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.
Who Gets Urinary Tract Infections
Anyone can. But they’re more likely when you:
- Are a woman
- Have had UTIs before
- Have a condition that affects your bladder’s nerves
- Have been through menopause
- Are overweight
- Have something that blocks the passage of urine, such as a tumor, kidney stone, or an enlarged prostate
- Use a diaphragm or spermicide for birth control
- Have a catheter, a tube placed into the bladder to drain urine from the bladder into a bag outside the body
- Are a man who has sex with men, has HIV, or hasnât been circumcised
Most of these traits also raise the odds that a simple bladder infection may become a more serious kidney infection or turn into . For pregnant women, a kidney infection can lead to delivering a baby too early.
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.
Probiotic Food Like Curd And Buttermilk:
Probiotics are basically good bacteria that fight against bad bacteria. Not only for UTI but also for good health and digestion eating probiotics is always good for health. Coming to urinary tract infection probiotics helps us by preventing the bacteria sticking on the walls of urinary tract, thereby prevent the urinary tract infection.
Urinary Infections In Children
A urinary infection in a child needs to be investigated as it may indicate a more serious condition.
The most common urinary system condition is urinary reflux. With this condition, the bladder valve isnt working properly and allows urine to flow back to the kidneys, increasing the risk of a kidney infection.
Urinary reflux and the associated infections can scar or permanently damage the kidney, and can also lead to:
- high blood pressure
- toxaemia in pregnancy
- kidney failure.
Urinary reflux tends to run in families, so its important to screen children as early as possible if a close relative is known to have the problem.
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Otc Uti Treatment: Key Takeaway
Women are prone to contracting a urinary tract infection at least once in their life. Certain UTIs do not need treatment if they are diagnosed on time and if the symptoms are cared for, however, some UTIs require medical intervention in the form of antibiotics.
While antibiotics are the standard treatment for UTIs, researchers are looking for better OTC treatment options for UTI symptoms that might eliminate their need. Several OTC UTI treatment drugs help prevent and manage UTI symptoms but should never be considered a replacement to prescribed antibiotics. The only clinically proven cure for a UTI is a prescribed antibiotic and nothing else as of yet.
If you think you have a UTI, you may visit Family Medicine Austin and consult our healthcare experts. It is always advised to avoid self-treatment and seek medical help.
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How Do Antibiotics Treat A Uti
UTIs can be caused by many different types of germs including bacteria or fungi and in rare cases, even viruses. But bacterial UTIs are the most common.
If you have a bacterial UTI, the only way to treat it is by getting rid of the bacteria thats causing it. Thats where antibiotics come in. They either stop those bacteria from growing or directly kill the bacteria altogether.
Its worth noting that antibiotics only treat UTIs and other infections caused by bacteria. If you have a fungal or viral UTI, antibiotics wont help.
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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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What Is The Urinary Tract
The urinary tract makes and stores urine, one of the body’s liquid waste products. The urinary tract includes the following parts:
- Kidneys: These small organs are located on back of your body, just above the hips. They are the filters of your body removing waste and water from your blood. This waste becomes urine.
- Ureters: The ureters are thin tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to your bladder.
- Bladder: A sac-like container, the bladder stores your urine before it leaves the body.
- Urethra: This tube carries the urine from your bladder to the outside of the body.
Get Your Prescription Filled Right Away
Once you are done with your appointment and have received a prescription for an antibiotic, its important you get it filled at a pharmacy as soon as possible. The faster you start taking your medication, the faster your UTI will be gone.
If you usually use next-day prescription delivery or a mail order pharmacy, this is one time when you should avoid doing this. These options can cause a delay by anywhere from 1 day to 1 week . Youre better off using a local pharmacy in this case.
If going into the pharmacy is a concern due to COVID-19, many pharmacies have added options to help minimize the amount of time you are inside the building. Some options to ask about at your pharmacy include:
Same-day delivery through services like Instacart
Using the pharmacys drive-thru pick-up window
Paying ahead of time through the pharmacys smartphone app to make your time spent at the checkout counter faster
Every pharmacy is different, so make sure to ask your personal pharmacy if these options are available at your location.
