Treatment Options For Urinary Tract Infections
Ladies, if you think you have a urinary tract infection, you are probably right. One study found that women who self-diagnose a UTI are right 84% of the time.
You can apply this know-how to partner with your health care provider to pick the right treatment The go-to treatment of a UTI, which is caused by a bacteria, is antibiotics. Your questions about treatment decisions can make a difference, especially since antibiotic recommendations have shifted and not all doctors have changed their practices.
Do I Really Have To See A Doctor For A Uti
It may seem unnecessary to see a doctor for such a common illness. Why not just let it go and treat it on your own? Dr. Elizabeth Rice, a licensed naturopathic doctor and primary care physician at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, has tips for natural treatments, but says you always have to be careful. A partially treated or mistreated UTI can quickly become a serious condition known as pyelonephritis , so care must always be taken when treating UTIs naturally.
If youre just starting to feel or see potential UTI symptoms, you can try a few natural remedies to try to flush out the bacteria and reduce inflammation before the infection really takes hold, Rice says. Increase your intake of fluids to help flush the bladder. But if the symptoms persist more than a day, or get worse, you have to go to the doctor.
Going to the doctor may be a bit annoying, but a UTI that morphs into a kidney infection is way worse than an afternoon in the waiting room. Kidney infections can lead to potentially life-threatening sepsis or permanent kidney damage. Seeing a doctor to prescribe antibiotics may ultimately help you avoid a lifetime of medical complications.
You know your body best, so listen to it. You may not run to the doctor after one weird-feeling pee. If you start to have mild symptoms, here are a few natural choices that may help you out.
What Should I Know About Storage And Disposal Of This Medication
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture .
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location â one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach.
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Phew Its Over But Will It Come Back
Theres good news and theres bad news. The bad news: one out of five women who get a UTI will get another one. If you do get another UTI, speak with your doctor about UTI treatment options, he or she may prescribe a longer course of antibiotics or have other UTI treatment options for you. The good news: changing up some of your daily habits and following some of our tips above may also help you protect yourself. When it comes to keeping UTIs away, knowledge is power.
Key Points About Urinary Tract Infections
- Urinary tract infections are a common health problem that affects millions of people each year. These infections can affect any part of the urinary tract.
- Most UTIs are caused by E. coli bacteria, which normally live in the colon.
- The most common symptoms of UTIs include changes in urination such as frequency, pain, or burning urine looks dark, cloudy, or red and smells bad back or side pain nausea/vomiting and fever.
- Antibiotics are used to treat UTIs. Other treatments may include pain relievers, and drinking plenty of water to help wash bacteria out of the urinary tract.
- Other things that can be done may help reduce the likelihood of developing UTIs.
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Causes Of Urinary Tract Infections
UTIs are usually caused by bacteria from poo entering the urinary tract.
The bacteria enter through the tube that carries pee out of the body .
Women have a shorter urethra than men. This means bacteria are more likely to reach the bladder or kidneys and cause an infection.
Things that increase the risk of bacteria getting into the bladder include:
- having sex
do not use scented soap
do not hold your pee in if you feel the urge to go
do not rush when going for a pee try to fully empty your bladder
do not wear tight, synthetic underwear, such as nylon
do not drink lots of alcoholic drinks, as they may irritate your bladder
do not have lots of sugary food or drinks, as they may encourage bacteria to grow
Can Uti Symptoms Linger After I Take Antibiotics
Since UTI symptoms usually improve just a few days after starting antibiotics, youll want to talk to your healthcare provider if you notice that UTI symptoms are still hanging around after finishing your antibiotics.
Theres no need to panic, but you and your healthcare provider will want to make sure the antibiotics actually worked against your UTI. To do this, they may take another sample of your urine to see if the bacteria are still there or not. If the infection is cured, youll want to be sure there isnt a different issue thats causing similar symptoms.
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Here Is My Prayer Of Uti Hope:
As long as theres always one more option, one more resource, one more door to open, hope lives.
As long as you have a pulse, KEEP GOING.
And you never know. You can find hope in as hopeless a place as a chilly ER at 2:00am on a Tuesday night.
And since youre here, it appears that hope has already found you.
