What causes UTIs?

Urinary tract infections, or UTIs , can be caused by several factors. UTIs happen when bacteria that live in the genitals enter the urethra and travel to the bladder, causing an infection. This can happen during sexual activity when bacteria from your partner’s genitals, anus, fingers, or sex toys gets pushed into your urethra. UTIs can also be caused by chlamydia, gonorrhea, or other organisms. UTIs are more common in females, but males can get them too. 

Although UTIs aren’t spread from one person to another in the same way that STIs are, having sex can lead to (or worsen) UTIs. But anything that brings bacteria in contact with your urethra can cause a UTI--not just sex.

Does cranberry juice help UTIs?

Some research shows that cranberry products, in either juice or tablet form, may have infection-fighting properties. Researchers continue to study the ability of cranberry juice to prevent UTIs, but results are not conclusive. So while it won't cause you any harm, don't rely on cranberry juice as treatment for a UTI. Antibiotics usually are the first line treatment. 

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