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Special Needs Travel Health

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Managing Urinary Tract Infections when Traveling
-- By Daniel L. Watson, MD, FACS

If you are a woman who suffers from frequent (more than two or three per year) urinary tract infections, here is some advice:

  • Ask your family doctor or urologist for an antibiotic prescription before your trip. That way you will have your medication on hand if an infection occurs and thus avoid a trip to a crowded emergency room.

  • Consider picking up some "azo-standard" before you leave. This is an over-the-counter medication that will ease the burning symptom (but does not treat the underlying infection).

  • If your trip is romantic in nature, realize that greater than 90% of UTI's in women are related to (caused by) sexual intercourse--hence the term "honeymoon cystitis" (cystitis is the medical term for bladder infection).

If you are a man who has had recurrent prostatitis or epididymitis:

  • See your doctor and get an antibiotic before your trip.

  • These infections in men are not related to intercourse. In fact, some urologists believe that frequent intercourse can decrease the incidence of these types of infections in men--especially prostatitis
  • .

Remember, always pack your medications in your carry-on luggage.