How Can You Reduce The Risk Of Developing A Bladder Infection
There are several things you can do to minimize your risk of developing a bladder infection:
- Wipe from front to back after having a bowel motion so your urethra is not contaminated
- Urinate as soon as possible after sexual intercourse
- Make sure your genital area is clean before and after sexual intercourse or activity
- Take your medications for diabetes as directed
- Eat a healthy diet and limiting sugar.
UTIs are not contagious nor sexually transmitted that is you cannot catch them from another person.
Carefully Targeted Antibiotic Treatment For Urinary Tract Infections
So what do we do now? As a society and as individuals, we should reduce and carefully target antibiotic use. Both physicians and patients should be aware of the grave potential to lose effective antibiotics for all infections even simple UTIs. Its an opportunity that empowers individuals to have informed conversations with their doctors. Every time your doctor prescribes an antibiotic, ask: Do I need this? Why? Is there an antibiotic-free alternative? Talking about it might be enough to meaningfully reduce inappropriate antibiotic use.
If youre having UTI symptoms like burning with urination, more frequent urination, bloody or cloudy urine, low abdominal pain, or fever, you should see a medical provider to get tested. Youll have to urinate into a container and the medical office will test for products of bacterial metabolism. Make sure to tell your provider if youve had UTIs before, and what antibiotic you took. If you have a history of antibiotic-resistant infections, share that, too. There are alternatives to Cipro and Bactrim, but antibiotic choices are limited.
If antibiotic resistance continues to grow, more people will need intravenous treatment for UTIs we used to cure with simple oral antibiotic courses. Were also likely to see more complications, like kidney infections and sepsis, arising from ineffective treatment.
How Long Does A Uti Last If You Dont Take Antibiotics
Its hard to say how long your UTI will last if you dont take antibiotics. It can depend on how severe your infection is, and what parts of your urinary tract are infected. It may also depend on your own unique anatomy, your vaginal microbiome, and your other medical conditions. There is some evidence that 25% to 50% of people not taking antibiotics will usually get better within a week.
Most UTIs are not associated with kidney damage or other long-term problems. But even a mild UTI can cause major pain and discomfort. And UTI symptoms can also interfere with your personal life, or cause you to miss work.
In some cases, a mild UTI can spread to your kidneys if its not treated. In people with normal urinary tract anatomy this seems to happen about 2% of the time. But if your kidneys are infected, its possible that they could be damaged especially if the infection isnt properly treated. In some cases, the bacteria can spread beyond your urinary tract and infect your blood or other body tissues. This can lead to a life-threatening situation, or even death.
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What Is The Urinary Tract
The urinary tract makes and stores urine, one of the body’s liquid waste products. The urinary tract includes the following parts:
- Kidneys: These small organs are located on back of your body, just above the hips. They are the filters of your body removing waste and water from your blood. This waste becomes urine.
- Ureters: The ureters are thin tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to your bladder.
- Bladder: A sac-like container, the bladder stores your urine before it leaves the body.
- Urethra: This tube carries the urine from your bladder to the outside of the body.
What Is A Uti
A UTI refers to an infection in any part of your urinary system, including your kidneys, bladder, and urethra. It most commonly occurs in your lower urinary tract, where the bladder and urethra are located.
Women can be as much as 30 times more likely to develop UTIs than men due to a shorter urethra. This means that bacteria travel more quickly and easily from your urethra to your bladder.
Acute cystitis, in particular, often affects women and triggers bladder inflammation. On its own, a bladder-related infection is painful and bothersome. But if left untreated, it could spread to your kidneys and pose serious consequences.
Note that not all UTIs exhibit signs and symptoms in patients, so its possible to be completely unaware that you have one. When they do present, however, symptoms commonly include:
- Urinating often in small quantities
- A burning sensation when you pee
- A reddish, bright pink, or brownish color
- Strong-smelling or cloudy urine
- Pelvic pain , especially in the center of your pelvis and near your pubic bone
- Feeling tired or shaky
- Pain or pressure in your lower abdomen
- Fever or chills
The three different types of UTIs are as follows:
Its an inflammation of your urethra. Symptoms include a discharge from your urethra and burning urination.
Bladder inflammation thats marked by painful, burning urination and cloudy urine, as well as a frequent need to pee.
- ephalexin ceftriaxone
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How Are Utis Diagnosed
Only a health care provider can treat urinary tract infections. The first thing a doctor will do is confirm that a person has a UTI by taking a clean-catch urine specimen. At the doctor’s office, you’ll be asked to clean your genital area with disposable wipes and then pee into a sterile cup.
The sample may be used for a urinalysis or a urine culture . Knowing what bacteria are causing the infection can help your doctor choose the best treatment.
