Things Women Need To Know About Utis
May 12, 2016
If youve ever had a urinary tract infection and if youre a woman, chances are you have you know theyre not fun. UTIs not only feature unpleasant symptoms, like an increased urge to urinate and a burning sensation when you do, but also a tendency to come back again and again. In fact, UTIs are the second most common type of infection in the body, leading to over 8 million visits to health care providers each year.1
Because urinary tract infections are also one of the most common conditions treated by MDLIVE doctors, we decided to speak to Dr. David Talbott, MDLIVEs VP of Physician Education and Quality Assurance, to find out what we should know.
Practice Healthy Hygiene Habits
Preventing UTIs starts with practicing a few good bathroom and hygiene habits.
First, its important not to hold your urine for too long. This can lead to a buildup of bacteria, resulting in infection.
Peeing after sexual intercourse can also of UTIs by preventing the spread of bacteria.
Additionally, those who are prone to UTIs should avoid using spermicide, as it has been linked to an increase in UTIs.
Finally, when using the toilet especially if you have a female urethra make sure you wipe front to back. Wiping from back to front can to the urinary tract and is associated with an increased risk of UTIs.
Benefits of healthy hygiene for UTI
Urinating frequently and after sexual intercourse can reduce the risk of UTI. Careful wiping when you use the toilet may also help decrease the risk of UTI.
Several natural supplements may decrease the risk of developing a UTI.
Here are a few supplements that have been studied and are all available in capsule form:
- D-Mannose.D-Mannose is a type of sugar that is found in cranberries. Research suggests its effective in treating UTIs and preventing recurrence.
- Cranberry extract. Like cranberry juice, cranberry extract works by preventing bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract.
- Garlic extract. shows garlic and garlic extract to have antimicrobial properties, so they it may be able to block the growth of bacteria to prevent UTIs.
Home Remedies For Fast Uti Relief
The urge to go to the bathroom, pain during urination, and lower abdominal pressure and pain associated with urinary tract infections can make it difficult to concentrate at work or school, enjoy favorite activities and rest comfortably at night. Fortunately, there are ways that you can get UTI relief through home remedies while your body fights the infection.
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Water Is Your Best Friend
When you first notice burning when you use the restroom, its tempting to reduce your water intake. After all, that will prevent the pain, right?
It seems counter-intuitive, but you need to flush out your system. You should drink plenty of water to help your body remove the E. Coli. Dont overdo it, but drink as much water as possible in those crucial first 24 hours.
Home Remedies And Treatments For Kidney Infections
Some people prefer to treat medical conditions with home remedies or complementary remedies.
Because of how serious kidney infections are, its important that you dont rely on home remedies. Instead, take the prescription antibiotics a doctor gives you and use home remedies to help ease symptoms or pain.
You can also use home remedies to avoid UTIs and improve kidney function.
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Can Utis Go Away On Their Own
Most UTIs will require antibiotics, as true infections left untreated can result in more serious events like pyelonephritis with or without an abscess, a bloodstream infection, and even the possibility of kidney failure. Documented UTIs should be managed under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
The Best Course Of Action For Managing A Uti
For most UTI sufferers, Ali advises the best course of action is to increase fluid intake, take appropriate pain relief and speak with a healthcare professional for further assessment of UTI symptoms.
If UTI symptoms persist for more than two days – or include a fever, loin pain and/or nausea and vomiting – it is important to see your GP for advice on whether antibiotics are required. It’s also important to go back if you’ve been started on antibiotics and symptoms do not improve within 48 hours.
“While some of the over-the-counter treatments may provide symptomatic relief, the 2018 NICE UTI guidelines state that there is no evidence found for cranberry products or urine alkalinising agents to treat UTI,” he adds. “However, there’s a clinical trial showing the effectiveness of D-mannose. And grapefruit seed extract and oil of oregano have also been found to be beneficial.”
