Causes Of Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections 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
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What Can I Do To Prevent A Uti
- Empty your bladder often. Urinate and empty your bladder as soon as you feel the need. Do not hold your urine for long periods of time.
- Drink liquids as directed. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. You may need to drink more liquids than usual to help flush out the bacteria. Do not drink alcohol, caffeine, or citrus juices. These can irritate your bladder and increase your symptoms. Your healthcare provider may recommend cranberry juice to help prevent a UTI.
- Urinate after you have sex. This can help flush out bacteria passed during sex.
- Do pelvic muscle exercises often. Pelvic muscle exercises may help you start and stop urinating. Strong pelvic muscles may help you empty your bladder easier. Squeeze these muscles tightly for 5 seconds like you are trying to hold back urine. Then relax for 5 seconds. Gradually work up to squeezing for 10 seconds. Do 3 sets of 15 repetitions a day, or as directed.
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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Clinical Presentation And Diagnosis
Patients with cystitis often present with a frequent, persistent urge to urinate despite passing a small amount, dysuria or a burning sensation during urination, or suprapubic heaviness.7 Patients with pyelonephritis often experience flank pain or tenderness, a low fever , chills, nausea, vomiting, and malaise with or without symptoms of cystitis.2 Patients with a lower or upper UTI may experience hematuria or notice that their urine is cloudy or has a strong odor. Elderly patients tend to present with nonspecific symptoms including altered mental status, change in eating habits, lower abdominal pain, and gastrointestinal symptoms such as constipation.6
In most patients who present with signs and symptoms of UTIs, a history of illness is the most important diagnostic tool, especially when symptom onset is sudden or severe and when vaginal discharge and irritation are not present.2,3 Sometimes, however, UTI diagnosis cannot rely solely on patient symptoms because some patients are asymptomatic this is more common in older adults than in younger adults.6 Laboratory tests, urine-sample tests, and pelvic examinations should be performed in patients with urinary tract symptoms to properly diagnose UTIs.2,3 Laboratory tests for UTIs include assessments for the presence of bacteriuria and pyuria, nitrite, leukocyte esterase, and antibody-coated bacteria.2
Treat Related Health Problems
When a childs bladder doesnt work exactly as it shouldcalled dysfunctional voidingtreatments may help the bladder work better and prevent repeated infections. The muscles that control urination may be out of sync. Or, your childs bladder may be overactive or underactive.
Health care professionals can treat these types of bladder problems with medicines, behavior changes, or both. Children often grow out of these bladder problems naturally over time.
If your child has vesicoureteral reflux, a urinary tract blockage, or an anatomical problem, see a pediatric urologist or other specialist. Treating these conditions may help prevent repeated bladder infections.
Diabetes and other health conditions can increase the risk for a bladder infection. Ask your childs health care professional how to reduce the risk of developing a bladder infection.
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How Long Should I Take Antibiotics
Your doctor will let you know. Typically, for an uncomplicated infection, youâll 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, youâll 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, youâll take a dose of the medicine right before you have sex. You can also take antibiotics whenever you get a new UTI if youÃ¢re having symptoms and a positive urine culture.
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When To See A Doctor
If you are experiencing symptoms of a UTI, its best to see your doctor as soon as possible. For those who are pregnant, a UTI can be dangerous for both mother and child.
Your doctor will perform the necessary tests, like a urine culture, to figure out the primary bacteria responsible for your infection. Theyll then prescribe medication that is targeted for your specific needs.
Again, this isnt something you want to ignore for too long because your UTI could get a lot worse. Ramin said, in rare cases, the bacteria could make its way to your kidneys, which makes the UTI more difficult to treat.
In more serious cases of urinary tract infection, antibiotics may need to be administered intravenously and then followed by a course of oral antibiotics for several days to weeks, he said.
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.
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Which Antibiotic Should Be Used To Treat A Uti
There are multiple types of antibiotics used to treat urinary tract infections . Different treatments may be recommended in different areas of the country based on regional patterns of antibiotic resistance.