Other Ways To Prevent Recurring Utis
If you have more than 3 UTIs in 1 year, or 2 UTIs in 6 months, there are other things that may help prevent UTIs.
There is some evidence that women under 65 years old who keep getting UTIs may find it helpful to take:
- a supplement called D-mannose this is not recommended for pregnant women
- cranberry products, such as juice or tablets
Speak to your doctor before taking any of these during pregnancy.
Be aware that D-mannose and cranberry products can contain a lot of sugar.
Page last reviewed: 18 November 2020 Next review due: 18 November 2023
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What About Cranberry Juice For Uti
Its a long-held belief that consuming cranberry juice may help prevent and treat urinary tract infections. While its true that cranberries contain an active ingredient that can prevent adherence of bacteria to the urinary tract, there is still no evidence that cranberry products can treat a UTI.
One of the reasons: Products like cranberry juice or cranberry capsules are not explicitly formulated with the same amount of PACs that have shown potential in lab studies. Moreover, a 2019 report in the Journal of Urology noted that the availability of such products to the public is a severe limitation to the use of cranberries for UTI prophylaxis outside the research setting.
In all, theres actually very little high-quality research on the topic of prevention. For instance, a 2016 study in The Journal of the American Medical Association, found that among female nursing home residents, daily consumption of cranberry capsules resulted in no significant prevention of UTIs.
While consuming cranberry juice or supplements is not considered a first-line treatment of urinary tract infections, in most cases, it cant hurt. After all, drinking plenty of liquids does dilute your urine and help spur more frequent urination, which flushes bacteria from the urinary tract. The exception: Those who are taking blood-thinning medication, such as warfarin, should not consume cranberry juice. And those with diabetes should be mindful of the high-sugar content of fruit juices.
Are Quinolones Safe
The fluoroquinolones, such as ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin have also been commonly used for simple UTIs however, FDA safety recommendations strongly suggest that this class be reserved for more serious infections and only be used if other appropriate antibiotics are not an option.
- An FDA safety review found that both oral and injectable fluoroquinolones are associated with serious and potentially disabling side effects involving tendons, muscles, joints, nerves and the central nervous system.
- These adverse effects can occur soon after administration to weeks after exposure, and may potentially be permanent.
- Patients should discuss the use of fluoroquinolones and their side effects with their healthcare provider.
However, certain oral fluoroquinolones may be appropriate for more complicated UTIs, including pyelonephritis and complicated UTIs in men with prostate involvement. For the outpatient treatment of uncomplicated pyelonephritis, the following quinolones may be appropriate. Based on resistance patterns , an inital dose of a long-acting parenteral antimicrobial, such as ceftriaxone, may be needed, or a 24-hour dose of an aminoglycoside.
Patients should be informed of the most current FDA warnings surrounding the use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics.
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When To See A Vet
These at-home treatments and remedies may be effective for clearing up minor infections, but more serious infections need to be treated by a professional animal doctor.
If your cat is experiencing mild or moderate symptoms, you can try these remedies to relieve their symptoms. If their symptoms show no sign of improvement in a few days, talk to a veterinarian. If your cat seems to be in pain or is unable to pass urine, see a vet immediately. This could be a sign of urethral obstruction, which can be fatal if not treated within 24 to 48 hours.
A vet may be able to prescribe antibiotics to target the harmful bacteria. Be sure to give your cat the full dose of prescribed antibiotics to prevent the UTI from returning or becoming resistant to treatment.
Even if youre pursuing professional treatment, these remedies can be effectively used alongside antibiotics to strengthen the bladder and balance your cats pH levels. Some can also be used as a daily supplement to prevent the UTI from coming back.
What Are Urinary Tract Infection Risk Factors
Risk factors for developing urinary tract infections include the following:
- Wiping from back to front following a bowel movement, particularly in women, can introduce bacteria into the urethra.
- Sexual intercourse can push bacteria from the vaginal area into the urethra.
- Holding the urine too long: When someone holds it in, more bacteria have a chance to multiply, which can cause or worsen a UTI.
- Kidney stones can make it hard to empty the bladder completely, which can also lead to urine remaining in the bladder too long.
- Certain types of birth control devices , including diaphragms or condoms with spermicides
- Hormonal changes and changes in the vagina following menopause
- Using urinary catheters, which are small tubes inserted into the bladder to drain urine, can predispose someone to catheter-associated UTIs.
