When To See A Doctor
If you experience any symptoms that make you think you may have a urinary tract infection, see your doctor. It could be a UTI, or it could be something else, such a sexually transmitted disease, so its important to receive an accurate diagnosis. That way, you can treat the issue with the appropriate medication and other remedies.
The faster you can be treated, the faster you can relieve your symptoms. Plus, quick treatment will help prevent any medical complications that could happen if the infection spreads.
An untreated bladder infection can lead to a more serious kidney infection. And an untreated kidney infection can lead to chronic kidney damage or infection outside of the urinary tract.
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Seattle Childrens Urgent Care Locations
If your childs illness or injury is life-threatening, call 911.
Treatment for a Bladder Infection
Prevention of Bladder Infections in Girls
How Can You Tell The Difference Between A Bladder Infection And A Uti
Theres a reason that people use the terms UTI and bladder infection interchangeablythe symptoms are largely the same.
- Burning sensation while peeing
- Feeling of urgency to pee, but produce very little urine
The most common type of UTI is a bladder infection. Therefore if you have a UTI, its likely in your bladder. And thankfully, bladder infections are relatively simple to treat.
If you have a UTI that isnt a bladder infection, you may experience additional symptoms.
- Lower back pain that feels more severe than a bladder infection
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Pinkish or reddish urine
If you think you have a UTI, its important to get treated quickly to prevent the infection from spreading to your kidneys.
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Youre Using Certain Methods Of Birth Control
When it comes to UTI prevention, not all birth control methods are created equal. Luckily, only one method is associated with UTIs: a diaphragm.
Because of where the diaphragm sits, it puts pressure on the urethra, which might lead to an increased risk, says Minkin. The good news? There are plenty of other great birth control options.
How Do Utis Affect Pregnancy
Changes in hormone levels during pregnancy raise your risk for UTIs. UTIs during pregnancy are more likely to spread to the kidneys.
If you’re pregnant and have symptoms of a UTI, see your doctor or nurse right away. Your doctor will give you an antibiotic that is safe to take during pregnancy.
If left untreated, UTIs could lead to kidney infections and problems during pregnancy, including:
- Premature birth
- Low birth weight
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Can I Become Immune To The Antibiotics Used To Treat A Uti
Your body can actually get used to the antibiotics typically used to treat a urinary tract infection . This happens in people who have very frequent infections. With each UTI and use of antibiotics to treat it, the infection adapts and becomes harder to fight. This is called an antibiotic-resistant infection. Because of this, your healthcare provider may suggest alternative treatments if you have frequent UTIs. These could include:
- Waiting: Your provider may suggest that you watch your symptoms and wait. During this time, you may be encouraged to drink plenty of fluids in an effort to flush out your system.
- Intravenous treatment: In some very complicated cases, where the UTI is resistant to antibiotics or the infection has moved to your kidneys, you may need to be treated in the hospital. The medicine will be given to you directly in your vein . Once youre home, you will be prescribed antibiotics for a period of time to fully get rid of the infection.
Should Uti Treatment Vary According To Whats Causing The Infection
Your UTI treatment may vary according to whats causing the infection. Certain UTIs, especially chronic and recurring ones, will need antibiotic treatment as opposed to simple home remedies.
If youre prescribed antibiotics to treat a UTI, a healthcare professional may choose an antibiotic thats specific to the type of bacteria thats triggering your infection.
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Use Safe Birth Control Solutions
If you often get UTIs and are on birth control, you may need to revisit the products youre using, according to WebMD. Some of them contain chemicals that may cause a UTI when in contact with the vaginal environment. Be sure to discuss with your doctor safer options than diaphragms or spermicide-lubricated condoms. Oil-based lubricants can be a problem too. To address vaginal dryness, consider changing to a water-based alternative.
How My Uti Story Applies To You
Although I recovered from recurrent urinary tract infections to the point where I no longer had to take medication or supplements to manage my symptoms , this isnt a story about a miracle cure.
There is rarely such a thing when it comes to recurrent UTI. I promise I will provide more insight into what worked for me, but I do want to say this:
Thinking one persons approach will work for everyone else is like saying youve found a single pair of jeans that fits everyone perfectly.
But before you jump to the next blog post promising a 24 hour cure, Ill tell you why this story may apply to you. Its about finding the root cause of your recurrent UTIs, and addressing it.
