I Wondered If I Was Going To Die: 5 Uti Horror Stories Every Woman Should Read
And can probably relate to.
For something that affects such a tiny part of the body, UTIs have a big impact on the half of all women who get them. The regular symptoms are bad enough, but when things get worse or when the doctors don’t listen, or when the meds don’t work it’s a nightmare.
Here, five women share their scariest UTI moments, because if at least half of us are going to suffer through them, we might as well do it together.
Rebekah, 23, says she did everything right: She used a condom and peed after sex. But within a week, she was in so much pain she couldn’t leave her apartment.
“I went home with a stranger at the beginning of the semester. He wore a condom and I figured it was fine. The next day, I felt more pain than normal after sex, and it started to burn when I went to the bathroom. The burning escalated exponentially within 24 hours it just hurt so bad.
My friend told me I probably had a UTI and to get AZO. But it only got worse, so I went to the doctor after about a week, was diagnosed with a UTI, and was given antibiotics. But my UTI didn’t respond to the antibiotics, so it only got worse. I became sicker, peeing became excruciating, and I felt pulsating in my lower back. I had a fever and chills and genuinely wondered if I was going to die.
It was very humbling to sit in my own orange urine, knowing this was the only way I could pee.
I felt helpless.
I woke up at 3 a.m. feeling like someone had kidney-punched my guts.
See A Healthcare Provider
While UTIs arent usually a cause for major concern, if you dont get them treated, they can lead to more serious problems like a kidney infection. If you have a UTI, make an appointment with a healthcare provider as soon as possible. The fastest way to feel better is by taking an antibiotic to kill the bacteria causing your infection.
If going to see a provider in-person is not an option , there are plenty of telehealth services available that will allow you to set up a virtual appointment. Check out GoodRx Care for treatment of UTIs as well as many other medical conditions.
During your appointment, your provider will ask you questions about what symptoms you are experiencing and if you are prone to UTIs. You might be asked to provide a urine sample either in the office you are seen in or at a lab close to you. Lastly, your provider will prescribe you a course of antibiotics to get started on right away.
Some common antibiotics used for treating UTIs include nitrofurantoin , sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim , and ciprofloxacin . Typically, you only need to take them for 3 to 5 days, and most people start to feel relief within the first 2 to 3 days. Antibiotics can cause nausea, stomach upset, and diarrhea for many people. But, taking your dose with food can help lessen nausea and stomach upset, and taking a probiotic supplement like L. acidophilus can help with the diarrhea.
A Pharmacist Can Help With Utis
You can ask a pharmacist about treatments for a UTI. A pharmacist can:
- offer advice on things that can help you get better
- suggest the best painkiller to take
- tell you if you need to see a GP about your symptoms
Some pharmacies offer a UTI management service and can prescribe antibiotics if they’re needed.
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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.
Heres A Brief Guide Detailing The Most Common Side Effects Of Antibiotics For Uti Along With Tips On How To Manage Them
A urinary tract infection , which is one of the most common infections worldwide, is commonly cured by antibiotics. These drugs are prescribed by a physician and work by killing the infection-causing bacteria or by stopping them from multiplying. They are also usually given to patients with other types of infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia.
If you have been instructed by your doctor to take antibiotics for your UTI, one of your main concerns might be its side effects.
Side effects refer to any unwanted reaction that happens along with the therapeutic or healing action of the antibiotic. Its important to remember, however, that different classes of antibiotics may affect each patient in varying ways. At times, they may present as minor annoyances, but there are cases wherein they interfere with patients daily activities or prevent them from finishing the whole treatment course.
This article explains the most common side effects you may experience when taking antibiotics for UTI and some tips on dealing with them.
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Contact Doctor Within 24 Hours
- Blood in urine and new onset since starting antibiotic
- Taking antibiotic more than 24 hours, and pain with passing urine is severe.
