What Is A Uti
A UTI refers to an infection in any part of your urinary system, including your kidneys, bladder, and urethra. It most commonly occurs in your lower urinary tract, where the bladder and urethra are located.
Women can be as much as 30 times more likely to develop UTIs than men due to a shorter urethra. This means that bacteria travel more quickly and easily from your urethra to your bladder.
Acute cystitis, in particular, often affects women and triggers bladder inflammation. On its own, a bladder-related infection is painful and bothersome. But if left untreated, it could spread to your kidneys and pose serious consequences.
Note that not all UTIs exhibit signs and symptoms in patients, so its possible to be completely unaware that you have one. When they do present, however, symptoms commonly include:
- Urinating often in small quantities
- A burning sensation when you pee
- A reddish, bright pink, or brownish color
- Strong-smelling or cloudy urine
- Pelvic pain , especially in the center of your pelvis and near your pubic bone
- Feeling tired or shaky
- Pain or pressure in your lower abdomen
- Fever or chills
The three different types of UTIs are as follows:
Its an inflammation of your urethra. Symptoms include a discharge from your urethra and burning urination.
Bladder inflammation thats marked by painful, burning urination and cloudy urine, as well as a frequent need to pee.
- ephalexin ceftriaxone
What Are The Types Of Utis
Common types of UTIs include:
- cystitis: this bladder infection is the most common type of UTI. It happens when bacteria move up the urethra and into the bladder.
- urethritis: when bacteria infect the urethra
- pyelonephritis: a kidney infection caused by infected urine flowing backward from the bladder into the kidneys or an infection in the bloodstream reaching the kidneys
How Are Urinary Tract Infections Diagnosed
Your doctor will usually be able to tell whats causing your pain by your description of your symptoms, along with a physical exam. Testing your urine can also help your doctor identify what type of infection you have. Usually, a sample of your urine is taken in your doctors office and sent to a lab to check for infection.
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Why Antibiotics Sometimes Dont Work
Most UTIs arent serious. But if left untreated, the infection can spread up to the kidneys and bloodstream and become life threatening. Kidney infections can lead to kidney damage and kidney scarring.
Symptoms of a UTI usually improve within 2 to 3 days after starting antibiotic therapy. Many doctors prescribe an antibiotic for at least 3 days.
While this type of medication is the standard treatment, researchers are noticing that antibiotic-resistant bacteria are reducing the effectiveness of some antibiotics in treating UTIs.
Some UTIs dont clear up after antibiotic therapy. When an antibiotic medication doesnt stop the bacteria from causing an infection, the bacteria continue to multiply.
The overuse or misuse of antibiotics is often the reason for antibiotic resistance. This can happen when the same antibiotic is prescribed over and over again for recurrent UTIs. Because of this risk, experts have been looking for ways to treat UTIs without antibiotics.
Some research has shown that UTIs can be treated without traditional antibiotics by targeting E. colis surface component for adhesion, FimH.
Typically, the urinary tract flushes away bacteria when you urinate. But according to researchers, FimH can cause E. coli to firmly attach to the cells in the urinary tract. And because of this tight grip, its hard for the body to naturally flush the bacteria from the urinary tract.
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Can Recurrent Utis Be A Sign Of Cancer
Both UTIs and bladder cancer can cause similar symptoms, such as a frequent need to urinate and even blood in the urine, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center.
According to the American Cancer Society, urinary tract infections, kidney and bladder stones, and other causes of chronic bladder irritation have been linked to bladder cancer. However, its not clear whether recurrent urinary or bladder infections can actually cause bladder cancer or whether they constitute a true risk factor for bladder cancer.
The biggest known risk factor for bladder cancer is smoking. The risk of bladder cancer also increases with age. Most people who get bladder cancer are over the age of 55.
If you think you may have chronic or recurrent UTIs, its best to get checked out by your doctor. Your provider can rule out other health issues, including bladder cancer, and get you the treatment you need to get rid of chronic UTIs.
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Are Antibiotics Effective Against Uti
Antibiotics can quickly relieve the symptoms of UTI. According to one study, people who took antibiotics felt better fairly quickly:
- Pain and burning resolved within 1-3 days.
- After one week, symptoms resolved in about 60% of the patients.
Some people may experience side effects from taking antibiotics, which include:
Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections Are More Common Than You Think
Even after I broke the cycle of recurrent urinary tract infections, I never stopped researching.
Id been full circle through wondering what was wrong with me, to wondering what was wrong with doctors, to being furious at yet another female health issue overlooked by the healthcare industry, to wanting to do something about it.
