Myth: Utis Are Nothing To Worry About
Fact: Though painful and uncomfortable, you may think of UTIs as a minor, temporary condition. UTIs can go away on their own or be treated with a course of antibiotics, and though you should never ignore them, most are not cause for alarm. However, UTIs can cause serious complications, including for men.
Men are likelier than women to get UTIs from bacteria that is already present in their body, which poses a risk of the infection spreading. Some complicated UTIs can even cause kidney damage. If you have chronic UTIs, men risk the narrowing of their urethra which can create problems with urinating, in turn increasing your risk of further UTIs.
If you have symptoms of a UTI, including painful urination and cloudy urine, it is important to get checked as soon as possible. So make an appointment with Drs. Herman, Kester, and the Urology Center of Florida today for treatment and relief.
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Types Of Utis In Children
Common types of UTIs include:
- Cystitis: this bladder infection is the most common type of UTI. Cystitis occurs when bacteria move up the urethra and into the bladder
- Urethritis: when bacteria infect the urethra
- Pyelonephritis: a kidney infection caused by infected urine flowing backward from the bladder into the kidneys or an infection in the bloodstream reaching the kidneys
Why Are Females At A Higher Risk For Utis
People with female reproductive organs are at a higher risk for UTIs because of their anatomy. The female urethra, the tube which empties urine from your bladder out of your body, is shorter than someone born with male anatomy.
The female urethra is also quite close to female reproductive organs. That means bacteria from sexual intercourse as well as products like spermicide can be in close contact with the urethra and bladder.
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How Long Will The Effects Last
For most UTIs, the symptoms go away within 24 hours after you begin treatment. Take all of the medicine your healthcare provider prescribes, even after the symptoms go away. If you stop taking your medicine before the scheduled end of treatment, the infection may come back.
Without treatment, the infection can last a long time. If it is not treated, the infection can permanently damage the bladder and kidneys, or it may spread to the blood. If the infection spreads to the blood, it can be fatal.
Treatment From A Gp For Utis That Keep Coming Back
If your UTI comes back after treatment, or you have 2 UTIs in 6 months, a GP may:
- prescribe a different antibiotic or prescribe a low-dose antibiotic to take for up to 6 months
- prescribe a vaginal cream containing oestrogen, if you have gone through the menopause
- refer you to a specialist for further tests and treatments
In some people, antibiotics do not work or urine tests do not pick up an infection, even though you have UTI symptoms.
This may mean you have a long-term UTI that is not picked up by current urine tests. Ask the GP for a referral to a specialist for further tests and treatments.
Long-term UTIs are linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer in people aged 60 and over.
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Prostatitis Epididymitis Urethritis And Orchitis
In contrast to UTI, prostatitis affects men of all ages and, from 1990-1994, accounted for almost 2 million office visits per year in the United States. Prostatitis syndromes account for 25% of male office visits for genitourinary complaints, 8% of visits to urologists, and 1% of visits to primary care physicians. Of these men, 5% have bacterial prostatitis, 64% have nonbacterial prostatitis, and 31% have prostatodynia. Digital examination of the prostate in the setting of probable or possible UTI should be avoided to prevent the risk of inciting bacteremia.
Epididymitis has a bimodal distribution, corresponding to different age groups and pathogens. Most cases in men younger than 35 years are due to sexually transmitted pathogens. Older patients are more likely to have obstructive prostatism or a history of instrumentation or catheterization.
Gonococcal urethritis is more common in ethnic minorities, lower socioeconomic groups, and persons living in urban centers. The risk to a male having intercourse with an infected female is 17%. Some of these associations may be limited by confounding. The peak age for urethritis is 20-24 years.
Mumps orchitis occurs in 18% of postpubertal boys infected with the mumps virus.
John L Brusch, MD, FACP Corresponding Faculty Member, Harvard Medical SchoolJohn L Brusch, MD, FACP is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Physicians, Infectious Diseases Society of AmericaDisclosure: Nothing to disclose.
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.
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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
What Are The Symptoms Of A Urine Infection
- Infection in the bladder usually causes pain when you pass urine, and you pass urine more frequently. You may also have pain in your lower tummy . Your urine may become cloudy, bloody or smelly. You may have a high temperature .
- Infection in the kidneys may cause pain in a loin and a high temperature . It may cause you to feel sick or be sick . You may feel generally unwell.
