Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is a common problem in women. in fact, more than half of women will have at least one UTI during their lives. Most UTIs are simple and easy to treat, but some can become serious and even life-threatening.
What is a UTI?
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection that affects parts of the urinary system. Lower urinary tract infection involves the bladder and urethra and is the most common type. However, serious consequences can occur if the infection reaches the kidneys.
Are women more vulnerable to UTIs than men?
The short answer is: YES. Women get UTIs more frequently compared to men. Additionally, UTIs tend to reoccur in women. The reason is mainly anatomical; women have shorter urethras compared to men. This makes it easier for bacteria to reach the bladder and cause infection.
What causes a UTI?
UTIs are caused by bacteria in most cases. Yeast can also cause UTIs but it’s less common. These pathogens start multiplying and attacking the body, which in turn starts fighting back, resulting in inflammation, swelling, and pain.
What are the signs and symptoms of a UTI?
If you have one or more of these symptoms, you may have a UTI:
- A strong and persistent urge to urinate.
- Pain or a burning sensation when urinating.
- Passing urine more frequently in smaller amounts.
- Blood in the urine.
- Urinating more often during the night.
- Cloudy urine.
- Urine that has a strong smell.
- The sensation that the bladder is not fully empty after peeing.
A more serious set of symptoms means the infection has spread to your kidneys. these symptoms include:
- Pain in the back and sides.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Pressure in the lower abdomen.
What are the treatments for UTIs?
A urine test might be required to confirm a UTI, although this is not always necessary. After diagnosing a UTI, your doctor will:
- Recommend that you take a painkiller.
- Give you a prescription for a course of antibiotics.
The symptoms will clear up in a few days, make sure to take the full course of the antibiotic even if you feel better because symptoms will ease before the infection is fully treated.
Is there anything I can do at home to ease the symptoms of a UTI?
Treatment with antibiotics will take a few days before your symptoms go away. these steps will help you relieve the pain and discomfort while the drug is treating the infection:
- Drink plenty of water.
- Avoid coffee and alcohol.
- Apply a warm pad to your abdomen to minimize bladder pressure or discomfort.
- Avoid having sex.
How can I prevent UTIs?
The following steps will minimize your chance of getting a UTI:
- Urinate when you need to. Preferably, every three to four hours.
- Always wipe from front to back.
- Urinate before and after sex.
- Drink plenty of fluids (about 2 liters a day).
- Take showers instead of baths, or limit baths to less than 30 minutes.
- Empty the bladder fully when urinating.
- Wear cotton underwear.
- Try to Keep the genital area clean.
- Avoid using scented soap.
- Avoid drinking too much alcohol. as it may irritate your bladder.
- Consider using Pectiv sanitary pads for extra protection from bacteria and yeast.
We would like to emphasize that the information in this article is for educational purposes only. If you have any physical complaints, please see your doctor.