Southern Cross Medical Library
The purpose of the Southern Cross Medical Library is to provide information of a general nature to help you better understand certain medical conditions. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. This information is not intended to relate specifically to insurance or healthcare services provided by Southern Cross. For more articles go to the Medical Library index page.
Do I Really Need To Take Antibiotics For A Uti
In most cases, it makes sense to start antibiotics if you know you have a bacterial UTI since this is the only way to treat it.
While it is possible for a UTI to go away on its own, this doesnt always happen. Plus, youll still have to deal with uncomfortable UTI symptoms like pain during urination while waiting to see if the UTI will go away. And if it doesnt, the infection can travel up your urinary tract and cause a more serious infection in your kidneys called pyelonephritis. If youre pregnant, have underlying health conditions, or are older than 65 years old, you should not try to treat a UTI without antibiotics.
Antibiotics For Bladder Infection
This article gives you a list of the various antibiotics used to treat bladder infections. The same also outlines a few tips on how to prevent this infection.
This article gives you a list of the various antibiotics used to treat bladder infections. The same also outlines a few tips on how to prevent this infection.
Bladder infections can be painful and annoying. Their main symptoms include a burning sensation when urinating, frequent urges to urinate, abdominal cramps, and cloudy and strong-smelling urine. Women are more affected by these infections than men. As annoying as bladder infections may be, they can be easily cleared up if treated early. People who keep getting these infections may be at risk of kidney infection. Such cases, however, are rare. Depending on how severe a bladder infection is, its causal pathogen, and the health of the affected person, antibiotics are recommended for the treatment.
*This information should NOT, in any way, substitute or be used in place of, the advice of a qualified medical practitioner. The same is intended only for educational purposes.
Antibiotics Prescribed for Bladder InfectionsThe following gives you the generic names of antibiotics commonly prescribed for the treatment of bladder infections. These drugs are available only with a doctors prescription. Some of the side effects caused by these drugs have also been mentioned below.
How Can You Prevent Bladder Infections
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Causes Of Bladder Infection In Men
Cystitis is less common among men. In men, a common cause is bacterial infection of the prostate Prostatitis Prostatitis is pain and swelling, inflammation, or both of the prostate gland. The cause is sometimes a bacterial infection. Pain can occur in the area between the scrotum and anus or in the… read more that causes repeated episodes of cystitis and urethritis. Urethritis Urethritis is infection of the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body. Bacteria, including those that are sexually transmitted, are the most common cause of urethritis… read more Although antibiotics quickly clear bacteria from the urine in the bladder, most of these drugs cannot penetrate well enough into the prostate to quickly cure an infection there. Usually antibiotics must be taken for weeks at a time. Consequently, if drug therapy is stopped prematurely, bacteria that remain in the prostate tend to reinfect the bladder.
What Are The Best Natural Remedies For A Bladder Infection
The best natural remedies for a bladder infection include drinking plenty of water and cranberry juice. Water flushes out bacteria and other toxins that contribute to the bladder infection, and cranberry juice has anti-infective properties. Over-the-counter cranberry tablets can be taken for those who cannot tolerate drinking large amounts of juice. These supplements can cause the urine to turn pink, and should not be mistaken for bleeding of the urinary tract.
Other natural remedies include taking warm baths and applying a heating pad to the lower abdomen. Although these treatments will not eradicate the infection, they might help relieve symptoms. Typical symptoms of a bladder infection include burning and pain upon urination, bladder pressure, and frequently urinating small amounts of urine. In addition, blood in the urine, as well as cloudy urine, might also occur.
Drinking lemon juice that has been diluted in warm water is also one of the more popular natural remedies for a bladder infection. Although lemon juice can slightly irritate the urinary tract, it acts as a natural diuretic that promotes urination and can help flush out bacteria. Frequently, natural remedies are very effective in relieving symptoms, but antibiotics may be needed to eradicate the infection and prevent complications.
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Homeopathic Remedies For Bladder Infections
1. Cantharis : When the person experiences an acute pain due to the bladder infection along with a sudden urge to urinate but not able to urinate, this remedy is used.
2. Pulsatilla : This remedy is helpful when there is frequent pain along with a sudden urge to urinate and the bladder infection commence after getting the feet cold and wet.
3. Nux vomica : This remedy can be taken when there is a frequent urge to urinate and the urge never get fully satisfied, even after urination.
4. Sarsaparilla : This remedy is recommended when the person feels a burning pain while urinating, due to a bladder infection.
