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.
Common Uti Symptoms And Signs
The urine of most healthy, properly hydrated people appears light yellow or clear and is nearly free of odor. It also causes zero pain or discomfort to pass.
But for the majority of people who experience a urinary tract infection, thats not the case. Instead, they will likely encounter at least one of the following indicators:
When the kidneys are infected, other noticeable symptoms may include:
- Fever, shaking, and chills
- Nausea and vomiting
- Upper back, side, or groin pain
While its been long noted that confusion in the elderly is a sign of UTI, a 2019 report in BMC Geriatrics concludes that theres insufficient evidence connecting the symptom to that diagnosis.
What To Do If You Keep Getting Utis
“It’s also important to consult your doctor if you’re getting UTIs frequently which is about three or more times per year,” Dr. Kannady recommends.
Recurrent UTIs are fairly common, and they’re also often effectively controlled via lifestyle changes. In some cases, though, your doctor may recommend that you see a urologist for further evaluation.
“Frequent UTIs are sometimes the result of an underlying health issue, such as kidney stones or abnormalities in your kidneys, bladder, or urethra,” Dr. Kannady adds. “A urologist can rule out or diagnose and treat issues such as these, as well as provide further guidance on how to prevent UTI reoccurrence.”
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How Can I Take Care Of Myself
- Follow your healthcare provider’s 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 Reye’s syndrome.
- Keep a daily record of your temperature.
How Is A Chronic Urinary Tract Infection Diagnosed
If you have a chronic UTI, you probably had a UTI in the past.
Performing lab tests on a sample of urine is the most common method doctors use to diagnose UTIs. A medical professional will examine the sample of urine under a microscope, looking for signs of bacteria.
In a urine culture test, a technician places a urine sample in a tube to encourage the growth of bacteria. After one to three days, theyll look at the bacteria to determine the best treatment.
If you have recurring UTIs, your doctor may want to perform a cystoscopy. In this procedure, theyll use a cystoscope. Its a long, thin tube with a lens at the end used to look inside your urethra and bladder. Your doctor will look for any abnormalities or issues that could cause the UTI to keep coming back.
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Urinary Tract Infections In Men
Men can get UTIs, particularly if they have trouble with urine flow. Older men who experience prostatitis are at a higher risk. If the bladder is not emptying properly, the build up ofurine makes it more difficult to cure the infection.
A small number of young men may get a UTI. In males, this is usually the result of a sexually transmitted disease.
Do I Need To See A Doctor
Yes. Painful urination can be a symptom of a more serious problem. You should tell your doctor about your symptoms and how long youve had them. Tell your doctor about any medical conditions you have, such as diabetes mellitus or AIDS, because these could affect your bodys response to infection. Tell your doctor about any known abnormality in your urinary tract, and if you are or might be pregnant. Tell your doctor if youve had any procedures or surgeries on your urinary tract. He or she also need to know if you were recently hospitalized or stayed in a nursing home.
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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:
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 I Worry
An unchecked UTI can turn into a very serious kidney infection. In can also become a blood infection if you do not treat it right away, or turn into a life-threatening problem. A UTI may happen anywhere along the urinary tract, though some parts are more problematic than others. For example, the urethra is easier to deal with than the opposite end your kidneys.
The best time to worry and do something about it? The second you realize you have a UTI. If treated properly and early on, a UTI is barely a problem and is more of an annoyance, as it may itch or burn. Unchecked, however, it can lead to serious consequences.
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How Does It Occur
Normally the urinary tract does not have any bacteria or other organisms in it. Bacteria that cause UTI often spread from the rectum to the urethra and then to the bladder or kidneys. Sometimes bacteria spread from another part of the body through the bloodstream to the urinary tract. Urinary tract infection is less common in men than in women because the male urethra is long, making it difficult for bacteria to spread to the bladder.
Urinary tract infection may be caused by a sexually transmitted disease. Sometimes a stone in the urinary tract blocks the flow of urine and causes an infection. In older men, an enlarged prostate can cause a urinary tract infection by keeping urine from draining out of the bladder completely. Infection might also be caused by the use of a catheter used to drain the bladder or by urethral stricture, which is a narrowing of the urethra by scar tissue from previous infections or surgical procedures.
You may be more likely to have a UTI if you have diabetes or another medical problem that affects the immune system.
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 Other Possible Causes Of Painful Urination
A painful burning feeling when you urinate is often a sign of a urinary tract infection . However, painful urination can occur even if you dont have an infection. Certain drugs, like some used in cancer chemotherapy, may inflame the bladder. Something pressing against the bladder or a kidney stone stuck near the entrance to the bladder can also cause painful urination.
Painful urination can also be caused by vaginal infection or irritation. You might be sensitive to chemicals in products such as douches, vaginal lubricants, soaps, scented toilet paper, or contraceptive foams or sponges. If it hurts to urinate after youve used these products, youre probably sensitive to them.
Antibiotics For A Uti
The form of antibiotic used to treat a bacterial UTI usually depends on which part of the tract is involved.
Lower tract UTIs can usually be treated with oral antibiotics. Upper tract UTIs require intravenous antibiotics. These antibiotics are put directly into your veins.
Sometimes, bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics. To reduce your risk of antibiotic resistance, your doctor will likely put you on the shortest treatment course possible. Treatment typically lasts no more than 1 week.
