You feel like you’re peeing a stream of fire, or you feel like you must urinate all the time, but little comes out. What’s going on? You have a Urinary Tract Infection, also known as a UTI.
What is a Urinary Tract Infection?
A Urinary Tract Infection is a common type of infection in your urinary system that can involve the urethra, ureters, bladder, and kidneys. Most UTIs aren’t serious if treated right away. However, if not treated in time, the infection can spread to your kidneys and cause kidney damage.
What Causes a UTI?
UTI’s typically occurs when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra and begin to multiply in the bladder. Although the urinary system is designed to keep out such microscopic invaders, these defenses sometimes fail. When that happens, bacteria may take hold and grow into a full-blown infection in the urinary tract. The most common UTIs occur mainly in women and affect the bladder and urethra.
How Do I Cure It?
The only way to cure a UTI infection is by taking antibiotics. But there are ways to prevent a urinary tract infection from occurring.
How Can I Reduce My Risk of Infection?
If you’ve ever had a urinary tract infection, you know how painful and frustrating they can be, especially if they keep coming back. Here are some simple measures you can take to help prevent getting one in the first place. The top ways to reduce your risk of infection are to
Get plenty of liquids, especially water. Drinking water helps dilute your urine and ensures that you’ll urinate more frequently, allowing bacteria to be flushed from your urinary tract before an infection can begin.
Drink cranberry juice. Although studies are not conclusive that cranberry juice prevents UTIs, it is not harmful.
Wipe from front to back. Doing so after urinating and after a bowel movement helps prevent bacteria in the anal region from spreading to the vagina and urethra.
Empty your bladder soon after intercourse. Also, drink a full glass of water to help flush bacteria.
Avoid potentially irritating feminine products. Using deodorant sprays or other feminine products, such as douches and powders, in the genital area can irritate the urethra.
Change your birth control method. Diaphragms, or unlubricated or spermicide-treated condoms, can all contribute to bacterial growth.
If you are experiencing symptoms of a UTI and have any of the following conditions, call your doctor right away if you
- are pregnant
- have diabetes
- been diagnosed with kidney stones
- get a fever and pain in your back under your ribs (where your kidney is located),
- are over 65
When Should I See a Doctor?
You’ll want to see a doctor as soon as possible to discuss treatment and receive a prescription for antibiotics. Don’t have one? Contact Creekside Center for Women at 479.582.9268. We are here to help with your healthcare needs.