How to Prevent Kidney Infections

In general, steps to prevent urinary tract infection (UTI) can also help reduce the risk for kidney infections. Take the following steps to keep your urinary tract—including your kidneys—healthy:

  • Obtain treatment for UTI as soon as possible.
  • Stay hydrated so that bacteria can be efficiently removed from the body. Caffeine, which can cause dehydration, should be avoided and water and non-caffeinated beverages are best. Cranberry juice can help prevent bacteria from attaching to the wall of the bladder. Due to a risk for a reaction that can cause excessive bleeding, patients who take blood-thinning medications warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven, generics) should check with their health care provider before drinking cranberry juice.
  • Women: wipe from front to back after going to the bathroom to prevent bacteria from moving toward the urethra.
  • Do not regularly put off the urge to urinate. This gives bacteria more time to multiply in the bladder and to spread. Urinating after sexual intercourse also can help eliminate bacteria.
  • Keep the genital area clean by washing carefully and gently. Showers are recommended over baths, because excess moisture can help an infection spread. Women should avoid scented soaps and deodorant feminine products.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 03 Jun 2007

Last Modified: 22 Sep 2015