Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- Do I need any tests, such as urinalysis?
- What is the likely cause of my urinary tract infection ?
- Do I need medicine? How should I take it?
- What are the possible side effects of the medicine?
- When should I expect relief from my symptoms?
- What symptoms would indicate that my infection is getting worse? What should I do if I experience these symptoms?
- I get UTIs a lot. What can I do to prevent them?
- Do I need preventive antibiotics? If so, should I be concerned about antibiotic resistance?
- My child gets UTIs a lot. Could an anatomical problem be causing his or her UTIs?
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.
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.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Urinary Tract Infection
These are the most common symptoms of a UTI:
- Frequent urination
- Pain or burning when passing urine
- Urine looks dark, cloudy, or reddish in color
- Urine smells bad
- Feeling pain even when not urinating
- Pain in the back or side, below the ribs
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Despite an strong urge to urinate, only a small amount of urine is passed
- Women may feel an uncomfortable pressure above the pubic bone
The symptoms of UTI may look like other conditions or medical problems. Always see a health care provider for a diagnosis.
Urinary Tract Infections During Pregnancy: Symptoms Treatment And Common Questions
In addition, as the uterus grows throughout pregnancy, it can put pressure on the bladder, making it more difficult to empty completely.
Pregnancy can also make a UTI more difficult to treat, which can have serious consequences, including pyelonephritis preterm labor low birth weight and .
A urinalysis and a urine culture are routinely performed at an initial prenatal visit to screen for UTIs, but if you’re pregnant and suspect you may have an infection, seek medical attention quickly.
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How Do Women Vs Men Get Utis
Just like women, men also have urethras and bladders that are vulnerable to bacterial infections. Yet, UTIs happen 30 times more often in women than men. What gives?
You can blame anatomy for that one, says Jennifer A. Linehan, MD, a urologist and associate professor of urologic oncology at the Saint John’s Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California.
“The urethra is very short in women, whereas in men, it’s very long,” she says.
In fact, a woman’s urethra is usually no more than 1.5 inches long . A man’s urethra, on the other hand, stretches between 7 and 8 inches longâalmost as long as a plastic straw. That means bacteria have to travel a lot farther to infect a man’s bladder or other parts of his urinary tract and could get flushed out by pee before they ever have the chance to make a colony.
With all that being said, it’s still possible for guys to get UTIs, just much less likely.
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.
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When Urinary Tract Infections Keep Coming Back
If you are prone to recurrent UTIs, you can head them off before they take hold.
Unless you’re in the fortunate minority of women who have never had a urinary tract infection , you know the symptoms well. You might feel a frequent urgency to urinate yet pass little urine when you go. Your urine might be cloudy, blood-tinged, and strong-smelling. For 25% to 30% of women who’ve had a urinary tract infection, the infection returns within six months.
If you have repeated UTIs, you’ve experienced the toll they take on your life. However, you may take some comfort in knowing that they aren’t likely to be the result of anything you’ve done. “Recurrent UTIs aren’t due to poor hygiene or something else that women have brought on themselves. Some women are just prone to UTIs,” says infectious diseases specialist Dr. Kalpana Gupta, a lecturer in medicine at Harvard Medical School.
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If your childs illness or injury is life-threatening, call 911.
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Can Sex Make A Uti Worse
If you already have a UTI, having sex can make the infection feel worse, exacerbating the symptoms. Using spermicides can increase discomfort because it can cause irritation. Using non-lubricated latex condoms can also increase friction leading to irritation. Using a water-based lubricant or lubricated condoms will help avoid making your UTI feel more irritated. After and before sex, be sure to urinate immediately to flush out the bacteria.
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Find The Best Soaking Position
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Take the time to find the most comfortable position. If youâre using a portable sitz bath, gently lower yourself onto the seat. The basin part of the seat has been cut out to allow any excess water to flow through and prevent overflow.
If youâre using a bathtub, lower yourself in the way you would an ordinary bath, but bend your knees when you sit to take some of the pressure off the perineum. You can prop your feet on the tubâs edge to make yourself more comfortable.
Adjust the water temperature to your liking, then sit back and relax.
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How Are Utis Treated
Treatments for UTIs often depend on the severity of the infection. Doctors often divide UTIs into simple and complicated infections.
Bladder infections usually fall into the simple category. Doctors can usually treat them with antibiotics over the course of three to five days. Common antibiotics used to treat bladder infections include trimethoprim, ciprofloxacin, and amoxicillin-clavulanate potassium.
If you have an infection, you should always take all of your antibiotics, even if you feel better. This keeps the infection from coming back.
Complicated UTIs are harder to treat. Kidney infections usually fall into this category. If you have a complicated UTI, you may require IV antibiotics and have to take antibiotics for a week or more.
What Is A Bladder Infection Or Urinary Tract Infection
Any infection that affects a part of your urinary tract is known as a urinary tract infection . One that only affects your bladder is a bladder infection. Doctors may narrow it down to the area that is affected, for example:
- If your urethra is affected, it is known as urethritis
- If your bladder is affected it is known as cystitis
- If your kidneys are affected it is known as pyelonephritis. This is a serious infection that can lead to kidney damage if a bladder infection is left untreated.
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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.
