What Is A Uti
Lets start with the basics: UTI stands for Urinary Tract Infection which is the general term for an infection occurring anywhere within your urinary system. Most often they infect the bladder and urethra the tube that drains the bladder but they can also happen in the ureters the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder and the kidneys themselves.
Common Urinary Catheter Side Effects After Removal
Urologists are the plumbers of the human body. And just like the pipes in your home, your urinary tract can develop leaks and back-ups. The treatment . . . urinary catheters . . . ugh.
Saying the word âcatheterâ can make even the most stoic patient wince in anticipatory pain. No one likes a tube in their private area. Including the urologist who has to place or manage the catheter.
Once these medieval torture devices are placed, a number of questions can arise:
âWhy is a urinary catheter necessary?â
âHow far are you sticking that thing inside me?â
âCan you knock me out for this?â
These are all fantastic questions. But you’re here because you want to know what the urinary catheter side effects are after removal. Hopefully the physician who placed the catheter has already answered those other questions .
Letâs guide you through what to expect on that big day when your doctor asks âwould you like to have your urinary catheter removed?â Weâre guessing your answer is âheck yes!â . Hereâs what to expect with some tips to minimize the side effects.
Recurrent Uti And Constant Yeast Infections
Frequent antibiotic use came with other side effects. The most obvious was yeast infections. Although this was a less painful experience than the UTIs, it was an even more constant companion.
Each time I took antibiotics, I would need to use over the counter antifungals. These would relieve the symptoms just long enough for the next UTI to take hold. This of course meant more antibiotics, then more antifungals.
Then more antibiotics, then more antifungals You get the picture.
It felt as though I was never not taking something. I felt completely out of control of the state of my body. I had no confidence in its ability to find a better balance.
The antibiotics and antifungals had destroyed any semblance of a healthy microbiome in all areas, including my digestive tract.
Eventually the effectiveness of the antibiotics and antifungals lessened, and I would have just a few hours respite before the UTI and yeast infections would return.
My UTI symptoms became constant at this point. I virtually had not a single moment where I wasnt aware of discomfort in my urinary tract. And discomfort is mostly putting it lightly.
I began to notice a link between digestive symptoms, yeast related symptoms and the frequency of UTI flare ups. There was hardly a moment that I felt symptom free. Id had enough, and I decided to take what felt like drastic action.
You May Like: Upper Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms
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.
Cystitis : How To Treat At Home
Cystitis or urinary tract infection is a global health problem that causes approximately 8 million medical visits each year worldwide.
This is the dominant bacterial infection and women are most affected for anatomical reasons.
How do you get cystitis?
How to treat a urinary tract infection?
How do you recognize interstitial cystitis?
I wanted to share this complete guide on these very painful kidney problems as well as the remedies and means of prevention that can be implemented to stop those recalcitrant infections.
Yes me too, I know this pain!
How K Health Can Help
Did you know you can get affordable UTI treatment with the K Health app? Download K to check your symptoms using our AI-driven symptom checker and, if needed, text with a doctor in minutes. K Healths board-certified, U.S.-based doctors can provide a treatment plan and prescription to resolve your symptoms as soon as possible.
Understanding Your Urinary Tract
Your urinary tract, or urinary system, comprises several different organs designed to extract, hold, and transport waste from your system in the form of urine. The main organs involved in the urinary system include:
- The kidneys: These two organs sit on each side of your body, generally around the waist. They filter out excess water and waste from your blood to create urine.
- The ureters: These two thin tubes run between the kidney and bladder, transporting urine to the bladder.
- The bladder: This organ stores urine until it reaches a certain level, at which point you feel the need to pee. The body voluntarily contracts the muscles that line the bladder to urinate.
- The urethra: This thin tube connects the bladder to the outside of the body. When you urinate, a muscle called the urinary sphincter relaxes as your bladder contracts to remove urine from your body.
Urinary tract infections happen when bacteria infect any part of your urinary system, but they are most common in your lower urinary tract, comprising the urethra and bladder.
Also Check: Cranberry Juice And Urinary Tract
Preventing Urinary Tract Infections And Kidney Infections
Urinary tract infections and kidney infections can generally be prevented through similar means.
If you suffer from any symptoms of a urinary tract or kidney infection, talk to your doctor immediately. The faster you act, the more effective the treatment.
If you experience any symptoms of urinary tract infection or kidney infection, call or book online with PlushCare to set up a phone or video appointment with a top U.S. doctor today.
How Standard Uti Testing Failed Me
I started researching and bringing information to my doctor about other organisms I wanted to test my urine for. He was happy to comply. He didnt know what else to do to help me. Significantly though, he did believe that I had an infection.
Still the results were unhelpful. Specific organisms were not found. But other signs of infection were.
I was completely uninformed about testing, and why it wasnt helping me figure this out.
Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections Hindsight Tip #2:
Ive since learned that standard UTI testing is very inaccurate. Many studies have proven that standard urine culturing techniques fail to identify infection in at least 50% of cases.
If you have received inconclusive or negative test results despite your symptoms, or if your treatment does not seem to work as it should, inaccurate testing could be the issue.
I encourage you to learn more about this issue, so you can take control of the situation and seek better care.
There are 7 main reasons your UTI test results could be wrong, and Ive laid all these out for you , along with what you can do about it.
Don’t Miss: Men’s Urinary Tract Problems
How To Prevent Utis
- Empty your bladder frequently as soon as you feel the urge to go and empty it completely.
- Wipe from front to back.
- Dont use scented feminine care products they just cause irritation.
- Always pee before and after sex.
- Wear cotton underwear only and loose-fitting clothing as much as possible. Avoid tight jeans and nylon underwear as they can trap moisture and create an environment that breeds bacteria.
