Contrary to popular belief, drinking commercial cranberry juice does not help cure a urinary tract infection, according to physicians at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine.
The active ingredient in cranberries (A-type proanthocyanidins, or PACs) that is effective against UTI-causing bacteria is only found in concentrated cranberry capsules, and yes, slugging down such capsules (which are the equivalent of ingesting 16 ounces of pure cranberry juice) can reduce the risk of UTI infection by up to 50 percent.
But the best medicine for this nasty nether invader is prevention, so follow these guidelines to keep your urinary tract on a healthy track.
- Drink plenty of water to dilute urine and cause more frequent elimination, helping flush bacteria.
- Wipe from front to back to prevent cross-contamination of your (ahem) undercarriage.
- Empty your bladder soon after intercourse to flush out sneaky bacteria.
- Avoid douches and powders — especially those that are scented — as well as contraceptives with spermicides, which can alter your vaginal pH.
- Wear breathable undergarments to keep air circulating down yonder.
- Avoid long baths, which can allow bacteria to venture into places it shouldn’t.
- Take probiotics, which help promote an optimal va-jay-jay environment.