Related Conditions And Causes Of Uti
There are a number of health conditions that share some symptoms with urinary tract infections, including:
The following conditions may make you more susceptible to developing a UTI and increase the severity of symptoms:
Type 2 diabetes
And having a UTI can increase a man’s risk for benign prostatic hyperplasia .
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You Dont Drink Enough Water
Guzzling H2O will make you go pretty often. And thats a good thing. When you do this, the bacteria gets flushed out before they have a chance to grab hold, Minkin says.
Consider that your cue to make a giant water bottle your BFF. Hooton TM, et al. . Effect of increased daily water intake in premenopausal women with recurrent urinary tract infections: A randomized clinical trial. DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.4204
Does Apple Cider Vinegar Uti Bath Treatment Work
For many people, the answer is yes. However, there have been no research studies specifically on ACV for UTI bath treatments.
And not only is there no proof ACV baths cure UTIs, heres an important disclaimer.
If you have a burning sensation or any other symptoms of a UTI for longer than 24 hours, go see a doctor.
Perhaps ACV can help kill some bacteria.
But if the UTI has progressed to the point of a kidney infection, ACV may not be of much benefit. Thats because the ACV in a bath doesnt enter deep into your urinary tract. Its not going to target the harmful bacteria in your urethra.
But that doesnt mean taking a bath with the yeast-fighting acetic acid found in ACV cant prevent a UTI. Unfortunately, theres no clinical proof ACV for UTI baths work.
Yet, many studies prove ACVs ability to kill bacteria and fungus. It makes sense then that a vinegar bath just might work.
This study says apple cider vinegar can help kill the bacteria, e. Coli. This type of bacteria is infamous for causing food poisoning. e. Coli. is also one of the most common causes of UTIs. Everybody has some e Coli in their gut. Most strains of it are harmless. But the bad ones can cause a UTI.
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Can Utis Go Away On Their Own
Most UTIs will require antibiotics, as true infections left untreated can result in more serious events like pyelonephritis with or without an abscess, a bloodstream infection, and even the possibility of kidney failure. Documented UTIs should be managed under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
Here Are Some Ways You Can Get A Uti:
- Sex: Doing the deed can result in a UTI for a few reasons. “Sexual intercourse is the biggest trigger for UTIs in young women,” says Dr. Wallace. “Sometimes there can be stool contamination in the area.” Put another way, you could accidentally spread poop particles into your urethra when you’re getting frisky. That’s why people prone to UTIs often swear by peeing after sex as a prevention tactic.
- Your birth controlcan also hike up your risk of a UTI, according to the National Institutes of Health. Diaphragms can slow the flow of your pee and spermicides can irritate your skinâtwo situations that bacteria love.
- Wiping back to front: Wiping the wrong way is another reason you can get a UTI. “Wiping can put the bacteria in the wrong place. That’s why you want to wipe front to back,” says Dr. Wallace.
- Kidney stones: As if kidney stones weren’t bad enough on their own, these hard deposits can also cause a UTI. “Some patients can have kidney stones that are colonized by bacteria,” says Dr. Linehan. “If you give them antibiotics, it will treat the infection, but the stone can still be a safe harbor for them. Once the infection is gone, the bacteria living on the stone slowly come out, grow, and boomâwe have an infection.” Kidney stones can also cause UTIs if they block your urinary tract. That makes it difficult to fully release all your pee, creating a breeding ground for bacteria.
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.
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.
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What To Do If You Keep Getting Utis
“It’s also important to consult your doctor if you’re getting UTIs frequently which is about three or more times per year,” Dr. Kannady recommends.
Recurrent UTIs are fairly common, and they’re also often effectively controlled via lifestyle changes. In some cases, though, your doctor may recommend that you see a urologist for further evaluation.
“Frequent UTIs are sometimes the result of an underlying health issue, such as kidney stones or abnormalities in your kidneys, bladder, or urethra,” Dr. Kannady adds. “A urologist can rule out or diagnose and treat issues such as these, as well as provide further guidance on how to prevent UTI reoccurrence.”
Can Utis Be Prevented
A few things can help prevent UTIs. After peeing, girls should wipe from front to back with toilet paper. After BMs, wipe from front to back to avoid spreading bacteria from the rectal area to the urethra.
Also, go to the bathroom when needed and don’t hold the pee in. Pee that stays in the bladder gives bacteria a good place to grow.
Keep the genital area clean and dry. Girls should change their tampons and pads regularly during their periods. Bubble baths can irritate the vaginal area, so girls should take showers or plain baths. Avoid long exposure to moisture in the genital area by not wearing nylon underwear or wet swimsuits. Wearing underwear with cotton crotches is also helpful. Skip using feminine hygiene sprays or douches, as these can irritate the urethra.
If you are sexually active, go to the bathroom both before and within 15 minutes after sex. After sex, gently wash the genital area to remove any bacteria. Avoid sexual positions that irritate or hurt the urethra or bladder. Couples who use lubrication during sex should use a water-soluble lubricant such as K-Y Jelly.
Finally, drinking lots of water each day keeps the bladder active and bacteria-free.
UTIs are uncomfortable and often painful, but they’re common and easily treated. The sooner you contact your doctor, the sooner you’ll be able to get rid of the problem.
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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.