How Does It Occur
Normally the urinary tract does not have any bacteria or other organisms in it. Bacteria that cause UTI often spread from the rectum to the urethra and then to the bladder or kidneys. Sometimes bacteria spread from another part of the body through the bloodstream to the urinary tract. Urinary tract infection is less common in men than in women because the male urethra is long, making it difficult for bacteria to spread to the bladder.
Urinary tract infection may be caused by a sexually transmitted disease. Sometimes a stone in the urinary tract blocks the flow of urine and causes an infection. In older men, an enlarged prostate can cause a urinary tract infection by keeping urine from draining out of the bladder completely. Infection might also be caused by the use of a catheter used to drain the bladder or by urethral stricture, which is a narrowing of the urethra by scar tissue from previous infections or surgical procedures.
You may be more likely to have a UTI if you have diabetes or another medical problem that affects the immune system.
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.
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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What Are The Different Types Of Utis
How long your UTI takes to go away will be determined by the type of UTI you have. The different types of UTIs include:
- Urethral infections
- Prostate infections
- Kidneys infections
How Long Does A Bladder Infection Take To Go Away
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Whats Next When Uti Symptoms Linger After Antibiotics
If you have a UTI that isnt responding to antibiotic treatment, further testing will likely begin with a urine culture to analyze the bacteria causing the infection.
If another type of bacteria, fungi, or virus is responsible for your UTI, your doctor will prescribe a more appropriate treatment.
There are also some lifestyle changes that can help reduce the frequency of UTIs, as well as the severity of your symptoms.
Its important to note that these recommendations work best for UTIs, bladder infections, and kidney infections, as these three conditions are treated similarly.
If youve been diagnosed with another underlying condition thats causing your symptoms, your treatment will likely be different.
research has suggested that UTI frequency may be linked to an increase in bladder cancer risk. However, the research on this is sparse.
But that doesnt mean there isnt a link between UTI-like symptoms and cancer. In fact, there are two types of cancer that can cause UTI-like symptoms: bladder cancer and prostate cancer.
If youre experiencing any of the symptoms listed below, talk to your doctor so a proper diagnosis can be made.
How Long Do Utis Last
With antibiotic treatment, symptoms of a UTI typically improve within 2 to 4 days.
But this can vary depending on many factors, including how quickly you receive treatment, the severity of your infection, and whether or not any complications arise.
Keep in mind that the course of antibiotics should be completed for UTI symptoms to completely resolve and prevent recurrent infections.
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If Utis Go Untreated What Can Occur
If left untreated, some bladder infections will go away on their own. The main concern with delaying treatment for UTIs is the discomfort that they cause. Generally, UTI symptoms improve within a few days after starting antibiotics. Prolonged bladder infections can lead to a period of bladder pain and urinary frequency after the infection has resolved. In rare cases, untreated bladder infections can lead to bacteria entering the ureters and cause infection within the kidneys.
How Long Do Kidney Utis Take To Go Away
A kidney infection is more similar to a prostate infection than a bladder infection. When the kidney is infected YOU ARE SICK! Symptoms include:
- One-sided flank or upper back pain
- Nausea, vomiting
These infections will not resolve on their own. They require a minimum of 7 days of antibiotics and up to 21 days if youâre really sick. It can take up to 72 hours on correct antibiotics for you to start feeling better from a kidney infection. After 72 hours x-ray tests and a repeat urine test should be performed to rule out abnormalities of the urinary tract .
Due to the severe inflammation associated with a kidney infection, it may take several weeks for symptoms of kidney UTI to completely resolve.
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How To Prevent Utis
- Empty your bladder frequently as soon as you feel the urge to go and empty it completely.
- Wipe from front to back.
- Dont use scented feminine care products they just cause irritation.
- Always pee before and after sex.
- Wear cotton underwear only and loose-fitting clothing as much as possible. Avoid tight jeans and nylon underwear as they can trap moisture and create an environment that breeds bacteria.
- Never stay in a wet swimsuit for too long.
- Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.
- Take probiotics and increase your vitamin C intake to boost your immune system.
- Opt for showers over baths.
- If you use a diaphragm, unlubricated condoms, or spermicide as a birth control method, you may want to consult your doctor about switching to another option as these have all been known to contribute to UTIs.
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How Can I Take Care Of Myself
- Follow your healthcare provider’s treatment. Take all of the antibiotic that your healthcare provider prescribes, even when you feel better. Do not take medicine left over from previous prescriptions.
- Drink more fluids, especially water, to help flush bacteria from your system.
- If you have a fever:
- Take aspirin or acetaminophen to control the fever. Check with your healthcare provider before you give any medicine that contains aspirin or salicylates to a child or teen. This includes medicines like baby aspirin, some cold medicines, and Pepto Bismol. Children and teens who take aspirin are at risk for a serious illness called Reye’s syndrome.
- Keep a daily record of your temperature.
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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.
How To Treat A Cat Uti At Home
A cat UTI is more common in female cats than male cats.
