Why Do Women Get Utis More Often Than Men
Women are more susceptible to getting a UTI thanks to their anatomy. Their urethras are both closer to the rectum and shorter in length than mens urethras are theyre also near the vagina. In other words, womens bodies naturally present a convenient access point for the myriad bacteria that commonly cause UTIs.
About Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are common infections that can affect the bladder, the kidneys and the tubes connected to them.
Anyone can get them, but they’re particularly common in women. Some women experience them regularly .
UTIs can be painful and uncomfortable, but usually pass within a few days and can be easily treated with antibiotics.
This page is about UTIs in adults. There is a separate article about UTIs in children.
This page covers:
Check If It’s A Urinary Tract Infection
Symptoms of a urinary tract infection may include:
- pain or a burning sensation when peeing
- needing to pee more often than usual during the night
- pee that looks cloudy, dark or has a strong smell
- needing to pee suddenly or more urgently than usual
- needing to pee more often than usual
- lower tummy pain or pain in your back, just under the ribs
- a high temperature, or feeling hot and shivery
- a very low temperature below 36C
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Key Points About Utis
Why Women Suffer From Utis
Did you know? UTIs are the second most common reason people visit their doctor every year.
And by people I mean usually women.
More than 8 million women head to their doctor for UTI treatment annually . And, 20 percent of them will get a second UTI .
1. Women have shorter urethras.
2. Men have a magic weapon against UTIs. Their prostate gland shoots a bacterial growth inhibitor directly into their urinary system.
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Are There Natural At
Yes. While taking antibiotics is still considered the gold standard of UTI treatments, there are some things you can do at home that help relieve symptoms, as well. These include:
- Drink plenty of water. Consuming at least six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily can help flush away UTI-causing bacteria, setting you up for a quicker recovery. Plus, the more you drink, the more youll have to urinate.
- Urinate often. Each time you empty your bladder, youre helping to flush bacteria out of your system.
- Try heat. Applying a heating pad to your pubic area for 15 minutes at a time can help soothe the pressure and pain caused by UTI-related inflammation and irritation.
- Tweak your wardrobe. Wearing loose cotton clothing and underwear can help you recover from a UTI.
- Go fragrance-free. Make sure your personal hygiene products are fragrance-free to sidestep further irritation, notes the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
- Cut out certain irritants. Caffeine, alcohol, spicy food, raw onions, citrus fruits, carbonated drinks, artificial sweeteners, and nicotine can further irritate your bladder, making it more difficult for your body to heal, per the Cleveland Clinic.
Drink Plenty Of Fluids
Dehydration is linked to an increased risk of UTIs.
This is because regular urination can help flush bacteria from the urinary tract to prevent infection. When youre dehydrated, you arent urinating as often, which can create a breeding ground for bacteria.
A examined nursing home residents and administered a drinking schedule to participants to increase their fluid intake. Following the schedule decreased UTIs requiring antibiotics by 56%.
In a 2020 randomized control trial , 140 premenopausal participants prone to UTIs took part in a 12-month study to test if a higher fluid intake would decrease their risk of recurrent cystitis and, in turn, their risk of developing a UTI. Researchers found that an increase in fluid intake led to a decrease in UTI frequency.
To stay hydrated and meet your fluid needs, its best to drink water throughout the day and always when youre thirsty.
Benefits of drinking more fluids for UTI
Drinking plenty of liquids can decrease your risk of UTIs by making you pee more, which helps remove bacteria from your urinary tract.
evidence suggests that increasing your intake of vitamin C could protect against UTIs.
Vitamin C is thought to work by increasing the acidity of urine, killing off the bacteria that cause infection.
An older 2007 study of UTIs in pregnant women looked at the effects of taking 100 milligrams of vitamin C every day.
Fruits and vegetables are especially high in vitamin C and are a good way to increase your intake.
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How To Use Ciprofloxacin Tablet
Read the Medication Guide and, if available, the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start taking ciprofloxacin and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
This medication may be taken with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually twice a day in the morning and evening.
Shake the container well for 15 seconds before pouring each dose. Carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. Do not chew the contents of the suspension.
Do not use the suspension with feeding tubes because the suspension may clog the tube.
The dosage and length of treatment is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Drink plenty of fluids while taking this medication unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
Take this medication at least 2 hours before or 6 hours after taking other products that may bind to it, decreasing its effectiveness. Ask your pharmacist about the other products you take. Some examples include: quinapril, sevelamer, sucralfate, vitamins/minerals , and products containing magnesium, aluminum, or calcium .