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/8do Not Hold Your Pee
One thing you should always keep in mind while suffering from and undergoing treatment for UTI is that you should never hold your pee. No matter how uncomfortable it is, urinate when you feel the urge. Holding the pee even when you have to urinate can promote bacterial growth, which is why it is important to empty your bladder!
Home Remedies For Utis
When bacteria enters the urinary tract system, it can cause a urinary tract infection. Bacteria, specifically Escherichia coli , is the most common cause of UTIs, but dehydration, holding urination for a long time, certain health conditions, and hormonal changes can also cause a UTI or increase your risk of infection. The average UTI can last anywhere from a few days to more than a week. Some UTIs will go away on their own, but more severe cases require medical attention. With antibiotic treatment, many people with severe UTIs start to feel relief within a couple of days. For mild UTIs, home remedies may help alleviate symptoms, and/or prevent infections from developing.
Here are some of the most common home remedies for UTIs:
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Are Bananas Good For Utis
The American Urological Association calls bananas a bladder-friendly food. Thats because bananas arent likely to irritate the bladder in most people. Other bladder-friendly fruits and veggies include: pears, green beans, winter squash, and potatoes. While eating bananas may help to lessen bladder irritation, eating bananas alone wont make a UTI go away.
Why Antibiotics Might Not Work
Sometimes antibiotic treatment doesnt do the trick. This may occur when the bacteria causing the UTI become antibiotic resistant, meaning they outsmart and outlive the antibiotic.
See, bacteria have this amazing ability to mutate to evade being killed. And after being attacked multiple times by the same antibiotics we use on lots of people, the bacteria can learn to resist them. Some research estimates that as many as one in three uncomplicated UTIs are resistant to at least one common antibiotic. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.8 million people in the U.S. get an antibiotic-resistant infection every year.
This sounds bad, and thats fair: Its not great news. But this doesnt spell doomsday either.
If your UTI isnt responding to treatment with one antibiotic, your doctor may prescribe another type of antibiotic. Most bacteria arent resistant to all the antibiotics out there, so chances are your urologist or primary care doctor has encountered this situation before and knows how to help.
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Preventing Future Urinary Tract Infections
BATHING AND HYGIENE
To prevent future urinary tract infections, you should:
- Choose sanitary pads instead of tampons, which some doctors believe make infections more likely. Change your pad each time you use the bathroom.
- Take showers instead of baths. Avoid bath oils.
- Urinate before and after sexual activity. Drinking 2 glasses of water after sexual activity may help promote urination.
- Wipe from front to back after using the bathroom.
- Avoid tight-fitting pants. Wear cotton-cloth underwear and pantyhose, and change both at least once a day.
The following improvements to your diet may prevent future urinary tract infections:
- Drink plenty of fluids, 2 to 4 quarts each day.
- Do not drink fluids that irritate the bladder, such as alcohol and caffeine.
Some women have repeated bladder infections. Your provider may suggest that you:
- Use vaginal estrogen cream if you have dryness caused by menopause.
- Take a single dose of an antibiotic after sexual contact.
- Take a cranberry supplement pill after sexual contact.
- Have a 3-day course of antibiotics at home to use if you develop an infection.
- Take a single, daily dose of an antibiotic to prevent infections.
When To See A Doctor For Your Uti
If your symptoms persist beyond a few days with no sign of improvement, or if your infection keeps recurring, its best to see a doctor. While many home remedies may ease symptoms if they persist your doctor will be able to determine the cause and prescribe a course of antibiotics that should help take care of your UTI right away and prevent it from leading to a worsening condition or infection.
Have you tried any of the above natural remedies for UTIs, or other home treatments to treat your urinary tract infection? Tell us about them in the comments below!
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What Are The Other Urinary Symptoms Of Menopause
The states that throughout menopause, the lining of the urethra becomes thinner. This can lead to urinary incontinence.
The North American Menopause Society explains that there are two main types of urinary incontinence. These are:
- Stress incontinence: This is when the bladder leaks when a person laughs or sneezes. It often starts during perimenopause but does not usually get any worse as the person progresses through the transition.
