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Lower Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms

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Pearls And Other Issues

Urinary Tract Infection – Overview (signs and symptoms, pathophysiology, causes and treatment)

Although there is no proof of prevention, women should urinate after sexual intercourse because bacteria in the bladder can increase by ten-fold after intercourse. After urination, women should wipe from front to back, not from the anal area forward, which seems to drag pathogenic organisms nearer to the urethra. Vigorous urine flow is helpful to prevention. Baths should be avoided in favor of showers. A gentle, liquid soap should be used in bathing or a liquid baby soap such as Johnson’s baby shampoo which is very acceptable for the vagina. The soap should be applied using a clean, soft cotton or microfiber washcloth and the vaginal area should be cleaned first to avoid unnecessary contamination of the area with germs.

Are There Home Remedies For A Urinary Tract Infection

There are a variety of self-care measures and other treatments available for urinary tract infections.

  • Use a hot-water bottle to ease the pain.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Avoid coffee, alcohol, and spicy foods, all of which irritate the bladder.
  • There are some indications that cranberry juice can help fight a urinary tract infection.

Because the symptoms of a urinary tract infection mimic those of other conditions, someone should see a health care professional if a urinary tract infection is suspected. A urine test is needed to confirm an infection. Self-care is not recommended.

Voiding Or Obstructive Symptoms

As the symptoms are common and non-specific, LUTS is not necessarily a reason to suspect prostate cancer. Large studies of patients have also failed to show any correlation between lower urinary tract symptoms and a specific diagnosis. Also, recently a report of lower urinary tract symptoms even with malignant features in the prostate failed to be associated with prostate cancer after further laboratory investigation of the biopsy.

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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.

What Can I Do To Prevent A Uti

A Urinary Tract Infection Overview
  • 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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Things You Can Do Yourself

To help ease symptoms of a urinary tract infection :

  • takeparacetamolup to 4 times a day to reduce pain and a high temperature for people with a UTI, paracetamol is usually recommended over NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or aspirin
  • you can give childrenliquid paracetamol
  • rest and drink enough fluids so you pass pale urine regularly during the day
  • avoid having sex

Some people take cystitis sachets or cranberry drinks and products every day to prevent UTIs from happening, which may help. However, there’s no evidence they help ease symptoms or treat a UTI if the infection has already started.

When To Get Medical Advice

It’s 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 haven’t 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 they’re allowed to spread.

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Who Gets Urinary Tract Infections

Anyone can get a urinary tract infection, but they are more common in women. This is because the urethra in females is shorter and closer to the anus, where E. coli bacteria are common. Older adults also are at higher risk for developing cystitis. This increased risk may be due to incomplete emptying of the bladder. There are several medical conditions that can be related to this, including an enlarged prostate or a bladder prolapse .

If you get frequent urinary tract infections, your healthcare provider may do tests to check for other health problems such as diabetes or an abnormal urinary systemthat may be contributing to your infections. People with frequent UTIs are occasionally given low-dose antibiotics for a period of time to prevent the infection from coming back. This cautious approach to treating frequent UTIs is because your body can develop a resistance to the antibiotic and you can get other types of infections, such as C. diff colitis. This practice is used very infrequently.

What Are Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms In Women


LUTS are divided into three groups:

  • Problems with the storage of urine in the bladder.
  • Problems passing urine.
  • Problems after passing urine.

Sometimes symptoms cross into more than one of these groups. Sometimes women just have symptoms from one group. Others may have symptoms from two or all groups. Some of the LUTS women may experience are:

  • Burning or stinging when you pass urine.
  • Constant lower tummy ache.
  • Needing to pass urine often .
  • An urgent feeling of needing to empty your bladder .
  • Loss of bladder control .
  • Needing to get up to urinate several times in the night.
  • Feeling of needing to empty your bladder even after urinating. Or, a dribble of urine after you think you have finished.
  • Difficulty urinating.
  • A slow stream of urine.

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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.

Urinary Tract Infection Diet

There is no specific diet that will treat a UTI, but there are certain foods you can add to your diet to reduce the risk of UTIs.

