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
Wear cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothing.
Take showers instead of baths.
Avoid using any perfumed products, or oils in the
Urinate shortly after sex.
Wipe from front to back after urinating and bowel
Keep the genital area clean.
Use sanitary pads or menstrual cups over tampons.
Avoid using a diaphragm or spermicide for birth
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.