UTIs are no joke. Symptoms can include fever, feeling like you have to pee all the time, burning upon urination, pink urine caused by blood, and pain that goes around the lower back and belly button.

According to the National Kidney Foundation, an estimated 10 million people a year get UTIs — most of them being women due to a shorter urethra (the tube that connects to the bladder so you can pee). And since untreated UTIs can lead to kidney infections, you should take proper precautions to prevent them.

Here are three tips to avoid getting a UTI.

Pee more often
If you’re holding that bathroom break so you can answer a few more emails, the time to stop is now. Holding your urine can increase the time for bacteria to collect in your bladder and lead to infection. As a general rule, you should pee every four hours — so when you have to go, make sure you do.

Add lube to your sexual routine
Sometimes, being a little too dry “down there” can lead to tiny scratches that give bacteria an easier entry into the urinary tract. Try using a water-based lubricant to spice up your sex life as well as reduce your risk of a UTI. As an added preventative step, urinate immediately after having sex to (literally) help flush the bacteria away.

Drink plenty of water
This practice goes hand-in-hand with peeing regularly. You need fluids so your urinary tract can constantly flush out bacteria. According to Medscape, women who drink less than one and a half liters of water a day are more likely to get UTIs. Although some women believe cranberry juice helps prevent UTIs, it hasn’t been scientifically proven (so stick to water if possible!).

Keep in mind that if you get more than three UTIs a year on average, talk to your doctor. Your UTI prevention plan may need to include taking antibiotics more frequently.

xx, The FabFitFun Team