Berries are full of antioxidants and ideal for keeping bacteria at bay. Cranberries are known to help with UTIs, but other berries like blueberries are also beneficial. You also want to eat plenty of yogurt because its beneficial probiotics prevent bacteria from living in your urinary tract.

In addition to this, there are certain things to avoid when you want to prevent UTIs. If you have a UTI, you need to avoid caffeine and alcohol until the infection is cleared because these drinks can irritate your bladder. You also want to avoid acidic and spicy foods during an infection.

Citrus fruit after an infection is great for preventing future problems because of the high vitamin C content.

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Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms Storage

In addition to BPH, individuals with overactive bladder, chronic pelvic pain , inflammation of the prostate or urinary tract infections typically experience lower urinary tract symptoms associated with urine storage, irritation or inflammation. These symptoms can include:

  • Urinary frequency
  • Nocturia using the restroom several times during the night

What If The Infection Does Not Clear Up With Treatment

Uti Kidney Infection Back Pain

Most infections clear up with treatment. However, if an infection does not clear up, or if you have repeated infections, you may be given some special tests such as:

  • a type of x-ray called an intravenous pyleogram , which involves injecting a dye into a vein and taking pictures of your kidney and bladder

  • an ultrasound exam, which gives a picture of your kidneys and bladder using sound waves

  • a cytoscopic exam, which uses a hollow tube with special lenses to look inside the bladder.

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Endometriosis And Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms

The incidence of endometriosis has been estimated to be 10% in adult females. Endometriosis is considered a gynaecological disease where endometrial glands and tissue are found outside the uterus.

While endometriosis may involve tissue growth in pelvic organs, including the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder or even urethra, it can also be found outside the pelvis. It may occur on organs such as the lungs and diaphragm, and can occur in the digestive tract.

Although endometriosis consists of tissue similar to that which grows inside the uterus with the menstrual cycle, it is histologically and genetically different. This means its microscopic anatomy and its DNA are dissimilar to endometrial cells that are normally found within the uterus.

There are various theories around why endometriosis occurs, but no consensus. At the very least, research has made it clear that the theory of retrograde menstruation is incorrect.

Endometriosis In The Urinary Tract

Endometriosis in the urinary tract can lead to recurrent UTI, but it can also directly cause lower urinary tract symptoms, due to inflammatory pain and pressure. Even when the urinary tract itself is not directly involved, endometriosis may cause LUTS.

This is because when endometrial tissue grows in the pelvis, within areas around the vagina, urethra and bladder, it can cause heaviness, and pressure on these structures, often leading to pain.

Symptoms Of Endometriosis

Symptoms associated with endometriosis include:

Overview Of Urinary Tract Infections

, MD, University of Riverside School of Medicine

In healthy people, urine in the bladder is sterileno bacteria or other infectious organisms are present. The tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body contains no bacteria or too few to cause an infection. However, any part of the urinary tract can become infected. An infection anywhere along the urinary tract is called a urinary tract infection .

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About Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections are common infections that can affect the bladder, the kidneys and the tubes connected to them.

Anyone can get them, but they’re particularly common in women. Some women experience them regularly .

UTIs can be painful and uncomfortable, but usually pass within a few days and can be easily treated with antibiotics.

This page is about UTIs in adults. There is a separate article about UTIs in children.

This page covers:

Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms: Prognosis

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Signs & Symptoms (& Why They Occur)
  • Some men with lower urinary tract symptoms have persistent and progressive problems over a long period of time, whilst in others they resolve spontaneously.
  • Observational studies suggest that few men with LUTS will progress to complications, such as acute urinary retention, renal insufficiency, or kidney stones.
  • Data from observational studies conducted mainly in prostate specific antigen screening populations suggest that men with self-reported LUTS are not at increased risk of having advanced or potentially fatal prostate cancer compared with men without LUTS.
  • Men with LUTS and large prostates are at significant risk of disease progression, particularly if they have additional risk factors such as age > 70 years or significantly reduced flow rate. These men will benefit from treatment with lifestyle advice and 5-alpha reductase inhibitors .
  • 5-ARIs reduce the risk of acute urinary retention and the likelihood of prostatectomy by 50-60% compared with placebo.
  • The combination of 5-ARI and alpha-blocker is more effective in delaying the clinical progression of the disease and in improving LUTS and maximal urinary flow rate, than either drug alone.
  • After six months of treatment with a 5-ARI, PSA levels will be reduced by 50%. Therefore, PSA values for patients on long-term therapy should be doubled to allow appropriate interpretation and avoid masking the early detection of localised prostate cancer.