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Antibiotics Used For Uncomplicated Utis
If you are a healthy individual whose urinary tract is anatomically and functionally normal and you have no known heightened UTI susceptibility youve got whats dubbed an uncomplicated UTI, according to guidelines published in August 2019 in the Journal of Urology. For these individuals, antibiotics are considered the first-line of treatment.
The type of antibiotics you are prescribed and for how long is contingent on the type of bacteria detected in your urine, your current health status, and whether your UTI is uncomplicated or complicated. Depending on which antibiotic your doctor prescribes, women may need a single dose or up to a five-day course. For men, antibiotics are usually given for a slightly longer period of time, notes UpToDate.
Typically, if you are diagnosed with an uncomplicated UTI, one of the following will be prescribed as first-line treatment:
The following antibiotics are considered second-line treatments for UTI. They are generally chosen because of resistance patterns or allergy considerations:
Can I Treat A Uti Without Antibiotics
UTI treatment without antibiotics is NOT usually recommended. An early UTI, such as a bladder infection , can worsen over time, leading to a more severe kidney infection . However, a small study has suggested early, mild UTIs might clear up on their own. It’s always best to check with your doctor if you are having UTI symptoms.
Pregnant women should always see a doctor as soon as possible if they suspect they might have a UTI, as this can lead to a greater risk of delivering a low birth weight or premature infant.
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What Are Treatments Available For Utis
Though UTIs are usually not serious or a sign of concern, they can cause severe pain and discomfort. If not treated, some UTIs can lead to more serious conditions that may have life-changing effects.
To alleviate this pain and discomfort, here are some tips!
Consult your doctor and he might prescribe some antibiotic medications which you will have to take either once or twice a day for 5-7 or more days.
We recommend drinking adequate fluids to stay hydrated and urinate often while taking your antibiotics. Many people prefer drinking cranberry juice to prevent UTIs but there is no strong evidence that supports this home remedy.
How Men Can Prevent Utis
There are things men can do to reduce the chance of getting a UTI. These include:
- Dont hold urine for too long. Bacteria grow in it.
- Drink water to flush your kidneys.
- Practice good hygiene.
- Urinate after sex to flush bacteria from the urethra.
- If you have diabetes, control your blood sugar. High blood sugar can spill into the urine and bacteria thrive on it.
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Treatment Concerns For Antibiotics
While most UTIs can be effectively managed and treated with a course of antibiotics, more and more bacteria are becoming resistant to different types of antibiotics due to mutations in their genetic code. Every time you take an antibiotic, the bacteria that are in your system are more likely to adapt and mutate and become resistant to the administered antibiotic. And since recurrence rates in the case of UTIs are high, its a strong possibility that an antibiotic may not be effective every time. Many antibiotics such as ampicillin, amoxicillin, and sulfonamides are no longer effective against stronger mutated bacteria and hence are not a good choice for combatting these infections.
Antibiotics can also have adverse effects on the flora of the gut and the vagina. Many antibiotics such as fluoroquinolones cannot be prescribed to pregnant women because of the concerns that they might have a possible toxic effect on the fetus.
Other health risks and adverse effects associated with antibiotics for the treatment of urinary tract infections include extreme allergic reactions and numerous side effects. These can include:
- Nausea and vomiting
Another potential risk of taking antibiotics is that they might destroy some of the good bacteria residing in your system that help with your systematic bodily functions without harming you. The death of these bacteria opens up the passageway to a whole new range of possible infections.
Seek Medical Attention For Utis
It is important to seek medical attention if you think you may have a UTI particularly if you think you may have a bladder or kidney infection, both of which are very serious conditions. Early treatment of urinary infection can help to prevent infection spreading to the bladder or kidneys.
Your doctor will test your urine to check which micro-organism is present. Urinary tract infections usually respond quickly and well to antibiotics.
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Can I Prevent A Urinary Tract Infection
You can usually prevent a urinary tract infection with lifestyle changes. These tips can include:
In some post-menopausal women, a healthcare provider may suggest an estrogen-containing vaginal cream. This may reduce the risk of developing a UTI by changing the pH of the vagina. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have recurrent UTIs and have already gone through menopause.
Over-the-counter supplements are also available for UTIs. These are sometimes recommended for people who have frequent UTIs as another way to prevent them. Talk to your healthcare provider before starting any supplements and ask if these could be a good choice for you.
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.
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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
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.
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