However, male cats can have serious complications from UTIs as well.
Cats diagnosed with idiopathic cystitis can also have crystal formation. Male cats may experience blockage in their narrow urethras, which can become deadly.
Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria grows in the bladder.
UTIs and bladder infections usually cause physical discomfort, although some show no signs at all.
Cats with UTIs typically exhibit:
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Is It Safe To Take Antibiotics Long
While there are some common side effects and risk for creating antibiotic-resistant bacteria, it is safe to take antibiotics preventively under the guidance of your physician.
If you have recurring UTIs , you may benefit from a low-dose prophylactic antibiotic, Dr. Sussman said. Some may require intermittent treatment at the sign of symptoms, while others may require a single dose after sexual intercourse or when symptoms occur. However, its important you discuss the underlying causes with your doctor before being prescribed antibiotics prophylactically.
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The Best Natural Remedies For Bladder Infections
Bladder infections are more common than you think. In fact, roughly 1 out of every 2 women will get a bladder infection in their lifetime.
Also known as urinary tract infections , bladder infections are commonly caused by E. coli bacterium. Symptoms include frequent and painful urination. In the worst cases, patients see blood in their urine and have pain in the abdominal area.
Read on to learn how to treat bladder infections without traditional medicine. Explore 7 of the best natural remedies for bladder infections.
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Home Remedies For Fast Uti Relief
The urge to go to the bathroom, pain during urination, and lower abdominal pressure and pain associated with urinary tract infections can make it difficult to concentrate at work or school, enjoy favorite activities and rest comfortably at night. Fortunately, there are ways that you can get UTI relief through home remedies while your body fights the infection.
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How Do You Treat Cystitis
Commonly, cystitis clears up on its own within a few days.
During this time there are cystitis treatments you can buy over the counter to help relieve any pain you are experiencing. These include cystitis sachets which contain potassium or sodium citrate. You simply dissolve the powder in water and then drink the solution this also helps to keep you hydrated.
If you have symptoms of cystitis that dont improve within three days, you should visit your GP.
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Treatment For Urinary Tract Infections
Babies under 3 months usually need to have antibiotics directly into a vein through a drip to treat a urinary tract infection . This means they need to be treated in hospital.
Babies older than 3 months can usually be treated at home with oral antibiotics.
Your doctor will check your childs urine again after treatment to make sure the infection has cleared up.
If there are any concerns about how your childs urinary tract is working, your doctor might refer your child to a specialist for further advice and treatment.
If your baby needs hospital treatment for a UTI, it can be quite upsetting. It might help to know that most babies get over UTIs quickly and dont need ongoing treatment.
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Home Remedies For Uti
A quick internet search yields plenty of articles swearing that certain home remedies like cranberry juice cure a UTI. Most of these treatments are safe to try in moderation, but they shouldnt take the place of seeking a trained professionals advice.
For example, some scientific evidence suggests that an active ingredient in cranberries called proanthocyanidins may stop bacteria like E. coli from adhering to the urinary tract, making it less likely that the bacteria will stick around and cause an infection. Certain probiotics and vitamin C supplements may also help prevent UTIs, and probiotics have the added benefit of reducing diarrhea caused by being on antibiotics. However, more research is necessary to prove these alternative treatments are effective.
If you choose to try any home remedy, remember that untreated UTIs can worsen over time and turn into kidney infection, which can lead to emergency hospitalization in serious cases. A UTI isnt something you want to put off or avoid talking to your doctor about. Call them at the first sign of symptoms.
Soothe Uti Pain With Heat
Inflammation and irritation from UTIs cause burning, pressure, and pain around your pubic area, says Kandis Rivers, MD, a urologist in the Henry Ford Health System in Wast Bloomfield, Michigan. Applying a heating pad can help soothe the area. Keep the heat setting low, dont apply it directly to the skin, and limit your use to 15 minutes at a time to avoid burns.
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How Are Urinary Tract Infections Diagnosed
Your doctor will usually be able to tell whats causing your pain by your description of your symptoms, along with a physical exam. Testing your urine can also help your doctor identify what type of infection you have. Usually, a sample of your urine is taken in your doctors office and sent to a lab to check for infection.
Do You Need To See A Doctor To Get Antibiotics For A Uti
You need to speak with your doctor or a licensed medical professional to be prescribed antibiotics for a UTI. This can usually be done in person, at the doctor, or over the phone.
If this is your first UTI or your symptoms are severe, it may be helpful to get treated in person. You may also want to consider an in-person visit with your healthcare professional to rule out sexually transmitted infections if you are sexually active or have multiple sexual partners.
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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 Can You Get Help Without Going To A Doctors Office
In the past, getting treatment for a UTI meant a trip to the doctors office and suffering through your symptoms until your appointment. Now, if youre a female 18+, you can talk to a doctor by phone or video wherever you are in as little as 15 minutes.1 And, your doctor can order a prescription, if needed, to your preferred pharmacy.2 MDLIVE is a more convenient and affordable choice to get the treatment you need to feel better faster.3
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