Can Urinary Tract Infections Be Prevented Or Avoided
There are many lifestyle choices that can help you prevent UTIs. These are some of the things you can do to protect yourself from them:
- Drink plenty of water to flush out bacteria. For some people, drinking cranberry juice may also help prevent urinary tract infections. However, if youre taking warfarin, check with your doctor before using cranberry juice to prevent urinary tract infections. Your doctor may need to adjust your warfarin dose or you may need to have more frequent blood tests.
- Dont hold your urine. Urinate when you feel like you need to. Some children dont go to the bathroom often enough. If your child does this, teach him or her to go to the bathroom several times each day.
- Wipe from front to back after bowel movements. Teach your child to wipe correctly.
- Urinate after having sex to help wash away bacteria.
- Use enough lubrication during sex. Try using a small amount of lubricant before sex if youre a little dry.
- If you get urinary tract infections often, you may want to avoid using a diaphragm as a birth control method. Ask your doctor about other birth control choices.
- Avoid taking or giving your child bubble baths.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing , and dress your child in loose-fitting clothing.
- If you are uncircumcised, wash the foreskin regularly. If you have an uncircumcised boy, teach him how to wash his foreskin.
Diagnosis Of Urinary Tract Infections In Cats
Your vet may collect a sample of your cats urine , called cystocentesis. This process will involve inserting a needle directly into the bladder to collect an uncontaminated sample of urine. In order to reach an accurate diagnosis, the urine must be free from contaminants found in the environment.
The urine may be sent to a lab to allow for cultures to grow. This way, the vet can see the specific type of bacteria present in your cats urine, which will aid with diagnosis and treatment.
The urinalysis will reveal the amount of blood present in the urine, as well as the urines pH balance, glucose, and protein levels. The vet will then analyze the urine using a microscope, looking for bacteria and uroliths, or stones in the urinary tract.
Your vet may perform an X-Ray on your cat in addition to the urine culture and urinalysis. Any crystals or stones in the bladder will show up on an X-Ray.
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Do Antibiotics For A Uti Require A Doctors Visit Or Prescription
Antibiotics are not available without a prescription in the United States. You will need to talk to a doctor or nurse practitioner to get a prescription. You can do this in person, over the phone, or over video.
If this is your first UTI, it can be helpful to see a doctor in person. This is a good idea if you might have a sexually transmitted infection especially since STIs and UTIs can have similar symptoms. Meeting with a doctor in person allows you to have a physical exam and lab tests. In some cases you may also be asked to give a urine sample, especially if you havent had a UTI before. The office visit, exam, and lab tests can all help you figure out whether its a UTI or another condition.
You may also be able to get antibiotics simply by talking to a doctor on the phone or over video. One strategy is to call your primary care doctors office. If you are an established patient they may be willing to call in a prescription for you especially if youve had a UTI before. They may also be able to provide you with medical advice over the phone.
Another option is to see an online doctor. With telehealth, you can get equally good care for your UTI, from the comfort of your own home. There are many telehealth options for diagnosing and treating UTIs, including GoodRx Care. You can also shop around at the GoodRx Telehealth Marketplace, where you can compare telehealth providers based on:
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How Is Cystitis Treated In Men
Because cystitis is uncommon in men, it can be more serious or indicate another problem, so must be treated with antibiotics straight away. You must visit your doctor to get an assessment and antibiotics. Make sure you drink plenty of water and do not have sex until all your symptoms have gone away. Take ibuprofen or paracetamol for pain.
We do not offer treatment for cystitis for men, as they cannot be treated online but must have an assessment with a doctor in person, and a urine sample. If you think you may have a bladder infection and you are male, you must visit your doctor for treatment.
Recurrent Utis And Further Testing
If youre experiencing recurrent UTIs, your doctor may want to get a better look to rule out the possibility of an obstruction. Exams used in these instances include:
- An abdominal ultrasound, which uses ultrasound waves to produce an image of your urinary tract
- IVP, or an X-ray image of your urinary tract enhanced by dye
- A CT scan, which takes precise, detailed pictures of your urinary tract
- Cystoscopy, where your physician inserts a tiny camera via your urethra so he or she can examine the bladder and/or get a tissue sample
UTIs are considered recurrent if you experience three infections within a 12-month period or two within six months.
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Recovery And Management Of Urinary Tract Infection In Cats
The recovery period depends on the severity of the UTI and how quickly the cat was treated. If the infection is caught early on, and there are no other developments as a result, a full recovery should be expected within a few days or so of beginning antibiotic therapy. Some cats seem markedly improved after even one dose of antibiotics. However, ALWAYS complete the full course of medications exactly as directed by your veterinarian.