- Taking antibiotic more than 48 hours and fever still there or comes back
- Taking antibiotic more than 3 days and pain not better
- You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Utis
UTIs can cause such signs as:
- pain, burning, or a stinging sensation when peeing
- an increased urge or more frequent need to pee
- waking up at night a lot to go to the bathroom
- belly pain in the area of the bladder
- foul-smelling pee that may look cloudy or contain blood
If you have any symptoms of a UTI, you’ll need to go to a doctor right away. The sooner you begin treatment, the less uncomfortable you’ll be. Call your doctor’s office or clinic. If you can’t reach your doctor, you can visit an urgent care center or hospital emergency room. The most important thing is to take action as soon as possible.
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Diagnose Your Uti Head To The Doctor
Suspect you have a UTI? A good idea is to find an OTC UTI test that you can take in the convenience of your own home. These UTI tests will give you fast results, and help your doctor make a quicker decision on whether or not antibiotics are necessary to treat your UTI, if that is the case. If you dont have an OTC UTI test available, head straight to the doctors office! Theres a chance your doctor will want you to have a full pelvic exam to check for other infections, because UTI and sexually transmitted infection symptoms are sometimes similar. Either way, its better to be safe than sorry! Be sure to use your at home test kit before taking any urinary pain relievers to avoid inaccurate results.
Option #: Persistent Uti Symptoms After Treatment
Here is another option: they sent your urine sample to a lab and later told you that according to the test you have a UTI. However, antibiotics resolved some symptoms , but the urge to urinate or pain in the lower abdomen remained.
As you could imagine, there could be a scenario when not only you have a full-blown UTI, but also an inflamed bladder lining is causing additional symptoms, as discussed above.
In this case, you, most likely, will see a reduction in pain, and your urine will become clear. However, pain in the bladder area and slight irritation after urination might still linger.
Moreover, when patients mention they feel burning in the urethra rather than the bladder, its quite normal. In fact, the urethra has more nerve endings that could be easily irritated due to underlying inflammation.
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When To Seek Medical Advice
You may find your UTI symptoms are mild and pass within a few days. However, you should see your GP if you find your symptoms very uncomfortable or if they last for more than five days.
Also see your GP if you have a UTI and:
- you develop a high temperature
- your symptoms suddenly get worse
- you are pregnant
- you have diabetes
What Makes A Uti Worse An Ultimate Uti Faq
Many of us have experienced it: a burning sensation while peeing along with pelvic pain. You may have a urinary tract infection, commonly referred to as a UTI. A Brief Intro to UTIs A UTI is an infection in the Read More
Many of us have experienced it: a burning sensation while peeing along with pelvic pain. You may have a urinary tract infection, commonly referred to as a UTI.
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Fighting Infections With Antibiotics
For a lower UTI, a 3-7-day course of antibiotics helps treat the bacteria. Serious upper infections need hospitalization for IV antibiotics. This helps with the back pain, fever, and vomiting that happens. Once doctors get the fever under control, treatment will then move to oral antibiotics. The doctor will give a longer course of antibiotics for a secondary UTI. There are cases where antibiotics do not work or the UTI returns multiple times in a year. In these cases, consult a urologist to advise on next steps.
Common Side Effects Of Uti Anibiotics
1. Upset stomach
Many drugs for UTI can cause gastrointestinal troubles, which may include:
nausea and vomiting diarrhea
So what should you do when you experience these after taking your UTI antibiotic?
The best thing to do is to ask your doctor if you can take food with the prescription. Doing so may lessen the stomach discomfort commonly produced by the drug, but this is not applicable to all antibiotics, as some of them must be taken on an empty stomach. Thus, be sure to check with your physician first.
Fever is a common adverse effect of several drugs, including antibiotics.. It may occur as either a side effect or an allergic reaction. In most cases, the fever may go away on its own within 1 to 2 days. If it does not, however, inform your doctor and verify if you can take over-the-counter medications to keep your body temperature within the normal range.
3. Allergic reactions
Severe allergic reactions to antibiotics are rare, but when they happen, they can be life-threatening. They are usually caused by a patients hypersensitivity to one or more components of the drug. A mild allergic reaction may start from a skin rash. However, if you experience any of these more worrisome reactions, seek emergency medical help:
shortness of breath
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Why Do Women Get Urinary Tract Infections More Often Than Men
Women tend to get urinary tract infections more often than men because bacteria can reach the bladder more easily in women. The urethra is shorter in women than in men, so bacteria have a shorter distance to travel.