- Surgery of the genitourinary tract may introduce bacteria into the urinary tract, resulting in a UTI.
- Women tend to get UTIs more frequently than men because the urethra in women is shorter and located closer to the rectum.
- Use of douches
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Things You Can Do Yourself
To help ease pain:
- 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, especially during hot weather
It’s important to follow the instructions on the packet so you know how much paracetamol you or your child can take, and how often.
It may also help to avoid having sex until you feel better.
You cannot pass a UTI on to your partner, but sex may be uncomfortable.
Taking cystitis sachets or cranberry products has not been shown to help ease symptoms of UTIs.
What Antibiotics Are Commonly Used To Treat Urinary Tract Infections
A handful of antibiotics are used to treat the most common urinary tract infections . In 75-95% of these cases, the infection is caused by bacteria called Escherichia coli , so experts know which antibiotics work well against the infection. These antibiotics are called first-line antibiotics.
They are given orally and include:
Amoxicillin and ampicillin are no longer used because of a high level of antibiotic resistance.
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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.
Does Cranberry Juice Prevent A Uti
Some patients may want to use cranberry or cranberry juice as a home remedy to treat a UTI. Cranberry juice has not been shown to cure an ongoing bacterial infection in the bladder or kidney.
Cranberry has been studied as a preventive maintenance agent for UTIs. Studies are mixed on whether cranberry can really prevent a UTI. Cranberry may work by preventing bacteria from sticking to the inside of the bladder however, it would take a large amount of cranberry juice to prevent bacterial adhesion. More recent research suggests cranberries may have no effect on preventing a UTI
- According to one expert, the active ingredient in cranberries — A-type proanthocyanidins — are effective against UTI-causing bacteria, but is only in highly concentrated cranberry capsules, not in cranberry juice.
- However, cranberry was not proven to prevent recurrent UTIs in several well-controlled studies, as seen in a 2012 meta-analysis of 24 trials published by the Cochrane group.
- While studies are not conclusive, there is no harm in drinking cranberry juice. However, if you develop symptoms, see your doctor. Some people find large quantities of cranberry juice upsetting to the stomach.
Increasing fluid intake like water, avoiding use of spermicides, and urinating after intercourse may be helpful in preventing UTIs, although limited data is available.
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How Are Urinary Tract Infections Treated
You will need to treat a urinary tract infection. Antibiotics are medicines that kill bacteria and fight an infection. Antibiotics are typically used to treat urinary tract infections. Your healthcare provider will pick a drug that best treats the particular bacteria thats causing your infection. Some commonly used antibiotics can include:
- Quinolones .
Its very important that you follow your healthcare providers directions for taking the medicine. Dont stop taking the antibiotic because your symptoms go away and you start feeling better. If the infection is not treated completely with the full course of antibiotics, it can return.
If you have a history of frequent urinary tract infections, you may be given a prescription for antibiotics that you would take at the first onset of symptoms. Other patients may be given antibiotics to take every day, every other day, or after sexual intercourse to prevent the infection. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best treatment option for you if you have a history of frequent UTIs.
When Should Someone With A Urinary Tract Infection See A Doctor
If one is experiencing any of the signs or symptoms of a urinary tract infection, see a health care provider for diagnosis, as some types of UTIs can lead to life-threatening conditions. Make an appointment with a provider within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms, or go to a hospital’s emergency department.
Go to an emergency department immediately for symptoms of a urinary tract infection along with any of the following:
- Fever and shaking
Antibiotics are the most commonly used treatment for urinary tract infections. The duration of treatment with antibiotics for UTIs varies according to the part of the urinary tract that is infected.
- If you have a bladder infection , you will need to take antibiotics for 3 to 7 days.
- If you have a kidney infection, you will need to take antibiotics for up to 2 weeks. In certain cases, one may also require hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics.
UTI symptoms and signs usually begin to improve shortly after starting antibiotic medications, but it is important to take the full course prescribed by a health care professional so that the infection is fully eradicated and does not return.
For most antibiotics, there are more than one treatment regimen for a UTI. Make sure to discuss the right dosage and treatment frequency with your health care provider.
What Is the Treatment for Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections?
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