Chronic Urinary Tract Infection
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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.
Your urinary tract is the pathway that makes up your urinary system. It includes the following:
- Your kidneys filter your blood and generate body waste in the form of urine.
- Your ureters are tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder.
- Your bladder collects and stores urine.
- Your urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of your body.
A UTI can affect any part of your urinary system. When an infection only affects your bladder, its usually a minor illness that can be easily treated. However, if it spreads to your kidneys, you may suffer from serious health consequences, and may even need to be hospitalized.
Although UTIs can happen to anyone at any age, theyre more prevalent in women. In fact, the
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.
When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider
- Back pain.
If you have any of these symptoms, or your other symptoms continue after treatment, call your healthcare provider. A UTI can spread throughout your urinary tract and into other parts of your body. However, treatment is very effective and can quickly relieve your symptoms.
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Practice These Healthy Habits
Preventing urinary tract infections starts with practicing a few good bathroom and hygiene habits.
First, its important not to hold urine for too long. This can lead to a buildup of bacteria, resulting in infection .
Peeing after sexual intercourse can also reduce the risk of UTIs by preventing the spread of bacteria .
Additionally, those who are prone to UTIs should avoid using spermicide, as it has been linked to an increase in UTIs .
Finally, when you use the toilet, make sure you wipe front to back. Wiping from back to front can cause bacteria to spread to the urinary tract and is associated with an increased risk of UTIs .
Urinating frequently and after sexual intercourse can reduce the risk of UTI. Spermicide use and wiping from back to front may increase the risk of UTI.
Several natural supplements may decrease the risk of developing a UTI.
Here are a few supplements that have been studied:
- D-Mannose. D-Mannose is a type of sugar that is found in cranberries. Research suggests its effective in treating UTIs and preventing recurrence (
How To Prevent The Infection Before It Takes Hold
The most important method of prevention is to keep the genital area clean and healthy and able to protect itself against infection. Also, flush out bacteria by staying hydrated. Finally, try to ensure you empty your bladder entirely, as bacteria can thrive and multiply in the remaining urine.You may frequently encounter advice about how to prevent UTIs, much of which has not been backed up by science at least not yet. But theres no harm in trying sensible ideas to see if they work for you. Below are some useful tips that might help you to prevent a UTI, which are more or less scientifically proven.
A few tips on how to avoid UTIs:
- When going to the bathroom, it is recommended to wipe from front to back
- Try not to over-wash or use harsh soap in your sensitive genital area as it can cause imbalance and then irritation.
- Use TENA cleansing cream for your sensitive intimate area, and TENA barrier cream for protection.
- Pay attention to drying the skin when changing hygiene products since bacteria grow better in moist areas
- Use high-quality, breathable TENA incontinence products which are safe and gentle to the skin.
- It is recommended to urinate after having sex
- Getting enough vitamin D has a positive effect on your immune system
- If you easily get UTIs, try to take showers instead of baths
- Locally applied vaginal estrogen can be used, sometimes even in pre-menopausal women
- Avoid condoms with spermicides, they may increase the risk of infection
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What If I Dont Go To The Doctor
What happens when UTIs are left untreated? Contrary to popular belief, your immune system is often able to clear a UTI on its own. Studies have found that 25-42% of women are able to recover from an uncomplicated UTI without antibiotics.
But that means a majority of UTIs do not go away on their own. If left untreated, they can lead to continued discomfort and other more serious health issues, such as kidney damage or a severe infection. Therefore, treatment is recommended.
Physicians tailor care plans to each patient, and there is no sole treatment for everyone, says Stanford physician Kim Chiang, MD. During your visit, feel free to ask in-depth questions, particularly if a non-recommended antibiotic is prescribed.
This is the fifth post in the seriesUnderstanding UTIs. The goal of this seven-part series is to provide easy-to-understand, scientifically grounded information about UTIs. Patients referenced are composites, compiled from actual patient experiences.Data on medications used for UTIs were extracted from the National Disease and Therapeutic Index, a nationally representative physician survey produced by IQVIA.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Bactrim
Is Bactrim used to treat acne?
While some dermatologists have found Bactrim to be helpful for certain skin conditions, acne is not one of the conditions Bactrim is FDA-approved to treat. Please talk with your healthcare provider about acne treatment options to find the right solution for you.
How fast does Bactrim work?
Bactrim is absorbed by the body and begins to kill bacteria within 1 to 4 hours after taking your dose. For more common problems like urinary tract infections and ear infections, most people will start to feel relief after a few days. For more complicated problems like pneumonia, it might take 2 to 3 weeks to feel improvement. Always finish all doses of Bactrim to make sure your infection is completely gone.
Is Bactrim safe to take long term?
While taking antibiotics long term does have risks, Bactrim is usually only used for long periods of time if you have a weakened immune system that cant fight off certain bacteria. In these specific people, since the bacteria can cause life-threatening infections, the benefit of taking Bactrim is generally better than the risks.
Can I take Bactrim if Im pregnant?
No, Bactrim is not safe to take if youre pregnant. Its known to harm unborn babies and cause birth defects. If you are pregnant or think you could be pregnant, please tell your healthcare providers before they prescribe any medications for you. There are safer alternatives to Bactrim that you can take during your pregnancy.
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How Are Urinary Tract Infections Diagnosed
Your doctor will review your medical history and do a physical exam. Other tests may include:
- Urinalysis. Lab testing of urine is done to check for various cells and chemicals, such as red and white blood cells, germs , or a lot of protein.