Occasionally, cats will develop frequent, recurrent urinary tract infections. In these cases, a longer course of antibiotics and repeat urine cultures may be necessary.
How Long Do I Need To Take Antibiotics To Treat A Uti
How long you take antibiotics for a UTI depends on how severe your UTI is and which antibiotic youre prescribed. Some medications like fosfomycin only require one dose, while a more severe UTI might require 14 days or more of treatment. Most require 3 to 7 days of treatment.
Within the first 1 to 2 days of starting your antibiotics, youll probably notice your UTI symptoms start to fade away. If your UTI is more severe or youve had symptoms for a while before starting antibiotics, it might take a few more days for you to notice improvement.
In any case, its important to take all the antibiotics youre prescribed, even if you start feeling better before finishing them. Stopping antibiotics early can lead to antibiotic resistance, which means the medication might not work as well as it should if you need it to treat an infection in the future. It can also mean your UTI might come back if you havent treated it completely.
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How Do I Get Tested For A Uti
You have to talk with a nurse or doctor to know for sure if you have a UTI. Testing usually begins with a nurse or doctor talking with you about your medical history and your symptoms. Theyll also do a simple test, called a urinalysis: all you do is pee in a cup, and theyll test it for certain bacteria or other signs of infection.
In addition to the urinalysis, your doctor or nurse might test you for certain STDs, which can lead to UTIs or have similar symptoms.
How Long Does A Uti Last
The common treatment for UTI is a course of prescribed antibiotics. In terms of how long a UTI lasts, you can expect it to go away completely while taking antibiotics for a week. However, youll probably notice signs your UTI is going away even a day or two after starting the treatment. Just make sure that you continue taking the prescribed amount of antibiotics for as long as the doctor instructed. During this time, its recommended to drink a lot of water and sustain from engaging in sexual intercourse.
Some bacteria might not react to a certain type of antibiotics, but thats no reason to despair. If you dont notice any signs your UTI is going away even after three days of antibiotics treatment, report it to your doctor, and they will prescribe another kind of antibiotics. This isnt too uncommon, and doctors are generally familiar with the right course of action when presented with this situation.
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Should You Try To Get Rid Of A Uti Without Antibiotics
As you can see there are options to get rid of a UTI without antibiotics. However, just because you can do something doesnât mean you should do it. Antibiotics are still the gold standard for treating UTIs.
That being said, we understand your pain. Getting antibiotics can be challenging. Our U.S. healthcare system seems built to keep patients from receiving appropriate care.
VirtuCare was created because we wanted something better than the current ways of delivering healthcare. As physicians we also recognize the pain of:
- Rising insurance and drug costs
- Lack of cost transparency
- Unsafe office environments during COVID-19
- Rude staff and colleagues
- Lack of access to medical specialists
With a VirtuCare telemedicine visit, you can meet with a board-certified urologist today and receive appropriate antibiotic therapy for your UTI. If you prefer an âau naturaleâ approach then we can answer any questions you may have after reading this article. Whatever you need, we are here for you.
Speaking of help, youâre probably wondering what to do with all of that cranberry juice in your fridge. Our vote . . . make some cosmos and re-watch Sex And The City.
How Quickly Will The Infection Spread Is There Anything I Can Do To Stop It Getting Worse
The speed at which an infection spreads depends on many factors, including the type of bacteria causing the infection, how long they infection has been present for, the genetics of the bacteria involved and the health and habits of the person affected. It remains important to maintain good hygiene and follow the advice of your doctor or clinical specialist, and to let them know if you notice any changes in your condition. The biggest risk is that the infection is not treated quickly enough or effectively and the risk of developing kidney infection, inflammation or urosepsis increases. When the bacteria spread from the urinary tract or bladder into the bloodstream, it is commonly called urosepsis, and can be very serious.
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Seek Medical Attention For Utis
It is important to seek medical attention if you think you may have a UTI particularly if you think you may have a bladder or kidney infection, both of which are very serious conditions. Early treatment of urinary infection can help to prevent infection spreading to the bladder or kidneys.
Your doctor will test your urine to check which micro-organism is present. Urinary tract infections usually respond quickly and well to antibiotics.
Causes Of Urinary Tract Infections
UTIs are usually caused by bacteria from poo entering the urinary tract.
The bacteria enter through the tube that carries pee out of the body .
Women have a shorter urethra than men. This means bacteria are more likely to reach the bladder or kidneys and cause an infection.