Only by addressing the root cause of frequent UTIs can you hope to break the cycle of symptoms and treatment. Breaking the cycle will likely mean sacrifices, and this is a story about permanent change for the better.
If there is one piece of advice I will freely give to other recurrent UTI sufferers, its that knowledge is the key to recovery.
Learn everything you can about why UTIs can become recurrent, other causes of lower urinary tract symptoms, and how your overall health can prevent you from getting well. Hopefully, my story will help.
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Is It My Fault That I Keep Getting Utis
Even the second or third time you get a UTI it can seem like a bit of a coincidence. The words recurrent urinary tract infections dont really register at this stage. You figure you just havent been sleeping enough.
Or maybe youve been fighting a virus and your immune system is just having a rough time.
Denial is probably the most accurate word for this phase. I was just so certain the antibiotics would work every time. Even though they didnt.
Selling my business and packing up my life for a move overseas was my priority, and the frequent trips to the doctor for antibiotics were more of a nuisance than cause for concern.
I thought I was being responsible when I asked my doctor for antibiotics to take abroad with me in case I got another UTI. That optimism is almost laughable now.
When To Get Medical Advice
Its a good idea to see your GP if you think you might have a UTI, particularly if:
- you have symptoms of an upper UTI
- the symptoms are severe or getting worse
- the symptoms havent started to improve after a few days
- you get UTIs frequently
Your GP can rule out other possible causes of your symptoms by testing a sample of your urine and can prescribe antibiotics if you do have an infection.
Antibiotics are usually recommended because untreated UTIs can potentially cause serious problems if theyre allowed to spread.
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Seeking Treatment For A Bladder Infection
If your bladder infection is mild and hasnt spread to your upper urinary tract, you may be able to wait out the infection at home. During this time, you should avoid sex and drink plenty of water you can also self-medicate with over-the-counter painkillers.
For more information on treatment visit our cystitis clinic.
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Prevention Of Urinary Tract Infection
There are several steps you can take to reduce your risk of getting a UTI:
- Drink plenty of water and other liquids to help flush out bacteria.
- Urinate frequently, or about every two to three hours.
- For women: Wipe from front to back after urinating or having a bowel movement.
- Urinate before and soon after having sexual intercourse.
- Avoid synthetic underwear, tight pants, and lingering in wet gym clothes or a bathing suit. Though none of this can cause a UTI, these habits can increase the spread of bacteria.
- Avoid vaginal deodorants, douches, powders, and other potentially irritating feminine products.
- Use a method of birth control other than a diaphragm, spermicide, or unlubricated condoms.
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What Should I Do If I Have Dysuria
Men who have dysuria should see their doctor. Women who have fever, back pain, vaginal discharge, or irritation or sores in the vaginal area should see their doctor. Women with mild dysuria can first try drinking extra water to flush the urinary system. Taking an anti-inflammatory medicine like ibuprofen or naproxen may help. There are also medicines just for bladder pain . Women should see their doctor if dysuria continues, if symptoms are severe, or if fever or other symptoms of a more serious infection develop. Sometimes women can be diagnosed and treated without going to the doctors office.
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Favorite Site For Urinary Health Podcasts
Podcasts arent just for politics, laughs, and murder mysteries. The American Urological Association has a fantastic one called, aptly, the Urology Care Podcast, which covers topics like sexual health myths, UTIs, prostate cancer, and more. Currently there are more than 140 episodes to listen to, ranging from about 4 minutes to 28 minutes long.
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How Are Utis Diagnosed
Only a health care provider can treat urinary tract infections. The first thing a doctor will do is confirm that a person has a UTI by taking a clean-catch urine specimen. At the doctors office, youll be asked to clean your genital area with disposable wipes and then pee into a sterile cup.
The sample may be used for a urinalysis or a urine culture . Knowing what bacteria are causing the infection can help your doctor choose the best treatment.
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Uti Or Something Else
Although burning during urination is a telltale sign of a UTI, it can also be a symptom of a number of other problems such as a vaginal yeast infection or certain sexually transmitted diseases . These include chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis. Simple lab tests are available to distinguish a UTI from an STD. Interstitial cystitis also has many of the same symptoms as a urinary tract infection. It can happen in both men and women and can start after a UTI. A cystoscopy, a thin tube and camera that is inserted into the bladder, can not diagnosis interstitial cystitis, but it can help identify abnormalities in the badder that cause cystitis.