When To See A Doctor
Contact your doctor if you have pain or discomfort when you urinate or other symptoms of a bladder infection, especially if the symptoms have been present for two days or more. If an infection lingers for too long, you risk the bacterial infection traveling to other parts of your body, including your kidneys. Therefore, you should seek treatment if you notice symptoms.
Your doctor will complete a physical examination and collect a urine sample to send for lab analysis to determine if an infection is present. Complications from an uncomplicated bladder infection are typically rare with antibiotic treatment. However, if you develop fever, chills, nausea, or confusion, you should immediately contact your doctor. These symptoms suggest a more serious infection that has spread to your kidneys. If you have a kidney infection, you may need an IV treatment of high-dose antibiotics, which may require hospitalization.
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About Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are common infections that can affect the bladder, the kidneys and the tubes connected to them.
Anyone can get them, but they’re particularly common in women. Some women experience them regularly .
UTIs can be painful and uncomfortable, but usually pass within a few days and can be easily treated with antibiotics.
This page is about UTIs in adults. There is a separate article about UTIs in children.
This page covers:
Can Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar Treat Utis
Studies, such as one published in January 2018 in Scientific Reports, have shown that apple cider vinegar has some antibacterial and antifungal properties, but theres no scientific or medical evidence that drinking apple cider vinegar cures UTIs. Drinking large amounts of apple cider vinegar could lead to throat irritation and tooth decay.
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Preventive Measures For A Uti
- Drink lots of water.
- Urinate immediately every time after you have sexual intercourse with your partner.
- Dont hold back urine as it may also cause the bacteria to stick.
- Wear cotton panties.
- Have a balanced and nutritious diet.
- Avoid bathing in a bathtub as it may provide a site for the bacteria to grow.
- Avoid douching and scented pads.
- After using the toilet, always wipe in the direction of front to back as this may avoid any germs from getting into the urethral opening.
- Wash your hands properly every time after you use the toilet.
- Avoid alcohol or caffeinated drinks when you are suffering from the UTI.
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What Causes A Bladder Infection
Bladder infections are caused when bacteria get into the urethra and travel up into the bladder. Bladder infections are more common in women, likely due to the shorter distance from the anus to the urethra.
Risk factors for developing bladder infections include:
- Frequent or recent sexual intercourse
- Use of spermicide-coated condoms, diaphragms, or spermicides alone for birth control
- Conditions such as kidney stones or ureteral reflux that block or change the flow of urine in the kidneys
- Structural or functional urinary tract abnormalities
- A genetic predisposition to UTIs
- For men, not being circumcised or having insertive anal sex
- Wiping the bottom from back to front after having a bowel movement
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Amoxicillin/potassium Clavulanate Cefdinir Or Cephalexin
How it Works: is another combination drug that belongs to the penicillin class of antibiotics. and belong to a different class of antibiotics thats closely related to penicillins.
All three antibiotics kill bacteria by destroying one of its most important components: the cell wall, which normally keeps bacteria structurally intact.
Amoxicillin/clavulanate: 500 twice a day for 5 to 7 days
Cefdinir: 300 mg twice a day for 5 to 7 days
Cephalexin: 250 mg to 500 mg every 6 hours for 7 days
Notable side effects: Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and rash are common side effects of these antibiotics. In rare cases, all three have the potential to cause the dangerous skin reactions, SJS and TEN.
If you have a penicillin allergy, your healthcare provider wont prescribe amoxicillin/clavulanate. They may or may not prescribe cefdinir or cephalexin since there is a small chance that a person with a penicillin allergy may also be allergic to these two.
Truth: Being Female Is The Biggest Risk Factor For Utis
UTIs generally are caused by bacteria that live in the colon, especially the rectum. The short length of the female urethra places its opening close to bacterial reservoirs , making women more vulnerable to infection.
In truth, being female is simply the strongest risk factor for UTIs, says Dr. Dielubanza.
Another trigger particular to women is hormonal change with age. Until menopause, vaginal flora includes protective bacteria. But when estrogen drops during menopause, the pH of the vagina changes, and the good flora cannot thrive there as easily. Without these good bacteria, the bad bacteria can more easily flourish in postmenopausal women.
Men are not immune to UTIs, but they are less likely to have them. This is because their longer urethras present a challenge to bacteria entry. However, as men age and begin to empty their bladders less efficiently due to prostate enlargement, urinary tract infections can become more common.
A trigger for UTIs in both men and women is use of any medical instrument near the urethra, including a catheter to drain urine.
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Looking For More Natural Remedies
As you may know, I’m extremely passionate about providing women with all the details they need to make informed decisions about their reproductive health.
