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How to Prevent a UTI During Diarrhea

By Kathryn Milner ; Updated July 27, 2017

According to the National Kidney and Urologic Information Clearinghouse, “Urinary tract infections are the second most common type of infection in the body.” Urinary tract infections (UTIs) occur when Escherichia coli bacteria enters the urethra and travels to the bladder. If proper hygiene is not followed when you have diarrhea, you could also develop a UTI.

  1. After having a bowel movement, always wipe from front to back. Wiping from back to front transfers the bacteria from the anus into the urethra, causing a UTI. This is one of the most common ways one contracts a UTI (self-contamination).

  2. When experiencing diarrhea, be sure to shower immediately afterward. Wiping alone may not be enough to eliminate all bacteria. Flush the genital and buttocks area thoroughly with water. Diarrhea can be very messy and requires additional cleansing of the anus and vaginal area to avoid UTI.

  3. Take precautions to avoid contracting a UTI. Consume at least 64 fl oz of water per day. Water is essential to flush bacteria and toxins from the body. Low water consumption can result in lack of urination, which creates a buildup in the kidneys, allowing the kidneys to absorb toxins and bacteria in the bladder that has not been flushed out of the system, thus creating a UTI.

  4. Drink three to four 8-oz glasses of unsweetened cranberry juice per day. Cranberries contain bacteria-fighting properties that disable the E. coli bacteria from attaching to the urinary tract. Drinking cranberry juice aids the cleansing and flushing of toxins from the UTI.

  5. Do not wear thong underwear. Wear full-coverage cotton underwear. Thongs can allow bacteria from the anus to be transferred to the vaginal area and, combined with everyday movement, can push the bacteria into the urethra and create a UTI.

  6. Tip

    Be cautious when using soap in the vaginal area because soap can enter the urethra and cause infection. Flush the genital area thoroughly when using a soap to cleanse. Limit the amount of caffeinated beverages consumed to a maximum of three. Excessive caffeine consumption has been linked with UTI contraction as a result of the excessive filtering of the kidneys.


    Do not soak in a bath tub to cleanse the body. Bacteria from the body is transferred to the water in the bath tub and will enter the urethra, causing infection. If a UTI is suspected, consult your primary physician immediately to receive proper treatment. Urinary tract infections are treated with antibiotics. If left untreated, a urinary tract infection can develop into a serious bladder infection that may be life threatening.

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