Why Wouldnt I Just Take The Antibiotics Instead Of Worrying About All This
This is a fair question, and I understand that it may seem tempting to simply get a prescription and not have to worry about your symptoms. Unfortunately, any kind of antibiotic prescription has devastasting long-lasting impacts to your health, specifically your microbiome. Up to 50 percent of all antibiotics prescribed are not actually needed .
Instead of rushing to get antibiotics straight away, I recommend trying some of the above methods to see if it gets better on its own. If not, and you start to notice your symptoms get increasingly worse, then it is time to see a doctor and take the drugs. For myself, luckily, the pain was never too excruciating that I could not go to work or function. It was irritating, but I stuck with the above methods and now I am pretty much back to 100 percent. Your body was built to be able to heal on its own, as long as your immune system is strong and healthy. Keep in mind that antibiotic resistance is a huge problem and taking several courses of antibiotics without considering the long term impacts is not smart. Antibiotics work because they wipe out the bad bacteria, but these drugs do not pick and choose between bad and good bacteria. They kill everything. After a single course, your gut flora is pretty much wiped, which leads you vulnerable for getting more infections. If you do taking antibiotics, please, please take a high quality and strong probiotic . This is the best way to mitigate the damage!
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Treatment Concerns For Antibiotics
While most UTIs can be effectively managed and treated with a course of antibiotics, more and more bacteria are becoming resistant to different types of antibiotics due to mutations in their genetic code. Every time you take an antibiotic, the bacteria that are in your system are more likely to adapt and mutate and become resistant to the administered antibiotic. And since recurrence rates in the case of UTIs are high, its a strong possibility that an antibiotic may not be effective every time. Many antibiotics such as ampicillin, amoxicillin, and sulfonamides are no longer effective against stronger mutated bacteria and hence are not a good choice for combatting these infections.
Antibiotics can also have adverse effects on the flora of the gut and the vagina. Many antibiotics such as fluoroquinolones cannot be prescribed to pregnant women because of the concerns that they might have a possible toxic effect on the fetus.
Other health risks and adverse effects associated with antibiotics for the treatment of urinary tract infections include extreme allergic reactions and numerous side effects. These can include:
- Nausea and vomiting
Another potential risk of taking antibiotics is that they might destroy some of the good bacteria residing in your system that help with your systematic bodily functions without harming you. The death of these bacteria opens up the passageway to a whole new range of possible infections.
Otc Uti Treatment Options
UTIs are typically treated with a course of antibiotics that may run for a single day or a course of 7 days but usually lasts at an average of 1-3 days for uncomplicated urinary tract infections. However, some infections might not even need a course of antibiotics and may cease to exist. But, while treatment of UTIs without antibiotics may be a possible prospect in the future, for now, only a few equally effective OTC UTI treatments are available that can help a patient manage their symptoms. These include:
Hydration: Although not exactly an OTC UTI treatment method, hydration is still the key to treating a UTI quickly. If youve contracted a UTI, it is important to have fluids as frequently as possible so that you urinate more frequently and the harmful bacteria are flushed out of your urinary tract through natural means. This option means curing your symptoms without the use of medication.
- Probiotics: Probiotics serve as an excellent OTC UTI treatment option that helps promote digestion and immunity in your body. Probiotics restore the good bacteria present in your gut and reduce the chances of reinfection.
- Ascorbic Acid: Increasing your Vitamin C intake not only strengthens your immune system but is also a greater OTC UTI treatment option since it helps acidify the urine which may reduce the chance of reinfection.
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Urinary Tract Infection Treatment
If you are a healthy adult man or a woman who is not pregnant, a few days of antibiotic pills will usually cure your urinary tract infection. If you are pregnant, your doctor will prescribe a medicine that is safe for you and the baby. Usually, symptoms of the infection go away 1 to 2 days after you start taking the medicine. Its important that you follow your doctors instructions for taking the medicine, even if you start to feel better. Skipping pills could make the treatment less effective.
Your doctor may also suggest a medicine to numb your urinary tract and make you feel better while the antibiotic starts to work. The medicine makes your urine turn bright orange, so dont be alarmed by the color when you urinate.
Are Uti Antibiotics Available Online
Online pharmacies can be a safe and convenient way to buy prescription medication. But remember: Antibiotics are not available in the U.S. without a prescription. If you find a website willing to sell antibiotics without a prescription, its probably too good to be true .
Unfortunately, some online pharmacies may:
Offer counterfeit medications
Not protect your private health information
Sell medications that are not safe
Sell medications that contain unknown ingredients
So how can you find a trustworthy online pharmacy? The FDA suggests you only use a pharmacy that meets the following criteria:
Requires a valid prescription from a doctor
Has a physical address and phone number in the United States
Has a licensed pharmacist available to answer your questions
The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy provides a list of safe online pharmacies and resource sites. You can recognize these pharmacies by their Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Site logo, or their dot pharmacy web address. GoodRx is proud to be NABP approved. This means that you can use the mail order option on the GoodRx website with confidence.