- Urge incontinence: This is a sudden and urgent need to urinate, also known as overactive bladder. The muscles may not be able to stop the flow of urine completely, causing leakage.
Sometimes, home remedies and increased water consumption can flush bacteria out of the bladder before an infection takes hold.
However, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases says that anyone experiencing nausea or vomiting, fever, or severe pain in the back alongside bladder-related symptoms should seek medical advice. This combination of symptoms can be a sign of a kidney infection.
The UCF adds that anyone with blood in their urine should see a doctor as soon as possible. Although this can be a sign of a UTI, it is also a marker for other urinary tract problems.
Top 12 Natural Home Remedies For Uti
Urinary tract infections are some of the most frequent clinical bacterial infections in women, accounting for nearly 25 percent of all infections. More than 50 percent of women will develop a UTI and UTI symptoms in their lifetimes, and because antibiotics are the most common conventional treatment for UTIs, bacteria have become antibiotic-resistant and recurring infections are a major concern. For this reason, its important to use home remedies for UTIs that eliminate bacteria completely and reduce the risk of developing recurrent urinary tract infections.
Some of the best home remedies for UTI include drinking plenty of fluids, staying clean and dry, and consuming things like cranberries, probiotics, vitamin C and using essential oils. Read on for all 12 of my top home remedies for UTI.
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Consider Switching Birth Control
Birth control methods with spermicides, as discussed above, have been linked to increased risk for UTIs. Additionally, other birth control methods, like intrauterine devices have also demonstrated to act as a source for recurrent UTIs. Talk to your healthcare provider about birth control options or if you suspect your current contraceptive may be causing recurrent UTIs.
Is It Safe To Treat Utis Without Antibiotics
Antibiotics are effective treatments for UTIs. Sometimes, the body can resolve minor, uncomplicated UTIs on its own, without antibiotics.
Complicated UTIs require medical treatment. These are some factors that can make the infection complicated:
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How Do I Get Rid Of A Uti Quickly
There is no quick fix for a UTI. Taking cranberry supplements and drinking water could help flush bacteria out of your system more quickly. However, it can be dangerous to drink too much water in a short period of time. In many cases, taking an antibiotic for a UTI could be the quickest way to get rid of one.
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.
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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.
Soothe Uti Pain With Heat
Inflammation and irritation from UTIs cause burning, pressure, and pain around your pubic area, says Kandis Rivers, MD, a urologist in the Henry Ford Health System in Wast Bloomfield, Michigan. Applying a heating pad can help soothe the area. Keep the heat setting low, dont apply it directly to the skin, and limit your use to 15 minutes at a time to avoid burns.
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How Long Do Utis Last
With antibiotic treatment, symptoms of a UTI typically improve within 2 to 4 days.
But this can vary depending on many factors, including how quickly you receive treatment, the severity of your infection, and whether or not any complications arise.
Keep in mind that the course of antibiotics should be completed for UTI symptoms to completely resolve and prevent recurrent infections.
Otc Uti Treatment: Key Takeaway
Women are prone to contracting a urinary tract infection at least once in their life. Certain UTIs do not need treatment if they are diagnosed on time and if the symptoms are cared for, however, some UTIs require medical intervention in the form of antibiotics.
While antibiotics are the standard treatment for UTIs, researchers are looking for better OTC treatment options for UTI symptoms that might eliminate their need. Several OTC UTI treatment drugs help prevent and manage UTI symptoms but should never be considered a replacement to prescribed antibiotics. The only clinically proven cure for a UTI is a prescribed antibiotic and nothing else as of yet.
If you think you have a UTI, you may visit Family Medicine Austin and consult our healthcare experts. It is always advised to avoid self-treatment and seek medical help.
I am Jeannette, the medical writing specialist here at Family Medicine Austin. I have over five years of experience working with a range of medical and healthcare across the U.S.
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