Ask your doctor or pharmacist about safely using nutritional supplements/replacements with this medication.
For the best effect, take this antibiotic at evenly spaced times. To help you remember, take this medication at the same time every day.
What Is The Prognosis For A Person With A Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections typically respond very well to treatment. A UTI can be uncomfortable before you start treatment, but once your healthcare provider identifies the type of bacteria and prescribes the right antibiotic medication, your symptoms should improve quickly. Its important to keep taking your medication for the entire amount of time your healthcare provider prescribed. If you have frequent UTIs or if your symptoms arent improving, your provider may test to see if its an antibiotic-resistant infection. These are more complicated infections to treat and may require intravenous antibiotics or alternative treatments.
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Antibiotics That Shouldn’t Be A First Choice For Uncomplicated Utis
Other antibiotics appear to be overused, and some physicians may misuse non-recommended antibiotics as first-line treatments. Ciprofloxacin is used in 35% of uncomplicated UTIs, while levofloxacin is used in 2%. These antibiotics can be important treatments in some cases of more complicated UTIs, but can have dangerous side effects.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that the use of these drugs should be restricted because of their potentially disabling side effects involving tendons, muscles, joints, nerves and the central nervous system. Additionally, in many parts of the country, bacteria commonly causing UTIs are becoming resistant to these antibiotics.
What Other Problems Can Chlamydia Cause
In women, an untreated infection can spread to your uterus and fallopian tubes, causing pelvic inflammatory disease . PID can cause permanent damage to your reproductive system. This can lead to long-term pelvic pain, infertility, and ectopic pregnancy. Women who have had chlamydia infections more than once are at higher risk of serious reproductive health complications.
Men often dont have health problems from chlamydia. Sometimes it can infect the epididymis . This can cause pain, fever, and, rarely, infertility.
Both men and women can develop reactive arthritis because of a chlamydia infection. Reactive arthritis is a type of arthritis that happens as a reaction to an infection in the body.
Babies born to infected mothers can get eye infections and pneumonia from chlamydia. It may also make it more likely for your baby to be born too early.
Untreated chlamydia may also increase your chances of getting or giving HIV/AIDS.
Otc Uti Treatment Options
UTIs are typically treated with a course of antibiotics that may run for a single day or a course of 7 days but usually lasts at an average of 1-3 days for uncomplicated urinary tract infections. However, some infections might not even need a course of antibiotics and may cease to exist. But, while treatment of UTIs without antibiotics may be a possible prospect in the future, for now, only a few equally effective OTC UTI treatments are available that can help a patient manage their symptoms. These include:
Hydration: Although not exactly an OTC UTI treatment method, hydration is still the key to treating a UTI quickly. If youve contracted a UTI, it is important to have fluids as frequently as possible so that you urinate more frequently and the harmful bacteria are flushed out of your urinary tract through natural means. This option means curing your symptoms without the use of medication.
- Probiotics: Probiotics serve as an excellent OTC UTI treatment option that helps promote digestion and immunity in your body. Probiotics restore the good bacteria present in your gut and reduce the chances of reinfection.
- Ascorbic Acid: Increasing your Vitamin C intake not only strengthens your immune system but is also a greater OTC UTI treatment option since it helps acidify the urine which may reduce the chance of reinfection.
How To Feel Better
If your healthcare professional prescribes you antibiotics:
- Take antibiotics exactly as your healthcare professional tells you.
- Do not share your antibiotics with others.
- Do not save antibiotics for later. Talk to your healthcare professional about safely discarding leftover antibiotics.
Drink plenty of water or other fluids. Your healthcare professional might also recommend medicine to help lessen the pain or discomfort. Talk with your healthcare professional if you have any questions about your antibiotics.
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Treatment Concerns For Antibiotics
While most UTIs can be effectively managed and treated with a course of antibiotics, more and more bacteria are becoming resistant to different types of antibiotics due to mutations in their genetic code. Every time you take an antibiotic, the bacteria that are in your system are more likely to adapt and mutate and become resistant to the administered antibiotic. And since recurrence rates in the case of UTIs are high, its a strong possibility that an antibiotic may not be effective every time. Many antibiotics such as ampicillin, amoxicillin, and sulfonamides are no longer effective against stronger mutated bacteria and hence are not a good choice for combatting these infections.
Antibiotics can also have adverse effects on the flora of the gut and the vagina. Many antibiotics such as fluoroquinolones cannot be prescribed to pregnant women because of the concerns that they might have a possible toxic effect on the fetus.
