More than 6 million Americans visit their doctor each year with a urinary tract infection-related issue. Your urinary system, including the bladder, kidneys, ureters, and urethra, can become infected with one bacteria or another and cause a UTI. Both men and women can develop a UTI, but the condition is more prevalent among women. How much do you know about UTI? Can you identify the symptoms of a UTI? The good news is that there is treatment if you develop a UTI, even when a complication occurs. Visit AFC Urgent Care West Hartford for treatment against any infection.
What is a UTI?
A UTI is an infection that can develop in different parts of the urinary system–bladder, kidneys, ureters, and urethra. Bacteria can get into the urethra during sex or make their way from the anus, to which it’s closely situated.
Since infection can occur in any part of the urinary system, there are different types of UTIs:
Symptoms of a UTI
A UTI can manifest different symptoms, including:
- Burning sensation when urinating
- Urge to urinate or urinating frequently, with little output
- Cloudy, dark, bloody urine
- Foul-smelling urine
- Feeling shaky
- Fever or chills
- Pain or pressure in your lower abdomen or your back
UTI Treatment & Prevention
A common treatment option for UTI, if found necessary by your doctor, is antibiotics to eliminate the bacteria that the source of the infection. Drinking plenty of water can help to flush out your system and get the bacteria out. If pain is one of your symptoms, your doctor may prescribe a pain-reliever or recommend over-the-counter medication to alleviate the pain. Applying heat with a heating pad could also provide some relief.
Chronic UTI Treatment
Typically, a treatment plan is needed for anyone who experiences three or more UTIs a year. This treatment plan may include:
- A low-dose antibiotic for an extended period to minimize the risk of repeat infections
- According to WebMD, a single dose of an antibiotic after sex
- One or two days of antibiotics when symptom reemerge
- If necessary, a non-antibiotic prophylaxis treatment option
Preventing a UTI should always be promoted. There are several ways to help keep a UTI from developing:
- Drink plenty of water to help dilute your urine and promote frequent urination that can rid the urinary tract of bacteria before an infection develops.
- Drink cranberry juice. It’s believed that the berry contains a tannin that might stop E. coli bacteria from attaching to the bladder walls. Studies are inconclusive, but no harm will stem from drinking cranberry juice either.
- Females should practice wiping from front to back after urinating and defecating.
- Urinate after sexual intercourse
- Avoid any feminine care product that can irritate the urethra, like douches and powders.
- Reconsider birth control methods that involve the use of diaphragms or unlubricated or spermicide-treated condoms to limit the growth of bacteria.
A UTI is a treatable condition that can have serious consequences if left untreated. Get checked out by your doctor if you think that you are exhibiting symptoms of a UTI. Early treatment can prevent complications that could prolong an infection.