The urethra is located near the rectum in women. Bacteria from the rectum can easily travel up the urethra and cause infections. Bacteria from the rectum is more likely to get into the urethra if you wipe from back to front after a bowel movement. Be sure to teach children how to wipe correctly.
Having sex may also cause urinary tract infections in women because bacteria can be pushed into the urethra. Using a diaphragm can lead to infections because diaphragms push against the urethra and make it harder to completely empty your bladder. The urine that stays in the bladder is more likely to grow bacteria and cause infections.
Frequent urinary tract infections may be caused by changes in the bacteria in the vagina. Antibacterial vaginal douches, spermicides, and certain oral antibiotics may cause changes in vaginal bacteria. Avoid using these items, if possible. Menopause can also cause changes in vaginal bacteria that increase your risk for urinary tract infection. Taking estrogen usually corrects this problem but may not be for everyone.
Discuss With Your Doctor If Some Of Your Uti Symptoms Persist After Antibiotics
Here are several questions that you should think about prior to your doctor visit to help your physician with the right information:
- Are your symptoms stronger when the bladder is full and you feel better after urination?
- Does a certain position trigger bladder pain?
- Do you feel that your symptoms stay the same over the course of days and even weeks?
- Is there blood in your urine, foul smell, or is your urine cloudy?
- If youd like more help on how to discuss your UTI with your provider and how to make the most out of your patient-doctor relationships, check out my Actionable Guide here.
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Can Home Remedies Quickly Treat A Uti
As resistance to antibiotics is becoming more common, many people are looking for ways to avoid using them. While this can be a good thing in some cases, it can draw out your illness in other instances.
The most commonly asked about home remedy for UTIs is cranberry. Drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry tablets has been long-touted as a natural alternative for treating UTIs. The thought is that cranberry makes your urine more acidic which, in turn, kills the bacteria causing your infection.
Unfortunately, cranberry does not treat UTIs very well. On the flip side, though, it can be useful for helping to prevent infections if youre prone to them. This seems to also be the case for other acidic fruits like lemon. Just be sure if youre going to try this for preventing future UTIs that you drink unsweetened juice, as sugar actually helps bacteria to grow.
Sooowhat Happens If A Uti Gets Worse
There are a few reasons why your UTI might not improve, the first being that you stop taking your antibiotics. Survivor bacteria that have been exposed to a short course of antibiotics will evolve to resist that antibiotic, explains Dr. Kaufman. That means the infection will no longer respond to the medication, making it much tougher to get rid of the UTI.
UTI getting worse even with antibiotics? Its also an unfortunate fact that some women are more prone to UTIs than others. For example, women that are postmenopausal or around the time of perimenopause will experience a decrease in estrogen, which affects the type of bacteria that exists in the vagina, Dr. Mueller says. When those ‘good’ bacteria are depleted, because that estrogen is no longer circulating, that can allow for vulnerability of the vagina and the lower urinary tract to let in what we call ‘bad’ bacteria, like E. coli, or things that cause urinary tract infections, she explains.
If you have more than two UTIs in six months or three in one year, docs will typically recommend you get a cystoscopy or CT scan to look inside the bladder and make sure there’s nothing there that shouldn’t be there .
That brings us to another reason your UTI could be getting worse: It might *not* be a standard UTI and is actually a more serious kidney infection that requires emergency care. This can occur when bladder infections are left untreated, Dr. Mueller says.
Symptoms of a more severe kidney infection can include:
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Still Kidney Pain With Antibiotics
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Treatment From A Gp For Utis That Keep Coming Back
If your UTI comes back after treatment, you may have a urine test and be prescribed different antibiotics.
Your doctor or nurse will also offer advice on how to prevent UTIs.
If you keep getting UTIs and regularly need treatment, a GP may give you a repeat prescription for antibiotics.
If you have been through the menopause, you may be offered a vaginal cream containing oestrogen.
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Living With Urinary Tract Infections
If you have 3 or more urinary tract infections each year, your doctor may want you to begin a preventive antibiotic program. A small dose of an antibiotic taken every day helps to reduce the number of infections. If sexual intercourse seems to cause infections for you, your doctor many suggest taking the antibiotic after intercourse.