Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- Do I need any tests, such as urinalysis?
- What is the likely cause of my urinary tract infection ?
- Do I need medicine? How should I take it?
- What are the possible side effects of the medicine?
- When should I expect relief from my symptoms?
- What symptoms would indicate that my infection is getting worse? What should I do if I experience these symptoms?
- I get UTIs a lot. What can I do to prevent them?
- Do I need preventive antibiotics? If so, should I be concerned about antibiotic resistance?
- My child gets UTIs a lot. Could an anatomical problem be causing his or her UTIs?
Consider Switching Birth Control
If you use diaphragms, spermicides, or nonlubricated condoms and get frequent UTIs, it may be worth talking to your doctor to find other methods of birth control.
Its not uncommon for UTIs to go away on their own with at-home care and without the use of antibiotics.
Some research estimates that 25 to 42 percent of UTIs can go away on their own. This is usually only common in women with no other health issues.
However, there are some serious risks that can come from leaving a UTI untreated, including pyelonephritis and .
UTIs are painful, but with treatment, you can alleviate an infection and prevent recurrent infections. Talk with your doctor if you have symptoms of a UTI. With proper treatment, you should begin to feel better in a few days.
Take your antibiotics as instructed even after your symptoms improve to prevent complications or a secondary infection.
If the UTI doesnt resolve after antibiotic treatment or you end up with multiple episodes of a UTI, your doctor will likely do further testing.
This could be in the form of:
- urodynamic testing
You may be referred to a urologist, depending on the severity of your UTI or if you have chronic infections.
Certain strains of bacteria can cause UTIs. They can range from mild to severe. The degree of severity depends on multiple factors, including:
Practice Good Sexual Hygiene
The also says that sexual intercourse introduces bacteria and other microbes from outside the body to the urinary tract. Practicing good sexual hygiene can help to reduce the number of bacteria that people can transfer during intercourse and other sexual acts.
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
- washing the genitals or changing condoms if switching from anal sex to vaginal sex
- ensuring that sexual partners are aware of any current or previous UTIs
Recommended Reading: Can Bronchitis Be Treated With Antibiotics
Can Urinary Tract Infections Be Prevented Or Avoided
There are many lifestyle choices that can help you prevent UTIs. These are some of the things you can do to protect yourself from them:
- Drink plenty of water to flush out bacteria. For some people, drinking cranberry juice may also help prevent urinary tract infections. However, if youre taking warfarin, check with your doctor before using cranberry juice to prevent urinary tract infections. Your doctor may need to adjust your warfarin dose or you may need to have more frequent blood tests.
- Dont hold your urine. Urinate when you feel like you need to. Some children dont go to the bathroom often enough. If your child does this, teach him or her to go to the bathroom several times each day.
- Wipe from front to back after bowel movements. Teach your child to wipe correctly.
- Urinate after having sex to help wash away bacteria.
- Use enough lubrication during sex. Try using a small amount of lubricant before sex if youre a little dry.
- If you get urinary tract infections often, you may want to avoid using a diaphragm as a birth control method. Ask your doctor about other birth control choices.
- Avoid taking or giving your child bubble baths.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing , and dress your child in loose-fitting clothing.
- If you are uncircumcised, wash the foreskin regularly. If you have an uncircumcised boy, teach him how to wash his foreskin.
Preventing Utis Using Natural Products
Many of those who suffer with recurring or resistant UTIs are keen to find ways of reducing the risk or occurrence by using natural products such as D-Mannose, cranberry products , Kefir /probiotics, manuka honey and so on.
Anecdotally, many report finding some of these useful in the prevention of UTIs however, there is very little published evidence to support the effectiveness of these natural products, and more research is needed.
You May Like: Antibiotics For Colitis Flare Up
How Are Utis Treated
UTIs are treated with antibiotics. After several days of antibiotics, your doctor may repeat the urine tests to be sure that the infection is gone. It’s important to make sure of this because an incompletely treated UTI can come back or spread.
If someone has a lot of pain from a UTI, the doctor may recommend a medicine to help relieve the spasm and pain in the bladder. This will turn pee a bright orange color, but it’s harmless and will usually make a person much more comfortable within hours. In the case of a kidney infection, a doctor may prescribe pain medicine.
If you’ve finished all the medicine or if your symptoms aren’t much better after 2 to 3 days of treatment, contact your doctor.
Drink lots of water during and after treatment because each time you pee, the bladder cleanses itself a little bit more. Cranberry juice may also be helpful. Skip drinks that containe caffeine , such as soda and iced tea.
People who get a doctor’s help for a UTI right away should be clear of symptoms within a week. Someone with a more severe infection may need treatment in a hospital so they can get antibiotics by injection or IV .
A doctor may tell people with UTIs to avoid sex for a week or so, which lets the inflammation clear up completely.
Practice These Healthy Habits
Preventing urinary tract infections starts with practicing a few good bathroom and hygiene habits.
First, its important not to hold urine for too long. This can lead to a buildup of bacteria, resulting in infection .
Peeing after sexual intercourse can also reduce the risk 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 you use the toilet, make sure you wipe front to back. Wiping from back to front can cause bacteria to spread to the urinary tract and is associated with an increased risk of UTIs .
Urinating frequently and after sexual intercourse can reduce the risk of UTI. Spermicide use and wiping from back to front may increase the risk of UTI.
Several natural supplements may decrease the risk of developing a UTI.
Here are a few supplements that have been studied:
- D-Mannose. D-Mannose is a type of sugar that is found in cranberries. Research suggests its effective in treating UTIs and preventing recurrence (
Recommended Reading: What Antibiotic Is Used To Treat An Abscessed Tooth
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.