- Never stay in a wet swimsuit for too long.
- Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.
- Take probiotics and increase your vitamin C intake to boost your immune system.
- Opt for showers over baths.
- If you use a diaphragm, unlubricated condoms, or spermicide as a birth control method, you may want to consult your doctor about switching to another option as these have all been known to contribute to UTIs.
Check If It’s 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
Recommended Reading: Can Probiotics Help With Urinary Tract Infection
How Are Urinary Tract Infections Diagnosed
Your doctor will use the following tests to diagnose a urinary tract infection:
- Urinalysis: This test will examine the urine for red blood cells, white blood cells and bacteria. The number of white and red blood cells found in your urine can actually indicate an infection.
- Urine culture: A urine culture is used to determine the type of bacteria in your urine. This is an important test because it helps determine the appropriate treatment.
If your infection does not respond to treatment or if you keep getting infections over and over again, your doctor may use the following tests to examine your urinary tract for disease or injury:
- Ultrasound: In this test, sound waves create an image of the internal organs. This test is done on top of your skin, is painless and doesnt typically need any preparation.
- Cystoscopy: This test uses a special instrument fitted with a lens and a light source to see inside the bladder from the urethra.
- CT scan: Another imaging test, a CT scan is a type of X-ray that takes cross sections of the body . This test is much more precise than typical X-rays.
When Urinary Tract Infections Keep Coming Back
If you are prone to recurrent UTIs, you can head them off before they take hold.
Unless you’re in the fortunate minority of women who have never had a urinary tract infection , you know the symptoms well. You might feel a frequent urgency to urinate yet pass little urine when you go. Your urine might be cloudy, blood-tinged, and strong-smelling. For 25% to 30% of women who’ve had a urinary tract infection, the infection returns within six months.
If you have repeated UTIs, you’ve experienced the toll they take on your life. However, you may take some comfort in knowing that they aren’t likely to be the result of anything you’ve done. “Recurrent UTIs aren’t due to poor hygiene or something else that women have brought on themselves. Some women are just prone to UTIs,” says infectious diseases specialist Dr. Kalpana Gupta, a lecturer in medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Also Check: Urinary Incontinence After Prostate Surgery
Load Up On Vitamin C For A Healthy Urinary Tract
Getting plenty of foods high in vitamin C is important because large amounts of vitamin C make urine more acidic. This inhibits the growth of bacteria in your urinary tract, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine’s health library. However, if you have an active UTI, you may want to avoid citrus or other acidic foods. These foods are known to irritate the bladder, which is the last thing you need when youre having pain urinating.
What About Cranberry Juice
Thereâs no harm in trying it. But itâs not a proven fix.
Over the years, a lot of studies have focused on a substance found in cranberries thatâs thought to prevent bacteria from sticking to the lining of the urinary tract. But none of these studies have shown how much of this substance it would take to help prevent UTIs.
If you still want to give it a try, drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry pills is probably fine to do. But there are some exceptions, like if you take a blood-thinning medication, a medication that affects the liver, or aspirin. Itâs always wise to talk to your doctor first, before you try any supplements.
Read Also: Help For Female Urinary Incontinence
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.
Ways To Avoid Urinary Tract Infections
Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water, which increases urination, thereby flushing out bladder bacteria. How much should you drink? Enough to keep your urine looking clear.
Wipe properly. Women should wipe from front to back after using the toilet. Wiping from back to front may increase the risk of getting UTIs.
Use topical estrogen creams. These creams may help postmenopausal women who have vaginal dryness and struggle with recurrent urinary tract infections.
Don’t rely on cranberry juice. The evidence about whether it helps prevent UTIs is mixed. And the juice has lots of sugar and calories.
Recommended Reading: Urinary Tract Infection Diagnosis Test
Get Your Fill Of Water And Water
One of the first things to do when you have a urinary tract infection is drink plenty of water. Thats because drinking water can help flush away the bacteria that’s causing your infection, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases . It puts you on the right track for recovery.
Most people can be assured theyre getting the water they need by simply drinking water when thirsty, according to the health and medicine division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. But to be safe, you may want to make sure youre drinking at least six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. General recommendations have suggested that women get about 91 oz of water daily and men get about 125 oz each day, including water from food, as also noted in that group’s report.
Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections: The Highlights Reel
A trip to the UK resulted in a UTI the day before my 30 hour flight home to Australia. Flying with a UTI was my worst nightmare.
I managed to get a single dose antibiotic from a walk-in clinic, but was still cracking sweats by the time I got to the airport.
Armed with copious amounts of water, I requested an aisle seat, and proceeded to drink fluids nonstop. I was using the bathroom every 20 minutes, like clockwork, and by the time I landed for my stopover in Hong Kong 13 hours later, I really thought I was on top of it.
How wrong I was. I boarded my flight for Sydney, and over the next 10 hours descended into fevers, chills, shakes and a little delirium.
At Sydney airport I missed my onward flight to Melbourne and broke down at the customer service desk. I barely remember stowing my bag in a locker and wandering around looking for help.
Fortunately, I was able to find the airport doctor, who prescribed antibiotics and anti-nausea pills. He assured me I needed them, and he was right. Within the next 30 minutes I was on the verge of throwing up a new symptom of UTI for me.
I had forfeited my flight, but I didnt care. I eventually made it home to Melbourne, a full 35 hours after the start of my journey, where I passed out for 20 hours. My body was defeated.
Also Check: What’s The Signs Of A Urinary Tract Infection
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.
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.
Don’t Miss: Urinary Tract Infection In Boy Toddler Symptoms