If UTIs become a repeated problem, other tests may be used to see if the urinary tract is normal. These tests may include:
- Intravenous pyelogram . This is a series of X-rays of the kidney, ureters , and bladder. It uses a contrast dye injected into a vein. This can be used to find tumors, structural abnormalities, kidney stones, or blockages. It also checks blood flow in the kidneys.
- Cystoscopy. In this test, a thin, flexible tube and viewing device is put in through the urethra to examine the bladder and other parts of the urinary tract. Structural changes or blockages, such as tumors or stones can be found.
- Kidney and bladder ultrasound. This imaging test uses high-frequency sound waves to make images of the bladder and the kidneys on a computer screen. The test is used to determine the size and shape of the bladder and the kidneys, and check for a mass, kidney stone, cysts, or other blockages or abnormalities.
Consider Switching Birth Control Methods If You Have Repeat Bladder Infections
If you have trouble with repeat bladder infections, talk with a health care professional about your birth control. Consider switching to a new form of birth control if you use diaphragms, unlubricated condoms, or spermicide, all of which can increase your chances of developing a bladder infection. Consider using lubricated condoms without spermicide or using a nonspermicidal lubricant.
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Azo Urinary Pain Relief Side Effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction:hives difficult breathing swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using AZO Urinary Pain Relief and call your doctor at once if you have:
little or no urinating
confusion, loss of appetite, pain in your side or lower back
fever, pale or yellowed skin, stomach pain, nausea and vomiting or
blue or purple appearance of your skin.
Common side effects may include:
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Antibiotics Used For Complicated Utis
Before getting into how to best treat a complicated UTI, its important to understand which UTIs are considered complicated. Here are some guidelines:
- Urinary tract abnormalities are present
- Youre pregnant
- The patient is a child
- A comorbidity is present that increases risk of infection or treatment resistance, such as poorly controlled diabetes
- Youre a man, since most UTIs in men are considered complicated
- Youre elderly
Kidney infections are often treated as a complicated UTI as well, notes the Merck Manual.
If a UTI is complicated, a different course of antibiotics may be required. And the initial dose of antibiotics may be started intravenously in the hospital. After that, antibiotics are given orally at home. In addition, follow-up urine cultures are generally recommended within 10 to 14 days after treatment. Not all of the antibiotics approved for uncomplicated UTIs are appropriate for the complicated version. Some that are considered appropriate, include:
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Does Cranberry Juice Prevent A Urinary Tract Infection
Many people say that cranberry juice can help treat, or even prevent, a UTI. Researchers are currently looking into the topic, but havent found a definitive answer yet. Healthcare providers recommend drinking lots of fluids if you have, or have a history of getting, a UTI. Adding a glass of unsweetened cranberry juice to your diet isnt a proven way to prevent a UTI, but it typically wont hurt you either.
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.
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How Do You Prevent A Bladder Infection
People who have recurrent bladder infections may be able to prevent them in some cases:
- Drink more fluids
- Urinate right after intercourse
- It is believed this will help flush out germs that can enter the bladder. There is no evidence this prevents bladder infections but it is not harmful.
Preventive antibiotics or antibiotics taken following intercourse, as recommended by your doctor
Cranberry juice, cranberry tablets, and a supplement called D-mannose have been promoted to help prevent frequent bladder infections but there are no studies that show these products are effective. However, use of these products probably is not harmful. Tell your doctor before taking any supplements.
How Many Days Can I Take Azo Pills
Azo is a tool that lets you do a lot of things. You should take this medication by mouth three times a day after meals or as directed by your doctor. Taking this medication along with antibiotics for symptoms related to a urinary tract infection or self-treating should not take longer than two days without consulting your doctor.
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If You Have Trouble Emptying Your Bladder Completely This Is What You Can Do To Facilitate Bladder Emptying:
- When urinating, sit in a posture that relaxes the pelvic floor, leaning slightly forward with bent knees and feet resting on the ground or on a footstool
- When you have finished voiding, stand up and sit down again a few times. This may encourage urine to be voided that was left behind the first time.
Tips When Treating Uti With Antibiotics
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What About Cranberry Juice For Uti
Its a long-held belief that consuming cranberry juice may help prevent and treat urinary tract infections. While its true that cranberries contain an active ingredient that can prevent adherence of bacteria to the urinary tract, there is still no evidence that cranberry products can treat a UTI.
One of the reasons: Products like cranberry juice or cranberry capsules are not explicitly formulated with the same amount of PACs that have shown potential in lab studies. Moreover, a 2019 report in the Journal of Urology noted that the availability of such products to the public is a severe limitation to the use of cranberries for UTI prophylaxis outside the research setting.
In all, theres actually very little high-quality research on the topic of prevention. For instance, a 2016 study in The Journal of the American Medical Association, found that among female nursing home residents, daily consumption of cranberry capsules resulted in no significant prevention of UTIs.
While consuming cranberry juice or supplements is not considered a first-line treatment of urinary tract infections, in most cases, it cant hurt. After all, drinking plenty of liquids does dilute your urine and help spur more frequent urination, which flushes bacteria from the urinary tract. The exception: Those who are taking blood-thinning medication, such as warfarin, should not consume cranberry juice. And those with diabetes should be mindful of the high-sugar content of fruit juices.