Urinary Tract Infections In Women: Why They Occur And How To Treat Them
UTIs send people to the doctor over nine and a half million times a year. Anyone can get them though women are most at risk because of their anatomy. Studies have shown that one in five women will have a UTI sometime in their life some will have more than one, or even get them regularly. That is why we must know more about urinary tract infections in women, why they occur, and how to treat them.
Contact Doctor Within 24 Hours
- Blood in urine and new onset since starting antibiotic
- Taking antibiotic more than 24 hours, and pain with passing urine is severe.
- Taking antibiotic more than 48 hours and fever still there or comes back
- Taking antibiotic more than 3 days and pain not better
- You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent
Sensible Prevention For Utis
- Always wipe from front to back.
- Empty the bladder as often as possible dont hold your urine in if you can help it.
- Empty the bladder before and after sex.
- Practice good sexual hygiene by taking a shower before and after sex.
- Thoroughly wash all sex toys or other devices used during sex.
- Limit or avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can cause dehydration of your urinary tract.
- Avoid using douches, sprays or other personal care products in the vaginal area, as they can cause irritation. Products which have a fragrance are especially likely to cause irritation.
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How Does A Uti Happen
A UTI can occur in any area of the your urinary tract, including the kidneys , ureters , bladder and urethra . UTIs occur when bacteria gets into your urethra and travels to your kidney.
Risk factors that can increase your chance of having a UTI include:
- frequent sex
- having medical conditions like diabetes
- previous UTI in the last year
- using spermicide as a method of birth control
- not being circumcised or having insertive anal sex
Sometimes your doctor can diagnose your UTI just based on your symptoms. Your doctor might need to confirm if you have a UTI through urine tests and urine cultures. You may also need other tests like blood tests or imaging studies of your urinary tract.
You Wipe From Back To Front
Wiping from back to front can transport E. coli, the bacteria thats behind most UTIs, from the rectal region to the urethra. Moral of the story: Always wipe from front to back. Al-Badr A, et al. . Recurrent urinary tract infections management in women: A review.
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How Are Urinary Tract Infections Diagnosed
Your doctor will use the following tests to diagnose a urinary tract infection:
- Urinalysis: This test will examine the urine for red blood cells, white blood cells and bacteria. The number of white and red blood cells found in your urine can actually indicate an infection.
- Urine culture: A urine culture is used to determine the type of bacteria in your urine. This is an important test because it helps determine the appropriate treatment.
If your infection does not respond to treatment or if you keep getting infections over and over again, your doctor may use the following tests to examine your urinary tract for disease or injury:
- Ultrasound: In this test, sound waves create an image of the internal organs. This test is done on top of your skin, is painless and doesnt typically need any preparation.
- Cystoscopy: This test uses a special instrument fitted with a lens and a light source to see inside the bladder from the urethra.
- CT scan: Another imaging test, a CT scan is a type of X-ray that takes cross sections of the body . This test is much more precise than typical X-rays.
You Dont Pee After Sex
The threat of getting a UTI shouldnt stop you from getting it on. But that doesnt mean resigning yourself to the afterburn.
One simple way to cut your risk: Head to the potty after youve finished your romp. Youll possibly flush out the bacteria that may have made their way into your urinary tract. Urinary Tract Infection. .
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Im Pregnant How Will A Uti Affect My Baby
If you have a UTI and it isnt treated, it may lead to a kidney infection. Kidney infections may cause early labor. Fortunately, asymptomatic bacteriuria and bladder infections are usually found and treated before the kidneys become infected. If your doctor treats a urinary tract infection early and properly, it wont hurt your baby.
How To Treat Urinary Tract Infections
The best treatment for urinary tract infection is using antibiotics. The exact drug used depends on the history of the patient and the bacteria present. Over the counter analgesics or pain relievers may relieve the discomfort. However, it is important to be aware that they do not treat the infection. That is why it is important to speak carefully with your doctor about the treatment method. It is also important to understand how long you are to take the drug. Stopping too soon can result in re-infection, which is a common problem with UTIs.
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Youre Using Certain Methods Of Birth Control
When it comes to UTI prevention, not all birth control methods are created equal. Luckily, only one method is associated with UTIs: a diaphragm.
Because of where the diaphragm sits, it puts pressure on the urethra, which might lead to an increased risk, says Minkin. The good news? There are plenty of other great birth control options.
Causes And Risk Factors Of Urinary Tract Infections
UTIs are caused by bacteria entering the urinary tract, which consists of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. While any of these parts can become infected, most UTIs involve the lower urinary tract, which includes the bladder and the urethra . A UTI that infects the bladder is called cystitis one that infects the urethra is called urethritis.