In some elderly men, the only symptoms may be a recent onset of confusion or just feeling generally unwell, even without any actual urinary symptoms.
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Symptoms Of A Urinary Tract Infection In Men
- Urinary Urgency: the feeling that you constantly have to urinate even when little or no urine flows out
- Pain for burning sensation during urination
- Urine that has a small amount of blood or looks cloudy
- Foul-smelling urine
- Abdominal or Flank/Lower Back Pain: pelvic pain accompanied by a fever or chills may indicate a kidney infection and should be immediately brought to the attention of a physician
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Symptoms Of Utis In Men
The symptoms of a UTI can depend on whether its in the upper tract or lower tract. Most UTIs in men happen in the lower tract, which includes the bladder, prostate, or urethra, says Dr. Sloane.
Per Mayo Clinic and Keck Medicine of USC, men who get a lower UTI in their bladder or urethra usually have symptoms like:
- Burning sensation when you pee
- Pain when you pee
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What Is A Urinary Tract Infection
A urinary tract infection is an infection of the urinary system. This type of infection can involve your urethra , kidneys or bladder, .
Your urine typically doesnt contain bacteria . Urine is a byproduct of our filtration systemthe kidneys. When waste products and excess water is removed from your blood by the kidneys, urine is created. Normally, urine moves through your urinary system without any contamination. However, bacteria can get into the urinary system from outside of the body, causing problems like infection and inflammation. This is a urinary tract infection .
Drink Lots Of Water And Healthy Juices
The more fluid you consume, the more you enable your body to pass out the harmful bacteria. It is a well-established fact that low intake of healthy fluids and irregular urination makes a person more prone to urinary tract infections. So, there is no doubt that keeping the body hydrated will save you from a lot of urinary infections. Also, drink lots of fresh fruit and vegetable juices that will keep the entire digestive and urinary system healthy. Just make sure that you prefer fresh juices that have no artificial sweeteners.
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What To Do When Home Remedies Do Not Provide Permanent Relief
If the home remedies fail to bring you the desired results or the UTI flares up again, do not take it casually. Be very proactive and consult a specialist doctor for proper diagnosis and medications.Complete the course of antibiotics that your doctor prescribes and go for timely follow-ups until you are absolutely fine.
Urinary Tract Infections In Babies And Young Children
Babies and children are at risk of UTIs. These infections always need to be investigated as they may indicate a serious underlying condition, such as urinary reflux. Reflux is caused by a bladder valve problem allowing urine to flow back into the kidneys from the bladder. Reflux can cause the urine to stay inside the body increasing the risk of infection. It may lead to kidney scarring, which in turn leads to high blood pressure and sometimes kidney problems.
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Treatment Of Urinary Tract Infection
The usual treatment for a urinary tract infection is a course of antibiotics. Pain medication may be prescribed, but often self-care at home is enough to keep symptoms under control. Heat packs and over-the-counter pain medications may be helpful, along with keeping well-hydrated. Usually the symptoms will begin to subside within a few days on antibiotics, though it is important to take the full course as prescribed. In cases of severe infection, intravenous antibiotics may need to be administered.
Recurring infections require investigation and treatment of the cause. A doctor may perform blood and imaging tests to determine what else might be going on. Often those with recurring urinary tract infections can be treated with a longer term course of antibiotics. For recurring infections that are caused by a physical abnormality, surgery may be required. This is less common, and most patients do not require surgery.
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Symptoms Of Urinary Tract Infections In Cats
Most cats with urinary tract infections will make frequent trips to the litter box and seem restless. They may go into the box and strain to pee but produce either a small amount of urine or no urine at all. Occasionally, their urine may appear bloody.
Some cats will avoid the litter box because they have associated it with the discomfort caused by the UTI. Instead, they may urinate in other places in your home. Sinks, bathtubs, and clean laundry are popular spots. Your cat also may vomit and seem lethargic as the problem progressesespecially male cats.
In most cases, acute and chronic urinary tract infections will cause very similar symptoms. However, some cats with the chronic form show no signs of disease.
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Myth: Utis Can Be Treated By Cranberry Juice Or Probiotics
Fact: Its conventional wisdom that cranberry juice can help stop or even prevent a UTI. There is a scientific basis for it, given some of the properties of the drink. Cranberry juice has proanthocyanidin, a chemical that inhibits bacteria from sticking to the bladder. But studies show there is no evidence that it can stop or prevent urinary tract infections, and any evidence of probiotics helping to protect from UTIs are minor at best. If you think you may have a UTI, its important you see your doctor and follow a treatment plan, which may include taking a course of antibiotics.
