How Can I Prevent Utis
If you have repeated UTIs, try these self-help measures to prevent recurring infections:
- Drink more fluids to help flush out bacteria.
- Urinate as soon as you feel the need.
- Urinate immediately after intercourse.
- Wear cotton underwear and loose-fitting pants.
- Find an alternative method of birth control if you use spermicides.
- Dont use perfumed soaps, talcum powder or deodorant around the genital area.
- Avoid constipation.
- Use lubricant gel with intercourse if the vaginal area is dry.
There is conflicting evidence for drinking cranberry juice to prevent UTIs. If you want to try cranberry products, ask your doctor for advice.
If infections are an ongoing problem, you may need to be referred to an urologist for further treatment.
Key Points About A Uti In Children
- A urinary tract infection is inflammation of part of the system that takes urine out of the body.
- Most infections are caused by bacteria from the digestive tract. The most common is Escherichia coli bacteria. These normally live in the colon.
- A UTI is not common in children younger than age 5. A UTI is much more common in girls because they have a shorter urethra.
- A UTI is unlikely in boys of any age, unless part of the urinary tract is blocked. Uncircumcised boys are more at risk for a UTI than circumcised boys.
- Symptoms vary by age, and can include fever, need to urinate often, pain, and crying.
What Is The Treatment For A Urinary Tract Infection
The usual treatment for both simple and complicated urinary tract infections is antibiotics. The type of antibiotic and duration of treatment depends on the circumstances.
Examples of common antibiotics used in treatment include, but are not limited to, amoxicillin, sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim , ciprofloxacin, nitrofurantoin , and many others. Your health care provider will choose the appropriate medication for your condition and the specific causative organisms.
Lower urinary tract infection
- In an otherwise healthy person, a three-day course of antibiotics is usually enough. Some providers prefer a seven-day course of antibiotics. Occasionally, a single dose of an antibiotic is used. A health care professional will determine which of these options is best.
- In adult males, if the prostate is also infected , four weeks or more of antibiotic treatment may be required.
- Adult females with potential for or early involvement of the kidneys, urinary tract abnormalities, or diabetes are usually given a five- to seven-day course of antibiotics.
- Children with uncomplicated cystitis are usually given a 10-day course of antibiotics.
- To alleviate burning pain during urination, phenazopyridine or a similar drug, can be used in addition to antibiotics for one to two days.
Upper urinary tract infection
A person may be hospitalized if he or she has symptoms of pyelonephritis and any of the following:
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Presentation And Diagnosis Of Asymptomatic Bacteriuria And Symptomatic Uti In Older Adults
Dr N: Do you feel ill from the bladder infection that you can tell?
Mrs M: Just in my head. I dont have any of the accompanying symptoms. Theres no odor, theres no burning or anything like that. But for the past at least half-dozen years, it just has been there, thats all. Every time they took a test, there was a very small amount of E coli. Whatever that means.
Dr N: For me, its just so challenging. Were taught in medical school that you dont treat asymptomatic bacteriuria in people. It doesnt help them. The problem when people have chronic urinary symptoms is that we are trying to determine if this is now a symptomatic bacterial infection and how do I figure out what is a UTI sign or symptom in somebody who has these chronic voiding problems to begin with. So, thats always been the tricky part. She has been hospitalized a couple of times for UTIs. She basically presented with dizziness, had trouble walking, confusion, and low blood pressure. She was admitted and found to have a UTI based on urine cultures. She was treated with antibiotics intravenous fluids and got better.
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. They may be able to give antibiotics if they’re needed.
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Condom Use During Sex
Non-lubricated latex condoms may increase friction and irritate the skin during sexual intercourse. This may increase the risk of a UTI.
To help prevent friction and skin irritation from condoms, be sure to use enough water-based lubricant during sex.
Avoid using condoms coated with spermicide.
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.
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Types Of Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections can occur anywhere within the urinary tract, which includes the:
- Urethra, the tube that passes urine out of the body from the bladder. Infection of the urethra is also known as urethritis
- Bladder, the organ that collects and stores urine. Infection of the bladder is also known as cystitis
- Ureters, the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder
- Kidneys, the organs that filter blood, eliminating waste via the urine. Infection of one or both kidneys is also known as pyelonephritis
The majority of UTIs affect the bladder and/or the urethra. These are known as lower urinary tract infections.
However, the infection can also travel up the urinary tract to reach the kidneys. In rare cases, the ureters may also become infected. These are called upper urinary tract infections. They are less common than lower tract infections and tend to be more severe.
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:
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What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Utis
UTIs can cause such signs as:
- pain, burning, or a stinging sensation when peeing
- an increased urge or more frequent need to pee
- waking up at night a lot to go to the bathroom
- belly pain in the area of the bladder
- foul-smelling pee that may look cloudy or contain blood
If you have any symptoms of a UTI, youâll need to go to a doctor right away. The sooner you begin treatment, the less uncomfortable youâll be. Call your doctorâs office or clinic. If you canât reach your doctor, you can visit an urgent care center or hospital emergency room. The most important thing is to take action as soon as possible.