Other health risks and adverse effects associated with antibiotics for the treatment of urinary tract infections include extreme allergic reactions and numerous side effects. These can include:
- Nausea and vomiting
Another potential risk of taking antibiotics is that they might destroy some of the good bacteria residing in your system that help with your systematic bodily functions without harming you. The death of these bacteria opens up the passageway to a whole new range of possible infections.
What Are Some Common Side Effects Of Uti Medicine
As with any medication, there are always potential side effects. Common side effects associated with UTI medications include sensitivity of the skin to sunlight, changes in urination, seizures, confusion, uneven heartbeat, and diarrhea or stomach problems. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if your side effects persist or worsen.
UTI medications may also cause allergic reactions that result in hives or difficulty breathing. Allergic reactions can be life-threatening. You should seek immediate medical care if you believe you are experiencing an allergic reaction.
This list of side effects is not comprehensive. Ask a healthcare professional for more details regarding the possible side effects of a particular medication.
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What Causes A Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections are caused by microorganisms usually bacteria that enter the urethra and bladder, causing inflammation and infection. Though a UTI most commonly happens in the urethra and bladder, bacteria can also travel up the ureters and infect your kidneys.
More than 90% of bladder infection cases are caused by E. coli, a bacterium normally found in the intestines.
Antibiotics For Acute And Uncomplicated Urinary Tract Infections
First-line treatment for an uncomplicated UTI may start with a single dose of fosfomycin or nitrofurantoin twice per day for five days, or sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim twice per day for three days. These medications can be started based on your symptoms and urinalysis results, and should be effective in most cases.
Although much less common, men may also get this type of UTI. The choice of antibiotics is the same, but they may be given for a longer time because bacteria may move into the prostate gland and take longer to treat.
When doctors diagnose an uncomplicated UTI, they are usually diagnosing a type of UTI called cystitis, which means a bladder infection. In fact, the terms UTI, cystitis and bladder infection are often used interchangeably. Acute uncomplicated cystitis is another medical term for a common UTI that has not spread or become severe.
The term uncomplicated refers to a simple UTI found in a generally healthy adult who:
- Is not pregnant or postmenopausal
- Is not immunocompromised
- Has no structural abnormalities in the urinary tract
- Has no other diseases
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The Danger Of Underlying Chlamydia Trachomatis Infection In Treating Urinary Tract Infection With Over
Knox makes a compelling case for women with acute uncomplicated urinary tract infections to access nitrofurantoin without prescription but fails to mention an important drawback to this practice.1 Both UTIs and genital sexually transmitted infections are common in sexually active young women, so women with lower UTI
Editorial Sources And Fact
What If I Don’t Go To The Doctor
What happens when UTIs are left untreated? Contrary to popular belief, your immune system is often able to clear a UTI on its own. Studies have found that 25-42% of women are able to recover from an uncomplicated UTI without antibiotics.
But that means a majority of UTIs do not go away on their own. If left untreated, they can lead to continued discomfort and other more serious health issues, such as kidney damage or a severe infection. Therefore, treatment is recommended.
“Physicians tailor care plans to each patient, and there is no sole treatment for everyone,” says Stanford physician Kim Chiang, MD. During your visit, feel free to ask in-depth questions, particularly if a non-recommended antibiotic is prescribed.
This is the fifth post in the series Understanding UTIs. The goal of this seven-part series is to provide easy-to-understand, scientifically grounded information about UTIs. Patients referenced are composites, compiled from actual patient experiences.Data on medications used for UTIs were extracted from the National Disease and Therapeutic Index, a nationally representative physician survey produced by IQVIA.
Latest Antibiotics For Utis
- Vabomere is a combination carbapenem antibiotic and beta-lactamase inhibitor. Vabomere was first approved in August of 2017.
- Vabomere is used for the treatment of adult patients with complicated urinary tract infections due to susceptible Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterobacter cloacae species complex.
- Vabomere is given as an intravenous infusion every 8 hours. Dosage adjustments are required in patients with varying degrees of kidney impairment.
- Zemdri is an aminoglycoside antibacterial for the treatment of complicated urinary tract infections, including pyelonephritis. Zemdri was first approved in February of 2015.
- Zemdri is used against certain Enterobacteriaceae in patients who have limited or no alternative treatment options. Zemdri is an intravenous infusion, administered once daily.
See also: Treatment Options for UTIs
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