I'm not saying that following this advice will cure your UTI. I have managed to cure a few UTIs this way when I have notices the symptoms immediately and been vigilant about following those steps to care. Obviously if you follow this course of treatment and symptoms persist or worsen for more than 2-3 days, see a doctor immediately, as you will definitely need antibiotics. If you let things worsen, it could develop in a nasty kidney infection.