Diagnosing Urinary Tract Infections
If you notice any signs or symptoms of a UTI, contact your doctor. The only way to diagnose a UTI is through a urine test. A urine test allows your doctor to perform a urine culture and see if there are any microbes present. This culture is important for identifying the underlying cause and move forward with the most effective treatment plan. Simply put, a urine test allows for the best and fastest recovery.
To make sure the urine is not contaminated during the testing process, you will need to collect urine from the middle of your urinary stream.1 This means you will start using the bathroom and then collect urine only after expelling some into the toilet. This helps reduce the possibility of bacteria from your skin from entering the sample and is commonly referred to as a clean catch.1
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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.
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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Urinary Tract Infection Signs And Symptoms
What is a urinary tract infection?
A urinary tract infection occurs when there are bacteria in your bladder or kidneys that may disrupt your daily life.
What causes urinary tract infections?
Urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria getting into your bladder and growing out of control. People who use catheters to help them urinate are at high risk for getting UTIs. The catheter provides a direct path for bacteria to enter your bladder. Often, bacteria live in your bladder without any problems this is called colonization. Sometimes, the bacteria increases and they may cause a urinary tract infection.
What are the signs and symptoms of a urinary tract infection?
- Increased spasms
- Mild low back pain or other aches
- Urinary leakage or having to catheterize more often
- Blood or sediment in the urine
- Cloudy urine or a foul odor to the urine
- Cloudy, foul-smelling urine may be due to changes in diet and fluid intake. With no other symptoms, this is not a reason to take antibiotics for a UTI.
How do I prevent a urinary tract infection?
The best way to prevent a UTI is to drink lots of fluids. You should drink at least 64 oz of fluids a day, especially water. It is best to avoid beverages with sugar, caffeine and alcohol. These drinks may increase bladder irritation and contribute to UTIs.
I think I have a UTI, when should I call my healthcare provider?
If I have a UTI, what will my healthcare provider do?
What do I need to know about antibiotic treatment?
Home Remedies For Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms
In addition to antibiotics, many people seek natural, at-home remedies to help UTIs. A heating pad can relieve pressure and pain, and wearing loose cotton clothing is recommended. For those with recurrent UTIs, modifying certain habits may help: Choose fragrance-free personal care products to reduce the risk of irritation, and cut back on foods that can irritate the bladder caffeine, alcohol, spicy food, raw onions, citrus fruits, carbonated drinks, and artificial sweeteners.
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Pain Or Burning While You Urinate
Burning during urination is perhaps the most unmistakable sign of a urinary tract infection. Coupled with the increased urge to urinate, painful urination can be an all-day issue instead of just a few-times-a-day issue.
The pain you feel while urinating is due to the urine running along the irritated lining of your urethra. Sometimes, you might see some blood in your urine or a pink hue as red blood cells leak from the urethra walls.
Related Conditions And Causes Of Uti
There are a number of health conditions that share some symptoms with urinary tract infections, including:
The following conditions may make you more susceptible to developing a UTI and increase the severity of symptoms:
Type 2 diabetes
And having a UTI can increase a manâs risk for benign prostatic hyperplasia .
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Bacteria In The Urine Isnt Necessarily A Problem
Elevated urinary bacteria doesnt cause any symptoms and can often be corrected by increasing fluid intake.
The condition occurs in about 6 to 16 percent of women over age 65, 20 percent of women over age 80, and 25 to 50 percent of women living in nursing facilities.
Doctors should not treat urinary bacteria with antibiotics unless there are multiple other signs or symptoms of a UTI. This can encourage antibiotic resistance and make future UTIs harder to treat, says Dr. Lathia.
The presence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the urine also increases the risk of serious complications, including C. difficile infection and death.
Other Ways To Prevent Some Utis Coming Back
If you keep getting a bladder infection , there is some evidence it may be helpful to take:
- D-mannose a sugar you can buy as a powder or tablets to take every day
- cranberry products available as juice, tablets or capsules to take every day
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.
If youâre taking warfarin, you should avoid cranberry products.
Page last reviewed: 22 March 2022 Next review due: 22 March 2025
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Uti
- Pain or burning when urinating
- An urge to urinate often, but not much comes out when you go
- Pressure in your lower abdomen
- Urine that smells bad or looks milky or cloudy
- Blood in the urine. This is more common in younger women. If you see blood in your urine, tell a doctor or nurse right away.
- Feeling tired, shaky, confused, or weak. This is more common in older women.
- Having a fever, which may mean the infection has reached your kidneys
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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.
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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 youâre 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
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Pain Or Burning When You Urinate
Finally, a very common early UTI symptom is pain and/or burning when you urinate. At the first signs of this, see a doctor at Coastal Urgent Care of Bossier right away.
This pain will only become more intense. It can also progress very quickly. A small pain today can often become excruciating by tomorrow.
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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.