And here we are. We created this website so you wouldnt have to look so far and wide for helpful information.
Weve done our best to break recurrent UTI into the pieces of the puzzle you need to understand in order to get well:
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Symptoms Of Bladder Cancer
Symptoms of bladder cancer are relatively common symptoms of various diseases and are easy to miss. The most common symptom of bladder cancer is reddish or brownish-colored urine from blood in the urine. Other symptoms include the frequent urge to urinate, pain while urinating, and pain in the back or pelvis.
What Is The Treatment For A Uti
Antibiotics are considered the “gold standard” for UTI treatment, according to a 2019 article published in Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics, and it’s always a good idea to get symptoms of a UTI checked out by your healthcare provider.
Healthcare providers often give people who show up with UTI symptoms a prescription for antibiotics that they think will kill the pathogen. They’ll also take a urine sample to see what’s going on. Once the lab results come back , the healthcare provider may switch you to another antibiotic that’s better at killing the particular bacteria responsible for your infection.
“Antibiotics will hasten the cure of the infection. Most of the time, you’ll have symptomatic improvement within 36 hours,” said Dr. Moore.
That means that once you’ve been prescribed the right medication for the bacteria behind your UTI, you’ll feel better but that’s different than being “cured.” Even if you’re no longer feeling a constant, urgent need to pee , the bacteria that caused it could still be lingering around, said Dr. Moore.
You’ll usually need to take antibiotics for between three to five days total before the UTI is completely cleared up, Dr. Moore pointed out.
And while it’s tempting to stop taking your meds the moment you feel better, finishing the antibiotics as prescribed is super important.
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How Long Do Utis Last In Men
UTIs can last up to 14 days in men, says AUA. It’s less common for men to get UTIs, but when they do get this type of infection, it’s considered complicated and treated on the same timeline as complicated UTIs in women.
The AUA recommends that men take antibiotics for seven to 14 days if they have a bladder infection. As for kidney infections, men should get care right away to avoid a more serious condition and will probably need to take antibiotics for 14 days. The first couple of days might involve IV antibiotics in the hospital, and assuming that goes well, the healthcare provider will switch you over to oral antibiotics for the rest of the treatment.
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.
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When It Feels Like A Uti But Its Not
Interstitial cystitis , the condition I wrote about in Is it a UTI or something else, can seem like a chronic urinary tract infection.
But unlike a UTI, no bacterial infection is present. All the other annoying symptoms are however especially the frequent and often painful urination.
It often hits around the age of 40 and nearly one million Americans suffer from it 90 percent of them are women. But there is relief
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Could I Fight Utis Without Antibiotics
Three or four UTIs later I was living in a village in Greece. And when I say village, imagine a handful of houses on a hillside by the sea, hours from the nearest hospital.
And when I say houses, imagine a tiny, lovely, concrete box, with an outdoor bathroom beside an olive tree. It was a truly amazing experience, and I loved every minute of it between UTIs.
I sat on the toilet in that outdoor bathroom for a few hours at a time, debating whether to take the antibiotics I had brought with me. I contemplated whether my kidneys were actually disintegrating and coming out through my urethra.
Recurrent urinary tract infections can be terrifying. But once Id had half a dozen, I became dubious about the antibiotics. I looked for answers to questions like, Can you treat a UTI without antibiotics?
Maybe my body needed to fight this on its own to get better? Or maybe I would die in a remote village and my parents would have to expatriate my body.
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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 theyâre 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:
Q: What Are The Treatments For Ic
A: In the years since the first formal meeting on IC in 1987, scientists have explored many potential and, in some cases, controversial treatments. Unfortunately, no one treatment has yet to be established as a “cure” for IC. Therefore, it is important to understand that most treatments are designed to alleviate symptoms rather than cure disease.
IC treatments generally fall into two categories: oral drugs or intravesical medications that are placed directly into the bladder. Oral therapies can include bladder coatings, antidepressants, antihistamines, antispasmodics, and bladder anaesthetics.
In addition, nerve stimulation, hydrodistention/hydrodilation, and surgery are used. Surgery, such as bladder augmentation or cystectomy, is usually considered only after all other treatment options have been explored.
Most doctors utilize their own experience with patients to help decide what treatment to recommend. It is comforting to know, however, that if the first selection doesn’t help, there are many other approaches to try.
