UTI’s – Are You at Risk?

Posted by GPWHC on 9 July 2018

If you’ve experienced a urinary tract infection (UTI), there’s no doubt you’re familiar with the pain or burning sensation and urge to urinate only to run to ladies room to pee a few drops, if any. Due to our anatomy, women are 50% more likely of getting UTI’s than men. What causes UTI’s and how are they treated?

Pain or burning when you pee is typically the first sign of a UTI. If you experience pain or burning once and not again for the rest of the day and don't show any other signs or symptoms, it’s likely your body has already flushed out the bacteria. If however, all you can think of is how badly you have to pee (and you just went), you probably have a UTI. The majority of UTI’s are caused by the bacterium Escherichia coli. This bacteria irritates the urethra and the lining of the bladder, causing the infection and the constant urge to urinate.

Certain risk factors can increase the likelihood of getting a UTI. Women who are sexually active, or have multiple partners tend to be more at risk. If you have problems emptying your bladder, kidney stones or have a catheter you may also be more prone. If you take a lot of antibiotics, be careful. Heavy use of antibiotics can disrupt the natural flora of the urinary tract causing you to get a UTI. Pregnant women also run a higher risk of developing urinary tract infections due to hormonal changes.

There are many symptoms associated with a urinary tract infection. The most common is the strong urge and increased frequency to go, and burning with urination. Many women also experience pressure and/or pain in the pelvic area. Other symptoms include cloudy or bloody urine, or urine that looks like tea, and has a strong odor. If a urinary tract infection spreads to the kidneys, it’s not uncommon to run a fever.

If you’re on the high risk side of the fence, there are several measures you can take to reduce the risk of developing a urinary tract infection:

  • Drink lots of water daily and urinate frequently.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine; both can irritate the bladder.
  • Wear cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothing.
  • Take showers instead of baths.
  • Avoid using any perfumed products, or oils in the genital area.
  • Urinate shortly after sex.
  • Wipe from front to back after urinating and bowel movement.
  • Keep the genital area clean.
  • Use sanitary pads or menstrual cups over tampons.
  • Avoid using a diaphragm or spermicide for birth control.

The most common and effective form of treatment for a UTI is antibiotics. Sometimes, bacteria develop a resistance to antibiotics. It’s important to visit your doctor and have a urine culture performed. Results from your urine culture can help your doctor select an antibiotic treatment that will work best for you. It’s imperative to see your doctor if you are experiencing any UTI symptoms and get treated before it becomes a more severe infection involving your kidneys.

Past Posts

FAQ’s About PAP’s
Why Prenatal Care Is Important for You and Your Baby
UTI’s – Are You at Risk?
Staying Safe in the Summer Sun
Do I have the Baby Blues or Postpartum Depression?
Heart Health – Aging with grace and strength
HPV & Cervical Cancer
Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain
Biotin (Vitamin B7) - May Interfere with Lab Tests
Overactive Bladder & Menopause
Breastfeeding Benefits for Moms
Adjusting to Life with a Newborn
Zika Virus – 2017 Update
What Are My Birth Control Options?
Date Rape – It’s Not Your Fault
Menopause: Symptoms & Solutions
Endometriosis – What Is It & What Are Your Options?
A Day In the Life Of An Anorexic
I had an abnormal pap smear what does this mean?
What is a hysterectomy?
Osteoporosis-Big word, bigger problem
End of the Year
Your Teen's Sex Life
It's a difficult topic-Sexual assault
After the baby
Stress and your health
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month
September Cancer Awareness Month
What is menopause?
Teen Eating Disorders


Great Plains Women's Health Center

© 2019 Great Plains Women's Health Center
site by DAWA

ACOG SCOPE Certified is the registered certification trademark or certification trademark of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.