Things that increase the risk of bacteria getting into the bladder include:
- having sex
do not use scented soap
do not hold your pee in if you feel the urge to go
do not rush when going for a pee try to fully empty your bladder
do not wear tight, synthetic underwear, such as nylon
do not drink lots of alcoholic drinks, as they may irritate your bladder
do not have lots of sugary food or drinks, as they may encourage bacteria to grow
do not use condoms or diaphragms with spermicidal lube on them try non-spermicidal lube or a different type of contraception
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Can I Prevent A Urinary Tract Infection
You can usually prevent a urinary tract infection with lifestyle changes. These tips can include:
In some post-menopausal women, a healthcare provider may suggest an estrogen-containing vaginal cream. This may reduce the risk of developing a UTI by changing the pH of the vagina. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have recurrent UTIs and have already gone through menopause.
Over-the-counter supplements are also available for UTIs. These are sometimes recommended for people who have frequent UTIs as another way to prevent them. Talk to your healthcare provider before starting any supplements and ask if these could be a good choice for you.
How Long Should A Uti Last After Antibiotics
For most cases of uncomplicated urinary tract infections , you will need to take a 3-day course of antibiotics and make sure to stay hydrated. Some infections, however, may require longer treatment for up to 7-10 days. For complicated UTIs, your course of antibiotics may extend up to 2 weeks or more. How long it takes to recover depends on:
- What bacteria is causing the infection
- What type of drug is used
- Your medical history
Symptoms like pain and the need to urinate often may resolve pretty quickly after starting antibiotics. But its important to complete the entire course of antibiotics to make sure the infection is completely gone, because it can stay in your body for a while.
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When To Contact A Doctor
If a person suspects that they might have a UTI, they should speak with a doctor for advice on the best way to treat the possible infection.
Antibiotics may not always be necessary to treat UTIs, but it is still important to seek medical attention for any suspected infection. This will reduce the risk of a more severe infection developing that is harder to treat.
The signs and symptoms of UTIs include:
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about treating UTIs.
Does Cranberry Juice Prevent A Uti
Some patients may want to use cranberry or cranberry juice as a home remedy to treat a UTI. Cranberry juice has not been shown to cure an ongoing bacterial infection in the bladder or kidney.
Cranberry has been studied as a preventive maintenance agent for UTIs. Studies are mixed on whether cranberry can really prevent a UTI. Cranberry may work by preventing bacteria from sticking to the inside of the bladder however, it would take a large amount of cranberry juice to prevent bacterial adhesion. More recent research suggests cranberries may have no effect on preventing a UTI
- According to one expert, the active ingredient in cranberries — A-type proanthocyanidins — are effective against UTI-causing bacteria, but is only in highly concentrated cranberry capsules, not in cranberry juice.
- However, cranberry was not proven to prevent recurrent UTIs in several well-controlled studies, as seen in a 2012 meta-analysis of 24 trials published by the Cochrane group.
- While studies are not conclusive, there is no harm in drinking cranberry juice. However, if you develop symptoms, see your doctor. Some people find large quantities of cranberry juice upsetting to the stomach.
Increasing fluid intake like water, avoiding use of spermicides, and urinating after intercourse may be helpful in preventing UTIs, although limited data is available.
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Carefully Targeted Antibiotic Treatment For Urinary Tract Infections
So what do we do now? As a society and as individuals, we should reduce and carefully target antibiotic use. Both physicians and patients should be aware of the grave potential to lose effective antibiotics for all infections even simple UTIs. Its an opportunity that empowers individuals to have informed conversations with their doctors. Every time your doctor prescribes an antibiotic, ask: Do I need this? Why? Is there an antibiotic-free alternative? Talking about it might be enough to meaningfully reduce inappropriate antibiotic use.
If youre having UTI symptoms like burning with urination, more frequent urination, bloody or cloudy urine, low abdominal pain, or fever, you should see a medical provider to get tested. Youll have to urinate into a container and the medical office will test for products of bacterial metabolism. Make sure to tell your provider if youve had UTIs before, and what antibiotic you took. If you have a history of antibiotic-resistant infections, share that, too. There are alternatives to Cipro and Bactrim, but antibiotic choices are limited.
If antibiotic resistance continues to grow, more people will need intravenous treatment for UTIs we used to cure with simple oral antibiotic courses. Were also likely to see more complications, like kidney infections and sepsis, arising from ineffective treatment.
How Common Are Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are very common, occurring in 1 out of 5 women sometime in their lifetime. Though UTIs are common in women, they can also happen to men, older adults and children. One to 2% of children develop urinary tract infections. Each year, 8 million to 10 million visits to doctors are for urinary tract infections.
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