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Why Utis Keep Coming Back
It is estimated that 50% of women who encounter a UTI go on to experience a recurrence of infection within a year3. Some individuals have multiple UTI episodes throughout their life, and a few suffer from chronic UTIs. Factors that may increase the chance of UTI recurrence include:
- Sexual intercourse
- Certain types of birth control, particularly diaphragms and spermicidal agents
- Inherent predisposition: some women have urinary tracts that are more prone to bacterial invasion
- Anatomical abnormalities or blockages in the urinary tract
- Immune suppression caused by diseases such as diabetes
- Post-menopausal changes in the vaginal lining and in the ability of the bladder to contract
What Causes Bladder Cancer
Bladder cancer occurs when cells making up the bladder begin to grow and spread in an uncontrolled way, leading to the formation of a malignant tumor. This abnormal cell growth is caused by mutations in the genes that control cell replication, repair, and programmed death: genes that help cells to grow and divide may be switched on, whereas genes that regulate cell division, repair, and programmed death may be switched off.
Most of the gene mutations associated with bladder cancer are acquired, meaning that they develop during a persons life rather than being present at birth . Some of the acquired gene mutations are caused by exposure to toxins or chemicals that are recognized risk factors for developing bladder cancer, such as tobacco smoke.
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What Is A Urinary Tract Infection
UTIs are common infections that happen when bacteria, often from the skin or rectum, enter the urethra, and infect the urinary tract. The infections can affect several parts of the urinary tract, but the most common type is a bladder infection .
Kidney infection is another type of UTI. Theyre less common, but more serious than bladder infections.
Other Ways To Prevent Some Utis Coming Back
If you keep getting a bladder infection , there is some evidence it may be helpful to take:
- D-mannose a sugar you can buy as a powder or tablets to take every day
- cranberry products available as juice, tablets or capsules to take every day
Speak to your doctor before taking any of these during pregnancy.
Be aware that D-mannose and cranberry products can contain a lot of sugar.
If you’re taking warfarin, you should avoid cranberry products.
Page last reviewed: 22 March 2022 Next review due: 22 March 2025
Recurrent Uti And Constant Yeast Infections
Frequent antibiotic use came with other side effects. The most obvious was yeast infections. Although this was a less painful experience than the UTIs, it was an even more constant companion.
Each time I took antibiotics, I would need to use over the counter antifungals. These would relieve the symptoms just long enough for the next UTI to take hold. This of course meant more antibiotics, then more antifungals.
Then more antibiotics, then more antifungals You get the picture.
It felt as though I was never not taking something. I felt completely out of control of the state of my body. I had no confidence in its ability to find a better balance.
The antibiotics and antifungals had destroyed any semblance of a healthy microbiome in all areas, including my digestive tract.
Eventually the effectiveness of the antibiotics and antifungals lessened, and I would have just a few hours respite before the UTI and yeast infections would return.
My UTI symptoms became constant at this point. I virtually had not a single moment where I wasnt aware of discomfort in my urinary tract. And discomfort is mostly putting it lightly.
I began to notice a link between digestive symptoms, yeast related symptoms and the frequency of UTI flare ups. There was hardly a moment that I felt symptom free. Id had enough, and I decided to take what felt like drastic action.
Stages Of Bladder Cancer: What You Need To Know
When you are first diagnosed with bladder cancer, your doctors will perform tests to determine the stage and grade of your disease. The bladder cancer staging and grading processes help your doctors make treatment decisions and estimate your chance of recovery.
Bladder cancer is a growth that starts in the inner wall of the bladder, the organ that collects and expels urine created by the kidneys. The bladder has three layers of muscular walls that make up its structure. A cancerous growth in the bladder can grow uncontrollably and start spreading to other parts of the body.
When doctors first diagnose a cancerous tumor of any kind, they assess how much it has grown, how far it has spread in the body, and how abnormal, or wild, the cancerous cells in the tumor look. These assessments are used to determine cancers stage and grade.
Doctors use the staging information to compare treatment options and patient outcomes. Staging and grading also important in determining your eligibility for cancer treatment clinical trials.
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Things You Can Do Yourself
To help ease symptoms of a urinary tract infection :
- takeparacetamolup to 4 times a day to reduce pain and a high temperature for people with a UTI, paracetamol is usually recommended over NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or aspirin
- you can give childrenliquid paracetamol
- rest and drink enough fluids so you pass pale urine regularly during the day
- avoid having sex
Some people take cystitis sachets or cranberry drinks and products every day to prevent UTIs from happening, which may help. However, there’s no evidence they help ease symptoms or treat a UTI if the infection has already started.