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.
Antibiotic Treatments For Urinary Tract Infections Are Commonly Prescribed To Pregnant Women
Some antibiotic treatments for urinary tract infections , such as nitrofurantoin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, have been linked to birth defects. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends avoiding these antibiotic treatments in early pregnancy if possible. A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found thatabout 4 in 10 women with UTIs during early pregnancy filled a prescription for nitrofurantoin or trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. Healthcare providers of various specialties should be familiar with ACOGs recommendations about prescribing specific antibiotics to pregnant women and consider the possibility of early pregnancy when treating women of reproductive age. To help determine treatment options, women should inform all of their healthcare providers if they are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant.
To Prevent Urinary Tract Infections Some Doctors Recommend That People Drink Which Liquid
Cranberry juice has long been touted as a home remedy of choice to prevent urinary tract infections. The active ingredient in cranberries, A-type proanthocyanidins , has been shown to block bacteria from adhering to the wall of the bladder. However, it takes an extremely large concentration of cranberry to accomplish this, a concentration not found in typical juices we drink. Further, any concentration of these PACs is long gone by the time it reaches the bladder. Drinking cranberry juice may help hydrate you, which can help wash bacteria from your body, but water can accomplish the same thing. Drinking cranberry juice wont hurt, but it probably wont help either.
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Common Side Effects With Antibiotic Use
Each antibiotic is responsible for its own unique list of side effects, and the list is usually extensive. Be sure to discuss your individual antibiotic side effects with your healthcare provider. However, there are side effects that are common to most antibiotics, regardless of class or drug:
What Should I Do If My Antibiotic Doesnt Work For My Urinary Tract Infection
If your symptoms dont improve within a couple of days or get worse after starting an antibiotic you should contact your healthcare provider. A different antibiotic, a longer course of antibiotics or another treatment may be required. A physical exam or urine sample may be required.
When you have a UTI its important to:
- Only take an antibiotic that has been prescribed for you
- Take the antibiotic exactly as instructed by your healthcare provider and finish the full course of treatment even if you feel better
- Drink plenty of water and other fluids
- Urinate or pee regularly
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Adverse Effects Of Uti Antibiotics And Specific Patient Factors
If youve ever read the leaflet that comes with your UTI antibiotics, you will know there are many side effects that can occur with antibiotic use. Certain people react to certain antibiotics, and some antibiotics are much more likely to cause side effects than others.
Side Effects Of Common Antibiotics Used To Treat Uncomplicated UTI
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Antibiotics For Uti: Whatre Your Options
If you are experiencing a urinary tract infection , you are not alone. Roughly 60% of women and 12% of men will have at least one UTI in their lifetimes. It is one of the most common outpatient infections in the United States.
Urinary tract infections begin when microbes enter the urinary system, overcome the bodys natural defense mechanisms, and multiply. For many patients, these infections can be uncomfortable.
Although fungi or viruses can cause some UTIs, bacterial microbes are the primary cause behind most infections. The best way to treat a bacterial UTI is to kill the germs causing the condition with antibiotics. Patients who take antibiotics for UTI conditions often report experiencing relief within just a few days.
Lets take a closer look at the different antibiotic options for UTI treatment.
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What Antibiotics Are Commonly Used To Treat Urinary Tract Infections
A handful of antibiotics are used to treat the most common urinary tract infections . In 75-95% of these cases, the infection is caused by bacteria called Escherichia coli , so experts know which antibiotics work well against the infection. These antibiotics are called first-line antibiotics.
They are given orally and include:
Amoxicillin and ampicillin are no longer used because of a high level of antibiotic resistance.
Treatment Of Bladder Urinary Tract Infections
The specific intervention depends on the severity of the symptoms. In many instances, healthy patients who have a urinary tract infection but have no symptoms require no treatment at all. Such asymptomatic UTIs typically resolve within two to three days.
If urinary tract infection symptoms are presentsuch as a burning sensation during urination or an increased need to urinatetreatment usually consists of antibiotic medications, which are prescribed for three to 14 days. They include:
- Trimethoprim: Trimethoprim is the standard treatment for urinary tract infections in otherwise-healthy adults. It is one of the more potent UTI antibiotics, so most patients only require a three-day course. Trimethoprim is generally well-tolerated with few side effects, which generally include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea/constipation or stomach pain.
- Nitrofurantoin: Nitrofurantoin is the second most commonly prescribed antibiotic for bladder UTIs. It usually requires a longer course than trimethroprim , and is usually well tolerated but should not be taken by anyone with kidney disease. Side effects include nausea and vomiting.
- Cephalosporins: Cephalosporins are often used as a first-line of treatment in patients that have upper urinary tract infections involving the ureters or kidneys. It is usually taken for seven to 10 days. Side effects include nausea, vomiting, upset stomach and diarrhea.
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Related Resources For Utis
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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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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.
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.
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Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections
Patients with three or more infections per year should be offered either continuous low-dose antibiotic prophylaxis, patient-initiated, or postcoital prophylaxis if the onset of infection is linked to sexual intercourse . Before a prophylactic regimen is chosen, a urine culture should be performed to determine the susceptibility of the pathogen. The duration of continuous prophylactic therapy is usually 6 months to a year. Unfortunately, within 6 months of discontinuing antibiotic prophylaxis, 40% to 60% of women develop a urinary tract infection, and prophylaxis must be resumed. Patient-initiated therapy at the onset of symptoms has been shown to be effective in young, healthy nonpregnant women. Short-course regimens have been advocated for patient-initiated therapy in compliant women with frequently recurring and symptomatic urinary tract infections. The major advantages of short-course therapy over continuous therapy are convenience and the avoidance of antibiotic toxicity symptomatic infections are not prevented, however. For postcoital prophylaxis, nitrofurantoin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, or fluoroquinolones taken within 2 hours after sexual intercourse have been shown to significantly reduce the incidence of recurrent cystitis.,
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Do I Really Need To Take Antibiotics For A Uti
In most cases, it makes sense to start antibiotics if you know you have a bacterial UTI since this is the only way to treat it.
