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Helping Your Teen to Prevent Urinary Infections

Urinary infections are quite common in teenagers and young adults, especially women. There are many causes:

• Bubble Baths can cause irritation of the urethra and can result in a urinary infection.
• Careless wiping after a bowel movement causes feces to contaminate the urinary opening and can result in an infection.
• Many young women just starting to have sex suffer from urinary tract infections.

How can these be prevented?

1) Good hygiene–including wiping backward, away from the vagina and urethra after a bowel movement.
2) Taking regular baths and showers.
3) Cleansing the genital area thoroughly.
4) Drinking plenty of water–especially after sex.
5) Urinating as soon as possible after intercourse can help.

If your teen has symptoms, including pain or burning on urination, greater frequency of urination, blood in the urine and possibly pain in the lower back, see a physician today. Treatment with antibiotics can bring about a fast and complete recovery.

Dr. Wibbelsman, M.D., is an award-winning author and former “Dear Doctor” columnist for Teen magazine. Chair of Adolescent Medicine for the Permanente Medical Group, Northern California, he is chief of the Teen-Age Clinic at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in San Francisco, and an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco Medical School. Dr. Wibbelsman is the news anchor for a Bay Area television series, “Medicine in the Nineties”.

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