Results from your urine culture can help your doctor select an antibiotic treatment that will work best against the type of bacteria thats causing your infection.
Treatments other than antibiotics for bacterial UTIs are being examined. At some point, UTI treatment without antibiotics may be an option for bacterial UTIs by using cell chemistry to change the interaction between the body and the bacteria.
There are no home remedies that can cure a UTI, but there are some things that you can do that can help your medication work better.
These home remedies for UTIs, like drinking more water, may help your body clear the infection faster.
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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.
Confusion Alone Does Not Signal A Urinary Tract Infection
When an older adult becomes confused, many people both medical and non-medical assume that a UTI is responsible.
But aging increases the incidence of confusion and delirium, especially among those who are cognitively impaired, depressed, malnourished or completely dependent.
Delirium can be caused by various factors, the most common one being dehydration, notes Dr. Lathia.
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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, you’ll need to go to a doctor right away. The sooner you begin treatment, the less uncomfortable you’ll be. Call your doctor’s office or clinic. If you can’t 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.
How Do I Know If The Treatment Isnt Working
If the treatment isnt working, your symptoms will stay the same, get worse, or you will develop new symptoms. Call your doctor if you have a fever , chills, lower stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting. You should also call your doctor if, after taking medicine for 3 days, you still have a burning feeling when you urinate. If you are pregnant, you should also call your doctor if you have any contractions.
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When Urinary Tract Infections Turn Deadly
A urinary tract infection, like any infection, can progress into deadly sepsis. Do you know when to seek emergency care?
You might be hearing the words sepsis and urinary tract infection a lot right now, given former President Bill Clintons recent bout with both. Sepsis, the bodys overwhelming and life-threatening response to infection, affects an estimated 49 million people worldwide each year, so Clinton is not alone in his battle with this potentially deadly condition.
A urinary tract infection, commonly referred to as a UTI, is an infection of the urinary tract. The tract starts at your kidneys and continues through the ureters, the urinary bladder, and the urethra. Most often, UTIs can be managed effectively when they are identified and treated quickly. An untreated UTI may spread to the kidney and can also cause sepsis, as is the case with the former President.
Women are more likely than men to develop UTIs, however, people with external genitals are still at risk of UTIs, though they might not be as aware of this risk or familiar with the symptoms that would lead them to seek care.
Typically, a UTI can be treated with an antibiotic in just a few days. If the UTI is not recognized and treated, or if antibiotics are not effective, as can be the case if it is an antibiotic resistant bacteria, sepsis can develop.
Signs and Symptoms of Sepsis:
Synthetic Antibiotics Derived From Dyes
Synthetic antibiotic chemotherapy as a science and development of antibacterials began in Germany with in the late 1880s. Ehrlich noted certain dyes would color human, animal, or bacterial cells, whereas others did not. He then proposed the idea that it might be possible to create chemicals that would act as a selective drug that would bind to and kill bacteria without harming the human host. After screening hundreds of dyes against various organisms, in 1907, he discovered a medicinally useful drug, the first synthetic antibacterial , now called arsphenamine.
The first and the first systemically active antibacterial drug, , was developed by a research team led by in 1932 or 1933 at the Laboratories of the conglomerate in Germany, for which Domagk received the 1939 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Sulfanilamide, the active drug of Prontosil, was not patentable as it had already been in use in the dye industry for some years. Prontosil had a relatively broad effect against , but not against . Research was stimulated apace by its success. The discovery and development of this sulfonamide opened the era of antibacterials.
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What Is A Urinary Tract Infection
UTIs are common infections that happen when bacteria, often from the skin or rectum, enter the urethra, and infect the urinary tract. The infections can affect several parts of the urinary tract, but the most common type is a bladder infection .
Kidney infection is another type of UTI. Theyre less common, but more serious than bladder infections.
Will A Uti Go Away On Its Own
Some UTIs can go away on their own. A 2022 article states that some uncomplicated UTIs can resolve spontaneously without treatment, but that some people need to see a doctor to relieve their symptoms.
A person should always see a doctor if they develop symptoms of a UTI as they can progress into a kidney infection.
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How Are Utis Diagnosed
To diagnose a UTI, health care providers ask questions about what’s going on, do an exam, and take a sample of pee for testing.
How a sample is taken depends on a child’s age. Older kids might simply need to pee into a sterile cup. For younger children in diapers, a catheter is usually preferred. This is when a thin tube is inserted into the urethra up to the bladder to get a “clean” urine sample.
The sample may be used for a urinalysis or a urine culture . Knowing what bacteria are causing the infection can help your doctor choose the best treatment.
Is It Possible To Have A Uti Without Any Symptoms
Yes. Symptoms of a UTI can vary, and it’s not entirely uncommon for someone to experience no symptoms of a urinary tract infection. Its estimated that 1 to 5 percent of younger women experience asymptomatic bacteriuria , which is a UTI without the classic symptoms. While its unclear why the bacteria involved with urinary tract infections sometimes don’t cause symptoms for these people, we do know that instances of symptom-free UTIs increase with age. Up to 16 percent of women older than 65 have been found to have ASB, and that number grows to almost 20 percent for women over 80. Other factors that increase your chances of an asymptomatic UTI are:
- Urinary catheter use
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