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Bladder Pain In Women And Men
Bladder pain is more common in women. This is likely due to the fact that the two most common causes of bladder pain urinary tract infections and interstitial cystitis more often affect women than men. It may be also due to the fact that the bladder comes into direct contact with a womans reproductive organs, which may cause irritation and aggravate symptoms.
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Check If Its A Urinary Tract Infection
Symptoms of a UTI may include:
- pain or a burning sensation when peeing
- needing to pee more often than usual during the night
- pee that looks cloudy
- needing to pee suddenly or more urgently than usual
- needing to pee more often than usual
- lower tummy pain or pain in your back, just under the ribs
- a high temperature, or feeling hot and shivery
- a very low temperature below 36C
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Treatment Of Kidney Infection
Most kidney infections need prompt treatment with antibiotics to stop the infection damaging the kidneys or spreading to the bloodstream.
You may also need painkillers.
If youre especially vulnerable to the effects of an infection , you may be admitted to hospital and treated with antibiotics through a drip.
Most people who are diagnosed and treated promptly with antibiotics feel completely better after about 2 weeks.
People who are older or have underlying conditions may take longer to recover.
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Risk Factors That Make Utis More Likely
- Having new sexual partners in the past year
- Having recent or frequent sexual intercourse
- Not urinating before or after sexual intercourse
- Using spermicide or spermicide-coated condoms
- Using a diaphragm
- Wearing non-cotton underwear
Bacteria are normally found both inside and outside the human body. But a UTI can develop when bacteria from the gut or skin travel up the urethra to the bladder where they multiply, causing an infection, explained Randall Stafford, MD, PhD. E. coli, regularly found in the gut, is the most common bacteria that causes UTIs.
Some women are more likely to get UTIs no matter what they do. However, some of the most powerful prevention techniques are actually very simple.
What can Elizabeth do to prevent her UTIs from recurring?
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How My Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections Began
I was going through a stressful relationship breakup, and selling my business, and was completely run down.
I was still exercising daily, and had a fairly healthy vegetarian diet, but stress took its toll.
The UTI hit me fast. The pain was just as intense as I remembered, but I didnt panic quite as much as the first time. I knew Id get antibiotics when I showed up at the emergency room.
Plus, I didnt have time to think about it. Life was way too hectic for me to put extra energy towards my health.
Just as with my first UTI, the antibiotics worked and I dismissed it. But the symptoms crept back. A month later I was at a friends farm when it got so bad I had to make a run for the hospital.
Driving more than an hour was too much for me and I ended up squatting on the side of a dangerous road in the dark more than once.
Recurrent urinary tract infections had officially become a part of my life, though I had no idea of this at time.
The thing is, when it first hits you, its out of the blue, and you never imagine this is going to be your life now. You take antibiotics, it goes away, youre generally healthy, so chances are it was just an anomaly.
Box 1 Evidence For Nonantibiotic Agents In Preventing Recurrent Urinary Tract Infection In Premenopausal Women
Recent sexual intercourse within the past week and use of spermicide contraceptives have been shown to increase the risk of developing urinary tract infection in case-controlled and observational studies. Evidence for voiding habit, douching and wiping back to front have not been well studied and require further assessment.
Hydration and urinary concentration have been poorly studied as a way to reduce UTI recurrence. Evidence from survey-based studies has suggested that fluid restriction increases the risk of UTI, but further study of fluid intake and modification of urinary pH and osmolality is required. Evidence for the role of ascorbic acid in UTI prevention is lacking.
Chinese herbal medicine
Studies of Chinese herbal medicine are small with a high risk of bias. Further studies are required before this approach can be recommended for the prevention of recurrent UTI.
Cranberry products might be effective in reducing recurrent UTI in women with a history of recurrent UTI. A Cochrane review has reported no statistically significant benefit for cranberry products, but the level of heterogeneity among studies is high, and well-conducted, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials have reported positive results,, supported by a meta-analysis. Further well-powered randomized trials with strict inclusion criteria and consistent dosing are required.
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How Do I Know If The Treatment Isnt Working
If the treatment isnt working, your symptoms will stay the same, get worse, or you will develop new symptoms. Call your doctor if you have a fever , chills, lower stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting. You should also call your doctor if, after taking medicine for 3 days, you still have a burning feeling when you urinate. If you are pregnant, you should also call your doctor if you have any contractions.
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