The majority of UTIs that affect the bladder and the urethra are caused by E. coli or other bacteria that are normally found in the digestive tract, which can travel from the anus to the urethra. UTIs that affect the urethra are also caused by sexually transmitted infections, including herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and mycoplasma. Most of the time, urinating flushes out lingering bacteria in the urethra before it causes problems, though your body isnt always able to do this.
Less often, UTIs involve the upper urinary tract, which includes the kidneys and the ureters . A UTI infection in the kidneys, called pyelonephritis or a kidney infection, most often begins in the bladder and moves up through the ureters to one or both kidneys. In certain cases, a kidney infection can lead to serious health problems.
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Taking Preventative Or Prophylactic Antibiotics
For children who have recurrent bladder infections, a daily low-dose of antibiotics can be given to control any bacteria that may get into the bladder. Prophylactic antibiotics are appropriate in the following situations:
- Children with known anatomic abnormalities that make them prone to infections.
- Children without abnormalities who continue to have infections despite all the above non-medical preventions.
Your doctor and you will decide how long to stay on prophylaxis. Typically children will take an antibiotic for six to twelve months, then come off of it and monitor the urine.
Research And Statistics: Who Gets Urinary Tract Infections
In the United States, UTIs result in about 10 million doctor’s office visits annually. People of any age can get a UTI, though most commonly it affects women. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 40 to 60 percent of women develop a UTI during their lives.
Twelve percent of men will have symptoms of at least one UTI during their lives, per the American Urological Association. While UTIs are uncommon in young men, the risk of infection increases with age, especially in men over 50.
Women are at greater risk of urinary tract infections for anatomical reasons: Women have a shorter urethra than men and their urethra is closer to the anus, which means the bacteria that live there dont have to travel far to infect the bladder.
In children, UTIs are common and also occur more frequently in girls than boys. About 3 percent of girls and 1 percent of boys will have a UTI by the time they’re 11 years old.
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How Many Nursing Home Residents Have Urinary Tract Infections
The prevalence of chronic indwelling catheters was 7% overall among residents of 78 nursing homes in Sweden, but was 16% for men and only 3% for women . Residents with chronic catheters have an increased risk of symptomatic urinary tract infection.
Urinary tract infections occur more often in women than in men, at a ratio of 8:1. Approximately 5060% of women report at least one UTI in their lifetime, and one in three will have at least one symptomatic UTI necessitating antibiotic treatment by age 24.13.
Complications of a UTI may include: 1 Recurrent infections, especially in women who experience two or more UTIs in a six-month period 2 Permanent kidney damage from an acute or chronic kidney infection 3 Increased risk in pregnant women of delivering low birth weight or premature infants. 4 Urethral narrowing
Treatments For Urinary And Kidney Infections
Kidney infections always require antibiotics. Dont rely on home remedies alone to take care of kidney infections.
Usually, doctors will prescribe empiric antibiotics to cover all the potential bacteria that could have caused the infection until they can target the specific bacteria based on test results. Antibiotics are usually prescribed for at least a full week.
Normally, you wont require a stay at a hospital for a kidney infection as long as you can move around and consistently keep down oral antibiotics.
However, if you exhibit severe symptoms or cannot keep down the medication due to nausea and vomiting, you may be hospitalized so that your doctor may administer antibiotics and fluids intravenously.
If the kidney infection progresses enough to create an abscess in the kidney, you may require more serious treatment. Abscesses cannot be cured with antibiotics alone. In order to drain them, doctors will perform a nephrostomy, which involves placing a tube through your back, into the kidney.
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Urinary Tract Infections In Women
UTIs are much more common in women, and a womans chances of getting a UTI increase with menopause. The exact reasons women are more susceptible are not clear. Suspicions include a womans shorter urethra and the proximity of the urethra to sources of bacteria such as the vagina and the anus. It seems that if a woman has had an infection once, she is likely to have one again.
Pregnancy And Urinary Tract Infections
During pregnancy, there are normal changes in the function and anatomy of the urinary tract that include kidney enlargement. Compression of the ureters and bladder by the growing uterus is also common. During pregnancy the bladder often does not empty properly. The urine is not as acidic and it contains more sugars, protein, and hormones, so all of these factors can contribute to an increased susceptibility to urinary tract infections in pregnant women. Types of UTI in pregnancy include: * Asymptomatic bacteriuria – a silent infection without symptoms, often caused by bacteria present in the womans system before pregnancy. This type of infection occurs in about 6 percent of pregnant women, and may lead to pyelonephritis if left untreated. * Acute urethritis or cystitis a urethral or bladder infection that causes symptoms including pain or burning with urination, frequent urination, and fever. * Pyelonephritis – a kidney infection with symptoms such as those of acute cystitis, plus flank back pain. This condition may lead to preterm labor, severe infection, and adult respiratory distress syndrome.In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnosis of UTI is possible to conclude by urine and culture testing for bacteria. Most women should have a test at the first prenatal visit, and during pregnancy if needed. However, women with pyelonephritis in pregnancy often need to stay in hospital to receive intravenous antibiotics.