I’m not in any way against pharmaceuticals when they are necessary and indicated for a particular treatment. Antibiotics have a time and a place in our health. But when other options are safe and effective, I like to offer women choices that include natural options they can administer themselves.
If you’re into that sort of balance too, I’d love to send you an email when I post new articles. Hop on my mailing list HERE so I can share my research with you!
What Causes Urinary Tract Infections
UTIs usually happen because bacteria enter the urethra, then make their way up into the bladder and cause an infection. Girls get UTIs much more often than guys, most likely due to differences in the shape and length of the urethra. Girls have shorter urethras than guys, and the opening lies closer to the anus and the vagina, where bacteria are likely to be.
Bacteria can get into the urethra several ways. During sex, for example, bacteria in the vaginal area may be pushed into the urethra and eventually end up in the bladder, where pee provides a good environment for the bacteria to grow. This is why females who are sexually active often get UTIs.
Bacteria may also get into a girl’s bladder if she wipes from back to front after a bowel movement , which can contaminate the urethral opening. The use of spermicides and diaphragms as contraceptives also may increase the risk of UTIs.
Sexually transmitted diseases may cause UTI-like symptoms, such as pain with peeing. This is due to the inflammation and irritation of the urethra or vagina that’s sometimes associated with chlamydia and other STDs. If untreated, STDs can lead to serious long-term problems, including pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility. Unlike UTIs, STDs are contagious.
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What Is Cystitis
Cystitis is an infection of the bladder that almost always follows bacterial infection in the urine. It is the most common type of urinary tract infection , particularly in women.
The bladder is a muscular bag that stores urine from the kidneys. Urine leaves the body through a tube called the urethra. Cystitis occurs when bacteria travel up the urethra, infect the urine and inflame the bladder lining.
Most women will experience cystitis at least once in their lives. While it is painful and annoying, it isnt dangerous or contagious, and the infection cant be passed on to your partner during sex.
If left untreated, the infection can backtrack deeper into the urinary system from the bladder and reach the kidneys. A kidney infection is serious and needs prompt medical attention as it can cause kidney damage or even kidney failure.
When To See A Gp
Women do not necessarily need to see a GP if they have cystitis, as mild cases often get better without treatment.
Try some self-help measures or ask a pharmacist for advice.
See a GP if:
- you’re not sure whether you have cystitis
- your symptoms do not start to improve within 3 days
- you get cystitis frequently
- you have severe symptoms, such as blood in your urine, a fever or pain in your side
- you’re pregnant and have symptoms of cystitis
- you’re a man and have symptoms of cystitis
- your child has symptoms of cystitis
A GP should be able to diagnose cystitis by asking about your symptoms.
They may test a sample of your urine for bacteria to help confirm the diagnosis.
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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.
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.
Cut Back On Meat And Poultry
Some studies, such as one published in August 2018 in the journal mBio, have linked contaminated poultry and meat to E.coli bacteria strains that can cause UTIs. These studies havent proven that eating meat or poultry causes UTIs. In fact, some E.coli can live in the intestines without causing any problems. However, bacteria from the gut can enter the urinary tract and cause infection. This risk is greater in women than men, because women have shorter urethras than men, meaning the bacteria has less distance to travel to reach the bladder.
Cutting back on meat and focusing on fruits and veggies may slightly cut your risk of UTIs. According to a study of Buddhists in Taiwan, published in January 2020 in Scientific Reports, compared with nonvegetarians, vegetarians had a 16 percent lower risk of UTI.
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How Do You Know If You Have A Urinary Tract Infection
Often, UTIs start almost asymptomatic . You may have an urge to urinate, but then when you go to the bathroom, you can’t seem to go. Or you can only relieve yourself a tiny bit, and then you’re making a beeline for the restroom again just minutes after you’ve walked out. Maybe you feel a bit of burning or tingling when you pee. A lot of women don’t seem to think much of their symptoms at this point.
When these mild symptoms start to happen a few times in a row, women often begin to notice. But sometimes, things progress a little further, and a mild fever or pelvic pain starts to develop before we acknowledge something is wrong.
This could be because you’ve had symptoms before and had them dismissed by a doctor. A recent study showed that the test commonly used to diagnose UTI isn’t always accurate. Researchers discovered that the standard culture missed the presence of pathogenic bacteria almost 20% of the time.
So if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, don’t get a positive result on your bacteria culture test, and your doctor isnt giving you answers be sure to seek a second opinion, and you may want to try out the more natural remedies in this article.
Sometimes what feels like a UTI or a painful bladder is because of a condition known as Interstitial Cystitis. Either way, your provider should be working with you to find out the cause of your symptoms.