Further reading and references

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Risk Factors For Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms

Risk factors associated with lower urinary tract symptoms include:

  • Increased serum dihydrotestosterone levels.
  • Fat and red meat intake.
  • Inflammation, which increases the risk.

Vegetables, exercise and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs appear to decrease the risk. Moderate alcohol intake appears to decrease the risk of BPH but increases the risk of developing LUTS.

Microscopic Examination Of Urine

In a centrifuged sediment, patients with significant bacteriuria almost always show bacilli in the urine, whereas only approximately 10% of patients with less than 105 CFU per ml show bacteria. About 60-85% of patients with significant bacteriuria have 10 or more white blood cells per high power field in the segment of mid-stream urine. Also 25% of patients with negative urine cultures also have pyuria, 10 or more white blood cells per high power field and only approximately 40% of patients with pyuria have 105 or more bacteria per ml of urine by qualitative cultures.

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Urinary Tract Infection Diagnosis

Your doctor will review your symptoms with you first and conduct a physical exam.

A urine sample is then taken to test for microbes. It is important to use a clean-catch sample for testing, which is done midstream rather than at the beginning. This helps to eliminate bacteria or yeast from your skin.

A large number of white blood cells in your urine indicate an infection, and a urine culture will help identify the specific microbe causing the infection.

Special testing is required if a viral infection is suspected, but they are rare causes of UTIs. Viral UTIs are more common in those with weakened immune systems or those who have had organ transplants.

If your doctor thinks you may have an upper tract infection, a blood count and culture is necessary to make sure the infection has not yet spread to your bloodstream through infected kidneys.

Some individuals have recurring UTIs, and these involve additional testing to identify possible abnormalities in the tract that could be the cause.

What Tests Are Commonly Performed

Urinary tract infection UTI Treatment using homeopathy with excellent ...

The tests you may have will depend on your symptoms.

Your doctor may want to examine your tummy . A vaginal examination may be suggested.

The most common tests performed include:

You may have an ultrasound scan on your bladder and urinary tract. You may be referred to a specialist for tests on your urinary system . Urodynamic studies test the working of the bladder and are used to see how the urinary system and pelvic floor work. You may be asked to keep a diary. In your diary make a note of the times you pass urine and the amount that you pass each time. Also, make a note of the times you leak urine . Your doctor or nurse may have some pre-printed diary charts to give you for this purpose. Keep an old measuring jug by the toilet so that you can measure the amount of urine you produce each time you go to the toilet.

If you have unexplained blood in your urine, you will be referred urgently to a urologist for further tests.

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Organs Of The Urinary Tract

The urinary tract consists of the kidneys, ureters , bladder, and urethra. These organs may be injured by blunt force or by penetrating force . Injuries may also occur unintentionally during surgery.

UTIs are usually classified as upper or lower according to where they occur along the urinary tract, although it is sometimes difficult or impossible for doctors to make such a determination:

Some doctors also consider infections of the urethra and prostate to be lower UTIs. In paired organs , infection can occur in one or both organs. UTIs can occur in children Urinary Tract Infection in Children A urinary tract infection is a bacterial infection of the urinary bladder , the kidneys , or both. Urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria. Infants and younger… read more as well as in adults.

Check If It’s A Urinary Tract Infection

Symptoms of a urinary tract infection may include:

  • pain or a burning sensation when peeing
  • needing to pee more often than usual during the night
  • pee that looks cloudy, dark or has a strong smell
  • 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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