Most patients with an uncomplicated UTI will begin treatment without any special diagnostic test, although a urinalysis may be performed by taking a urine sample. In a urinalysis, the chemical components of the urine are determined, and the doctor may look at urine color, clarity, and a view a sample under the microscope. A urine culture may be order, too, but is not always needed to start treatment. A urine culture can define the specific bacteria causing the UTI in more complicated cases or in the case of treatment failure.
Symptoms like burning and stinging while urinating will usually clear up in within one day after starting treatment. Be sure to finish your entire course of medication. If symptoms are still present after 2 to 3 days, contact your healthcare provider.
More extensive diagnostic procedures or imaging tests like an X-ray may be required if you continue to have frequent UTIs.
Best Over The Counter Uti Medicines 2020
If youre experiencing difficult, frequent, and painful urination, it may have a UTI. Urinary tract infections are more common among women and develop as a cause of certain bacteria infecting the urethra. The most common ways that bacteria spread to these sensitive regions is either through sexual intercourse and poor hygiene practices.
UTI can be very troubling because of the pain and frequent, strong urges to urinate that it causes. Luckily, there are lots of UTI medications available on the market today. These often come in many forms however, so it can be hard to choose the best over the counter UTI medicine for your needs and your body. If you still cant make a decision and need some help to take your pick, you can take cues from this comprehensive buying guide.
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Some Preventative Measures Do Help
Because urinary tract infections do tend to reoccur, it can be beneficial to take some steps to prevent them. Dr. Talbott recommends emptying your bladder immediately after sexual intercourse. You can also take cranberry tablets, which are not necessarily curative, but may have some benefit in preventing infection in the first place.
Drinking a lot of water can also be very beneficial, says Dr. Talbott. It helps flush out bacteria and accelerate healing.
If you suffer from recurrent UTIs, you should speak with your physician, who might investigate further for other causes or contributors, including spermicidal agents and lower estrogen levels.
UTIs can be miserable, but you dont have to suffer. If youre experiencing symptoms, MDLIVE is an easy, convenient way to talk to a doctor without having to wait days for an appointmentfrom the comfort of your own home. Our doctors can talk to you about your symptoms, give you a diagnosis, and if a prescription is needed, send one straight to the pharmacy of your choice. Contact MDLIVE for a consult with a board-certified doctor via secure online video, phone, or the MDLIVE App today.
How Are Urinary Tract Infections Treated
You will need to treat a urinary tract infection. Antibiotics are medicines that kill bacteria and fight an infection. Antibiotics are typically used to treat urinary tract infections. Your healthcare provider will pick a drug that best treats the particular bacteria thats causing your infection. Some commonly used antibiotics can include:
- Quinolones .
Its very important that you follow your healthcare providers directions for taking the medicine. Dont stop taking the antibiotic because your symptoms go away and you start feeling better. If the infection is not treated completely with the full course of antibiotics, it can return.
If you have a history of frequent urinary tract infections, you may be given a prescription for antibiotics that you would take at the first onset of symptoms. Other patients may be given antibiotics to take every day, every other day, or after sexual intercourse to prevent the infection. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best treatment option for you if you have a history of frequent UTIs.
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Creating Stronger Strains Of Bacteria
Over time, some species of bacteria have become resistant to traditional antibiotics. According to some research , several species of E. coli, the primary cause of UTIs, are showing increasing drug resistance.
The more a person uses an antibiotic, the greater the risk of the bacteria developing resistance. This is even more likely when a person does not take the full prescribed course of treatment.
It is essential to continue taking antibiotics until the end date that the doctor provides. Also, never share antibiotics with others.
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Active Ingredients Of Antibiotics For Urinary Tract Infections
There are several different types of antibiotics that can be used, if they are needed, to treat urinary tract infections. The best antibiotic for your infection will depend on the type of infection you have and what bacteria are causing it.