Editorial Sources And Fact
Recommended Reading: What All Antibiotics Cure Chlamydia
Urethritis Due To Gonorrhea Or Chlamydia
You have urethritis. This is an inflammation in the urethra. The urethra is the tube between the bladder and the tip of the penis. Urine drains out of the body through the urethra. There are 2 main types of this condition:
Gonococcal urethritis . This is an infection caused by gonorrhea.
Nongonococcal urethritis . This is an infection that is often caused by chlamydia. Other infections can also be the cause.
Men are more likely to have symptoms, but may not. Symptoms can start within 1 week after exposure to an infection. But they can take a month or more to appear. Or they may not even occur. Some symptoms are:
Burning or pain when urinating
Irritation in the penis
Pus discharge from the penis
Pain and possible swelling in one or both testicles
Infections in the urethra are often caused by a sexually transmitted infection . The most common STIs are gonorrhea, chlamydia, or both.
Gonococcal urethritis is an infection of the urethra. Its caused by gonorrhea. Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection . Gonorrhea can also be in other areas of the body. This can cause:
Rectal pain and discharge
Without treatment, the infection can get worse and spread to other parts of your body. The infection can cause rashes, arthritis, and infections in your joints, heart, and brain.
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.
Don’t Miss: What Antibiotic Is Used To Treat Trichomoniasis
Urinate When The Need Arises
Frequent urination puts pressure on bacteria in the urinary tract, which can help to clear them out.
It also reduces the amount of time that bacteria in the urine are exposed to cells in the urinary tract, reducing the risk of them attaching and forming an infection.
Always urinate as soon as possible when the urge strikes to and treat UTIs.
What Causes Urinary Tract Infections
UTIs usually happen because bacteria enter the urethra, then make their way up into the bladder and cause an infection. Girls get UTIs much more often than guys, most likely due to differences in the shape and length of the urethra. Girls have shorter urethras than guys, and the opening lies closer to the anus and the vagina, where bacteria are likely to be.
Bacteria can get into the urethra several ways. During sex, for example, bacteria in the vaginal area may be pushed into the urethra and eventually end up in the bladder, where pee provides a good environment for the bacteria to grow. This is why females who are sexually active often get UTIs.
Bacteria may also get into a girl’s bladder if she wipes from back to front after a bowel movement , which can contaminate the urethral opening. The use of spermicides and diaphragms as contraceptives also may increase the risk of UTIs.
Sexually transmitted diseases may cause UTI-like symptoms, such as pain with peeing. This is due to the inflammation and irritation of the urethra or vagina that’s sometimes associated with chlamydia and other STDs. If untreated, STDs can lead to serious long-term problems, including pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility. Unlike UTIs, STDs are contagious.
Don’t Miss: Antibiotics For Boils In Groin Area
What About Cranberry Juice For Uti
Its a long-held belief that consuming cranberry juice may help prevent and treat urinary tract infections. While its true that cranberries contain an active ingredient that can prevent adherence of bacteria to the urinary tract, there is still no evidence that cranberry products can treat a UTI.
One of the reasons: Products like cranberry juice or cranberry capsules are not explicitly formulated with the same amount of PACs that have shown potential in lab studies. Moreover, a 2019 report in the Journal of Urology noted that the availability of such products to the public is a severe limitation to the use of cranberries for UTI prophylaxis outside the research setting.
In all, theres actually very little high-quality research on the topic of prevention. For instance, a 2016 study in The Journal of the American Medical Association, found that among female nursing home residents, daily consumption of cranberry capsules resulted in no significant prevention of UTIs.
While consuming cranberry juice or supplements is not considered a first-line treatment of urinary tract infections, in most cases, it cant hurt. After all, drinking plenty of liquids does dilute your urine and help spur more frequent urination, which flushes bacteria from the urinary tract. The exception: Those who are taking blood-thinning medication, such as warfarin, should not consume cranberry juice. And those with diabetes should be mindful of the high-sugar content of fruit juices.
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.
You May Like: Side Effects Of Bv Antibiotics
What Symptoms Will I Notice If My Uti Involves The Kidneys
Some symptoms associated with UTIs can imply that the infection involves the kidneys. In this instance, the infection is considered more serious, is classed as a complicated UTI as mentioned above, and always requires medical advice.
Symptoms of pyelonephritis include having a fever or chills, having pain around the sides or the back, and feeling or being sick. If you think you have a UTI and are also experiencing these symptoms, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
Symptoms of pyelonephritis include having a fever or chills, having pain around the sides or the back, and feeling or being sick
All complicated UTIs generally require antibiotic treatment, although unfortunately some even require a hospital stay. Other UTIs which always require medical attention are those which occur in children, in men, and in pregnant women.12
Urine samples should be sent for further testing in the case of complicated UTIs, to ensure that if the symptoms dont get better, other antibiotics can be found and tried.
Is There Treatment For Utis
Most UTIs are easy to treat. Treatment for UTIs is generally antibiotics, which get rid of the infection. You can also take over-the-counter pain medicine if you want.
Antibiotics are usually quick and effective most symptoms go away within a day or 2 of taking medicine. But be sure to finish all of your medicine, even if your symptoms go away. If you stop your UTI treatment early, the infection might still be there or could come back.
If your symptoms dont go away after a few days, or for more severe infections like a kidney or prostate infection, your doctor or nurse may recommend more tests, different medication, or refer you to a specialist.
Also Check: Antibiotics For Chronic Sinusitis In Adults
Drink Plenty Of Water
Although urinating can be painful when you have a UTI, its important to drink as many fluids as possible, particularly water. Most adults should aim to drink between six and eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day.
The more you drink, the more youll urinate. Urinating helps flush harmful bacteria from the urinary tract.
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.
Recommended Reading: Can You Buy Antibiotics At Walmart