Over The Counter Medications For Urinary Tract Infections
- Brand names listed as examples do not imply better quality over other brands. Generic equivalents may also exist.
- Use only as directed on the package, unless your healthcare provider instructs you to do otherwise.
- OTCs may interact with other medications or be potentially harmful if you have certain medical conditions. Talk to your pharmacist about options that are right for you.
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What Are The Causes Of Urinary Tract Infection In Men
- Urinary Tract Infections in Men are usually caused due to infection by bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Klebsiella, Pseudomonas, or Staphylococcus
- The infection can spread from the urethra through the urinary tract and reach the bloodstream from the kidneys
- Rarely, fungus and other parasites can also cause UTI in Men
How Common Are Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are very common, occurring in 1 out of 5 women sometime in their lifetime. Though UTIs are common in women, they can also happen to men, older adults and children. One to 2% of children develop urinary tract infections. Each year, 8 million to 10 million visits to doctors are for urinary tract infections.
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Flush Bacteria Out With Cranberry Juice
Cranberry contains a phytochemical known as tannin, which reduces vaginal colonization of E. coli.6 It is high in vitamin C, and drinking its unsweetened juice flushes out bacteria from your urinary system and reduces recurrent UTIs.7
Note Of Caution: If you are on medication, consult your doctor before drinking cranberry juice as it interferes with certain types of medication, especially blood thinners.8
One of the active ingredients of cranberry is D-mannose, a type of sugar that prevents UTIs.9 Since you have to consume an excess of cranberry juice to have enough D-mannose in your system to fight UTIs, you can also go for D-mannose supplements. It is considered safe for most adults, but you should avoid taking it if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Practice Healthy Hygiene Habits
Preventing UTIs starts with practicing a few good bathroom and hygiene habits.
First, its important not to hold your urine for too long. This can lead to a buildup of bacteria, resulting in infection.
Peeing after sexual intercourse can also 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 using the toilet especially if you have a female urethra make sure you wipe front to back. Wiping from back to front can to the urinary tract and is associated with an increased risk of UTIs.
Benefits of healthy hygiene for UTI
Urinating frequently and after sexual intercourse can reduce the risk of UTI. Careful wiping when you use the toilet may also help decrease the risk of UTI.
Several natural supplements may decrease the risk of developing a UTI.
Here are a few supplements that have been studied and are all available in capsule form:
- D-Mannose.D-Mannose is a type of sugar that is found in cranberries. Research suggests its effective in treating UTIs and preventing recurrence.
- Cranberry extract. Like cranberry juice, cranberry extract works by preventing bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract.
- Garlic extract. shows garlic and garlic extract to have antimicrobial properties, so they it may be able to block the growth of bacteria to prevent UTIs.
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How Can I Take Care Of Myself
- Follow your healthcare providers treatment. Take all of the antibiotic that your healthcare provider prescribes, even when you feel better. Do not take medicine left over from previous prescriptions.
- Drink more fluids, especially water, to help flush bacteria from your system.
- If you have a fever:
- Take aspirin or acetaminophen to control the fever. Check with your healthcare provider before you give any medicine that contains aspirin or salicylates to a child or teen. This includes medicines like baby aspirin, some cold medicines, and Pepto Bismol. Children and teens who take aspirin are at risk for a serious illness called Reyes syndrome.
- Keep a daily record of your temperature.
How To Help Your Loved One Avoid Utis
We dont have enough research to support their effectiveness in UTI prevention, although their medical benefits cant be ruled out completely, says Dr. Goldman.
Instead, he recommends these tried-and-true prevention strategies:
- Encourage sufficient fluid intake
- Promote genital and urinary hygiene
- Ask the doctor about low-dose vaginal cream for postmenopausal women
Dr. Goldman says researchers are also studying D-Mannose for UTI prevention. The supplement, which has few side effects, sticks to bladder receptors that normally attract the E. coli bacteria usually responsible for UTIs.
Researchers also believe D-Mannose may keep bad bacteria from colonizing the digestive tract, which can harbor the bacteria responsible for UTIs in women.
Following these tips should help your aging relative stay healthy, productive and out of the hospital.
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