General measures for preventing urinary infections include taking enough fluid to ensure voiding at least four or five times daily, voiding immediately after sexual intercourse, and wiping from front to back after defecation to minimize fecal contamination of the vagina and urethra. Preventing recurrent infections may require taking a dose of antibacterial medication immediately before or after sexual intercourse, or taking daily a small dose of an antibiotic that is concentrated in the urine. Treatment of cystitis is usually easily carried out with a few days of an antimicrobial medication to which the causative bacterium is susceptible. Pyelonephritis usually requires prolonged treatment and often hospitalization.
The main features of bacterial cystitis are presented in table
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