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What Are Other Methods For Preventing A Uti
Now that you know a bit more about what can cause UTIs, there are a few things you can do to help prevent them:
Dont hold urine. Keep your bladder empty so that you dont give bacteria time to grow and flourish in your bladder.
Urinate immediately after sex. Flushing your urinary tract after sex may help get rid of any bacteria that entered during intercourse.
Drink water often. Stay hydrated so that you can frequently flush your urinary tract.
Avoid spermicides. Especially if you have recurrent UTIs, consider using methods of birth control other than spermicides.
If prevention doesnt work, your healthcare provider may choose to treat your UTI with antibiotics and may recommend over-the-counter products to help with symptoms.
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An Ounce Of Prevention
Unfortunately, most UTIs are not completely preventable, and are caused by differences in the structure or function of the urinary tract and immune system. But there are things you can do to keep healthy. For example, stay hydrated to increase urine production and flush out unwanted bacterial intruders. Good hygiene is also important, but scrubbing away at delicate genital tissues can damage them and create portals for bacteria. Clean your genital area gently with mild soap and water. Postmenopausal women may benefit from vaginal estrogen cream. Finally, eating cranberries and urinating after having sex havent been proven to have major benefits, but arent likely to hurt, either.
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About the Author
Lisa Bebell, MD, Contributor
Why Do Women Get Urinary Tract Infections More Often Than Men
Women tend to get urinary tract infections more often than men because bacteria can reach the bladder more easily in women. The urethra is shorter in women than in men, so bacteria have a shorter distance to travel.
The urethra is located near the rectum in women. Bacteria from the rectum can easily travel up the urethra and cause infections. Bacteria from the rectum is more likely to get into the urethra if you wipe from back to front after a bowel movement. Be sure to teach children how to wipe correctly.
Having sex may also cause urinary tract infections in women because bacteria can be pushed into the urethra. Using a diaphragm can lead to infections because diaphragms push against the urethra and make it harder to completely empty your bladder. The urine that stays in the bladder is more likely to grow bacteria and cause infections.
Frequent urinary tract infections may be caused by changes in the bacteria in the vagina. Antibacterial vaginal douches, spermicides, and certain oral antibiotics may cause changes in vaginal bacteria. Avoid using these items, if possible. Menopause can also cause changes in vaginal bacteria that increase your risk for urinary tract infection. Taking estrogen usually corrects this problem but may not be for everyone.
Wipe From Front To Back
UTIs can develop when bacteria from the rectum or feces gain access to the urethra. This small channel allows urine to flow out of the body.
Once bacteria are in the urethra, they can travel up into other urinary tract organs, where they can cause infections.
After urinating, wipe in a way that prevents bacteria from moving from the anus to the genitals. Use separate pieces of toilet paper to wipe the genitals and anus, for example.
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Will A Uti Go Away On Its Own Male
Antibiotics are an effective treatment for UTIs. However, the body can often resolve minor, uncomplicated UTIs on its own without the help of antibiotics. By some estimates, 2542 percent of uncomplicated UTI infections clear on their own. In these cases, people can try a range of home remedies to speed up recovery.
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Other Potential Contributors Of Developing Uti
Aside from the causes mentioned, a person may also have a higher risk of developing UTI due to the following factors.
- body factors
- abnormal anatomy
- weak immune system
In the final analysis, we have several reasons for us to develop UTI. If we do not work these out, the risk will increase even more. For this reason, it would be best to ask the doctor for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment to address UTIs as soon as possible.
Generally speaking, it would be best to prevent it in the first place instead of receiving treatment. Prevention is always better than cure. You can always do something to prevent yourself from incurring any health issues. That includes the prevention of UTI.
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Can Urinary Tract Infections Be Prevented Or Avoided
There are many lifestyle choices that can help you prevent UTIs. These are some of the things you can do to protect yourself from them:
- Drink plenty of water to flush out bacteria. For some people, drinking cranberry juice may also help prevent urinary tract infections. However, if youre taking warfarin, check with your doctor before using cranberry juice to prevent urinary tract infections. Your doctor may need to adjust your warfarin dose or you may need to have more frequent blood tests.
- Dont hold your urine. Urinate when you feel like you need to. Some children dont go to the bathroom often enough. If your child does this, teach him or her to go to the bathroom several times each day.
- Wipe from front to back after bowel movements. Teach your child to wipe correctly.
- Urinate after having sex to help wash away bacteria.
- Use enough lubrication during sex. Try using a small amount of lubricant before sex if youre a little dry.
- If you get urinary tract infections often, you may want to avoid using a diaphragm as a birth control method. Ask your doctor about other birth control choices.
- Avoid taking or giving your child bubble baths.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing , and dress your child in loose-fitting clothing.
- If you are uncircumcised, wash the foreskin regularly. If you have an uncircumcised boy, teach him how to wash his foreskin.