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How Does A Chronic Urinary Tract Infection Work
How this works. What is a chronic urinary tract infection? Chronic urinary tract infections are infections of the urinary tract that either dont respond to treatment or keep recurring. They may either continue to affect your urinary tract despite getting the right treatment, or they may recur after treatment.
What Is A Urinary Tract Infection
A urinary tract infection is an infection of the urinary system. This type of infection can involve your urethra , kidneys or bladder, .
Your urine typically doesnt contain bacteria . Urine is a byproduct of our filtration systemthe kidneys. When waste products and excess water is removed from your blood by the kidneys, urine is created. Normally, urine moves through your urinary system without any contamination. However, bacteria can get into the urinary system from outside of the body, causing problems like infection and inflammation. This is a urinary tract infection .
Youve Got A Cold The Flu Or Allergies
You may be tempted to curse your seasonal sneezes, a cold, or the dreaded flu for making your life even more miserable with a UTI, but these ailments arent the cause. The meds you take to manage symptoms could be.
Though theyre the bomb at keeping your runny or stuffy nose in check, antihistamines and decongestants might make you go less by causing urinary retention. And see No. 6 that may lead to a UTI.
Whats The Difference Between A Urinary Tract Infection And Bladder Infection
A urinary tract infection is a more general type of infection. There are many parts of your urinary tract. A UTI is a term for an infection that takes place throughout the urinary tract. A bladder infection, also called cystitis, is a specific infection. In this infection, bacteria makes its way into the bladder and causes inflammation.
Not all urinary tract infections become bladder infections. Preventing the spread of the infection is one of the most important reasons to treat a UTI quickly when you have symptoms. The infection can spread not only to the bladder, but also into your kidneys, which is a more complicated type of infection than a UTI.
Reasons Why You Might Get Recurring Utis
Many women who get a urinary tract infection may get one again at some point in their lives. In fact, one in five women experience recurrent UTIsan infection that occurs two times or more within six months or at least three times in a year. Men can get recurrent UTIs too, but it is not as common and is often due to some type of urinary tract blockage.
How To Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
To prevent a recurrent infection, all antibiotic courses your doctor prescribed should be finished. Drinking plenty of water also helps flush the organism. Upper urinary tract infections are more serious due to the risk of kidney scarring, and require closer follow-up, longer antibiotic courses, or even hospitalization in some cases.To prevent UTIs, you should always urinate after intercourse, and always wipe front-to-back after bowel movement or urinating. You should also empty the bladder completely and often, wear cotton underwear, and maintain good hygiene.Water and cranberry juice can prevent urinary tract infections. You should limit the amount of other fruit juices and milk you consume, as these can alkalinize the urine and make antibiotics less effective. You should also stay away from alcohol and caffeine because these can both dehydrate your system and cause urinary tract infections. Spermicides may change the normal vaginal flora or environment, allowing more harmful bacteria to colonize the vagina and urethra, and thus cause urinary tract infections. Spermicides may also increase your risk of contracting a STD as well.
Why Is It So Hard To Get Rid Of Urinary Tract Infections
Whatever youre doing to treat each occurrence of UTI is probably not working. The fact that your UTIs keep returning should be enough evidence of this. But you may not know why chronic urinary tract infections are so hard to properly treat. Fortunately, we can explain it through super interesting science.
Can You Have Sex If You Have A Uti
In general, it is recommended that you avoid having intercourse when you have an active urinary tract infection. When you get an antibiotic prescription, ask your doctor when the right time to resume sexual activity would be. Of course, you can still kiss and have other intimate and emotional connections.
Once you have completed a course of antibiotics and the UTI has cleared away, you should be able to resume sexual activity. But be sure to take the careful steps necessary to prevent the sex from putting you on the road to yet another one.
Uti And Cranberry Juice
The relationship between UTIs and cranberry juice is well-known. Studies have shown that intake of cranberry juice reduces the occurrence of urinary tract infections by more than half. The tannins contained in cranberries and its juice interact with the hair-like protrusions on E. coli bacteria. This causes the bacteria to wash away in the urine rather than adhering to the walls of the bladder and causing infection. It would be good to ensure that you partake of real natural cranberry juice, and not a synthetic flavoring. You can even pick up cranberry supplements from a pharmacy, which could also help you prevent urinary tract infections.