Antibiotics used to treat urinary tract infections
|May be prescribed for:|
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Urgent Advice: Ask For An Urgent Gp Appointment Or Get Help From Nhs 111 If:
You think you, your child or someone you care for may have a urinary tract infection and:
- a very high temperature, or feeling hot and shivery
- a very low temperature below 36C
- are confused, drowsy or have difficulty speaking
- have not been for a pee all day
- have pain in the lower tummy or in the back, just under the ribs
- can see blood in their pee
These symptoms could mean you have a kidney infection, which can be serious if its not treated as it could cause .
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What Oral Antibiotics Are Used To Treat An Uncomplicated Uti In Women
The following oral antibiotics are commonly used to treat most uncomplicated UTI infections :
Your doctor will choose your antibiotic based on your history, type of UTI, local resistance patterns, and cost considerations. First-line options are usually selected from nitrofurantoin, fosfomycin and sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim. Amoxicillin/clavulanate and certain cephalosporins, for example cefpodoxime, cefdinir, or cefaclor may be appropriate options when first-line options cannot be used.
Length of treatment for cystitis can range from a single, one-time dose, to a course of medication over 5 to 7 days. Kidney infections may require injectable treatment, hospitalization, as well as a longer course of antibiotic, depending upon severity of the infection.
Sometimes a UTI can be self-limiting in women, meaning that the body can fight the infection without antibiotics however, most uncomplicated UTI cases can be treated quickly with a short course of oral antibiotics. Never use an antibiotic that has been prescribed for someone else.
In men with symptoms that do not suggest a complicated UTI, treatment can be the same as women. In men with complicated UTIs and/or symptoms of prostatitis are not present, men can be treated for 7 days with a fluoroquinolone . Tailor therapy once urine cultures are available.
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Why Antibiotics Are The Golden Standard
Urinary tract infections occur due to an external bacterial infection in the urinary tract of a body. The most common treatment option is a course of antibiotic therapy that targets the pathogens and the bacteria causing the infection.
The appropriate antibiotic course leads to higher symptomatic and bacteriological cure rates and significantly reduces the chances of reinfection. The types of antibiotics prescribed as the first line of treatment are based upon the type of bacteria found in your urine after the urine analysis, your health status, and the severity of the infection.
Practice Good Sexual Hygiene
Some sexual intercourse bacteria and other microbes into the urinary tract. Practicing good sexual hygiene can help to reduce this risk.
Examples of good sexual hygiene include:
- urinating before and immediately after sex
- using barrier contraception, such as a condom
- washing the genitals, especially the foreskin, before and after engaging in sexual acts or intercourse
- ensuring that all sexual partners are aware of any current or past UTIs
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What Are Uti Symptoms
Symptoms of UTIs may include the following: pain or burning when urinating, pressure in the low belly, an urge to urinate often, and fatigue and shakiness. If you have severe pain in your back or lower abdomen, vomiting, nausea, or fever, see your healthcare provider immediately. These can be signs of a serious kidney infection. Speak with your healthcare provider if you think you may have a UTI.
- Urinary Tract Infection, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Web. 20 September 2021.
- Bladder Infection in Adults, National Institute of Health . Web. 20 September 2021.
- Urinary Tract Infections, MedlinePlus. Web. 20 September 2021.
- Urinary Tract Infections, Mayo Clinic. Web. 20 September 2021.
- Phenazopyridine, MedlinePlus. Web. 21 September 2021.
What About Antibiotic Resistance
Resistance rates for antibiotics are always variable based on local patterns in the community and specific risk factors for patients, such as recent antibiotic use, hospital stay or travel. If you have taken an antibiotic in the last 3 months or traveled internationally, be sure to tell your doctor.
High rates of antibiotic resistance are being seen with both ampicillin and amoxicillin for cystitis , although amoxicillin/clavulanate may still be an option. Other oral treatments with reported increasing rates of resistance include sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim and the fluoroquinolones. Resistance rates for the oral cephalosporins and amoxicillin/clavulanate are still usually less than 10 percent.
Always finish taking your entire course of antibiotic unless your doctor tells you to stop. Keep taking your antibiotic even if you feel better and you think you don’t need your antibiotic anymore.
If you stop your treatment early, your infection may return quickly and you can develop resistance to the antibiotic you were using previously. Your antibiotic may not work as well the next time you use it.
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