While it is possible for a UTI to go away on its own, this doesnt always happen. Plus, youll still have to deal with uncomfortable UTI symptoms like pain during urination while waiting to see if the UTI will go away. And if it doesnt, the infection can travel up your urinary tract and cause a more serious infection in your kidneys called pyelonephritis. If youre pregnant, have underlying health conditions, or are older than 65 years old, you should not try to treat a UTI without antibiotics.
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Best Probiotics For Recurrent Utis
Using a special strand of probiotics was proven to restore the urogenital flora of healthy premenopausal women.
The Lactobacilli probiotic dominates most healthy womens urogenital flora, and many clinical studies show that its the most effective probiotic you can take to prevent recurring UTIs.
Some strains are better than others. Here are the findings:
Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and L. reuteri RC-14 seemed to be the most effective among the studied lactobacilli for the prevention of UTIs. L. casei shirota and L. crispatus CTV-05 have also shown efficacy in some studies
Where Can You Find This Exact Probiotic?
I recommend the Jarrow Formulas Fem-Dophilus, which supports vaginal and Urinary Tract health you can purchase it from iHerb.
It contains the right strain of probiotics proven to prevent UTIs $29 at iHerb
What about you? what has worked best for you? Share your experience in the comments below.
To your health and happiness,
The Common Symptoms Of Utis In Men That Antibiotics Actively Treat Are:
- Pain in the pelvic region
- Burning sensation while passing urine
- The frequent urge of peeing
So, whenever you face these symptoms just get in touch with a specialist doctor. The doctor will prescribe you antibiotics to treat the urinary infection. Lets know about some of the most effective antibiotics for UTIs in men.
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How Long Should I Take Antibiotics
Your doctor will let you know. Typically, for an uncomplicated infection, you’ll take antibiotics for 2 to 3 days. Some people will need to take these medicines for up to 7 to 10 days.
For a complicated infection, you might need to take antibiotics for 14 days or more.
If you still have symptoms after completing antibiotics, a follow-up urine test can show whether the germs are gone. If you still have an infection, you’ll need to take antibiotics for a longer period of time.
If you get UTIs often, you may need a prolonged course of antibiotics. And if sex causes your UTIs, you’ll take a dose of the medicine right before you have sex. You can also take antibiotics whenever you get a new UTI if youâre having symptoms and a positive urine culture.
Antibiotics Can Reduce Your Risk Of Complications
Trying a wait-and-see approach with a UTI can lead to health complications. Left untreated, a UTI in your bladder or urethra can develop into an infection in your kidneys . A kidney infection is a more serious type of UTI. It can result in permanent organ damage or lead to a potentially fatal blood infection.
Antibiotics help your immune system fight off the bacteria responsible for a UTI and can greatly reduce the risk of your minor UTI becoming a much more serious kidney infection. The sooner you start taking an antibiotic, the lower the likelihood of complications.
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Can You Get A Uti From Having Sex
Sexual intercourse is a prime scenario for bacteria to enter the urethra, especially for women, who tend to experience more UTIs than men do. The physical activity involved in sex can send bacteria into the urethra. In fact, studies show that increasing the frequency of sex increases the likelihood of UTIs. Remember that the urethra connects directly to the bladder, so if the germs continue to travel up the urinary tract, they will reach the bladder first.
Sex is a common way for germs like bacteria to enter the urinary tract, but its not the only way. Lets discuss some other potential UTI causes.
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Treatment For Urinary Tract Infection
The best cystitistreatment is an antibiotic. Your dose and the type of antibiotic will depend on the severity of yourinfection as well as other factors, including:
- Side effects from past antibiotic treatments
Before your doctor prescribes you an antibiotic for UTI, he needs to determine the type of bacteriacausing the infection first. He will take a urine sample to confirm your infection. Samples of thebacteria will be grown in the lab for a couple of days. This culture will help your doctor determine thetype of bacteria thats causing the infection.
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Accurate Diagnosing Of A Uti
Can you self-diagnose a UTI? First of all, read why OTC UTI test strips could be inaccurate in your case.
Moreover, in a recent study, less than 50% of women who reported UTI symptoms to their physician truly had a urinary tract infection.
The most accurate predictors of a true UTI are the combination of urgency to urinate, burning during urination, and pyuria .
The same study suggests that more physicians should perform wet mount microscopy test to look for white cells in the urine before prescribing antibiotics for UTI.
Have you noticed blood in your urine, cloudy urine or a funny smell to your urine? These are some symptoms that are indicative of a UTI, especially if they have been happening only for a short time. These symptoms may be more predictive than lower abdomen pain and burning with urination, which is also common with bladder inflammation that is not due to a UTI.
Important: if you have recurring blood in your urine and no other signs of a UTI, let your doctor know right away as this could be a sign of a bladder tumor that should be treated right away.
Therefore, whenever you are offered antibiotics for UTI, always ask for a urine culture test or wet mount microscopy test.
Always pay attention to your UTI symptoms, even after you finish your antibiotic treatment. If you have just finished a course of antibiotics but your symptoms still linger on, read this interview with a urologist explaining why antibiotics may not work for your UTI.