If you're a woman, chances are you've experienced at least one urinary tract infection. I think we can all agree that they aren't fun. They're annoying and insanely painful. Our doctors tell us their normal and are quick to hand us a prescription for antibiotics. But what they don't tell us is that one bad UTI can lead to permanent bladder inflammation, like an overactive bladder or even Interstitial Cystitis. And they also fail to mention that a UTI that's not treated on time can even damage your kidneys. Like I said, all it takes is one bad infection. So how can you avoid getting another one again?

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1. Don't hold your pee: Holding your urine when you feel the urge to go is probably the quickest way you can contract a urinary tract infection. Any bacteria that may be present can wind up developing into an infection if you hold it for too long.

2. Clean yourself properly: Our mamas told us growing up that we should ALWAYS wipe from front to back after a bowl movement. That's because the bacteria from your behind can wind up entering your vagina or urethra leading to an infection.

3. Clean up before and after sex: My OB-GYN always suggests peeing before and after intercourse. But you should always wash your vagina before and after sex to avoid transferring any bacteria down there.

4. Don't douche: I have a friend that ALWAYS gets a UTI after douching. That's because most feminine hygiene products like douches, sprays, or even washes contain chemicals and fragrances that can irritate your vagina leading to urinary tract infection or other bacterial infections. Try washing with a mild, non-fragrance soap.

5. Take probiotics: I really wish that my doctors would have stressed the importance of consuming probiotics, it would have helped me prevent future UTIs. Look for yogurts that contain them or, if you're not a yogurt fan like me, try taking probiotic supplements every day. This helps maintain your vaginal flora and balances yeast and bacteria preventing UTIs, yeast or other bacteria causing vaginal infections. I find this even more effective than taking cranberry supplements.

6. Wear panties with a cotton crotch: You want to make sure you're wearing panties that contain cotton material at least in the crotch area. Cotton, unlike other fabrics like nylon or lace, allows moisture to escape.

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About the author

Johanna is the beauty and fashion staff writer at MamásLatinas and obsessed with all things beauty and fashion. She is a proud Dominicana and was born and raised in Queens, NY.

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