Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- Do I need any tests, such as urinalysis?
- What is the likely cause of my urinary tract infection ?
- Do I need medicine? How should I take it?
- What are the possible side effects of the medicine?
- When should I expect relief from my symptoms?
- What symptoms would indicate that my infection is getting worse? What should I do if I experience these symptoms?
- I get UTIs a lot. What can I do to prevent them?
- Do I need preventive antibiotics? If so, should I be concerned about antibiotic resistance?
- My child gets UTIs a lot. Could an anatomical problem be causing his or her UTIs?
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.
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.
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When To See A Healthcare Provider
If you develop signs of a kidney infection, including flank pain, nausea, or vomiting, see a healthcare provider immediately.
If you’re pregnant, never take a chance with UTIs, especially if you have diabetes, HIV, or have had previous infections. Even mild symptoms should be looked at, treated, and monitored to ensure that the infection is fully cleared.
Without exception, any symptoms suggestive of sepsis should be treated as a medical emergency. This is especially true in babies and the elderly.
Pregnancy And Urinary Tract Infections
Pregnant women with a UTI that develops into a kidney infection are at higher risk of developing additional complications, which may affect both them and the fetus. Such complications include , , low birth weight and, in very rare cases, stillbirth.
Fortunately, early medical intervention means that urinary tract infections in pregnant women can usually be treated successfully. If the affected person has a lower urinary tract infection, a course of oral antibiotics is the most common treatment method. If an upper urinary tract infection is suspected, the doctor may recommend administering antibiotics intravenously in hospital instead.
Once the infection has cleared, a doctor may choose to prescribe low-level, prophylactic antibiotics for the remainder of the pregnancy to reduce the risk of a UTI returning.
Pregnancy can increase the likelihood of developing a UTI. This is due to numerous factors, including hormonal changes and the increased weight of the uterus putting pressure on the bladder.
When To See A Doctor For A Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections usually require a visit to the doctor to confirm diagnosis and receive treatment. If a UTI is suspected, a doctorÃ¢â¬â¢s appointment is always recommended for the following groups of people:
- Anyone who has not had a UTI before
- Anyone with blood in their urine
- Anyone with symptoms of an upper urinary tract infection
- Anyone whose symptoms have returned after treatment
Some people who experience UTIs on a frequent basis might be offered different management options by their doctor, such as long-term, low-dose antibiotics. In these special cases, the onset of UTI symptoms may be managed at home, and a visit to the doctor is not always necessary.
In very mild cases, a bladder infection/cystitis may clear on its own without the need for medical treatment. However, other conditions such as genital herpes or vaginal thrush can be mistaken for cystitis, so people who are unsure whether they have cystitis should still see a doctor.
Feeling unwell? People experiencing symptoms that may be linked to a urinary tract infection can carry out a symptom assessment using the free Ada app now.
Eat Healthy And Exercise
A healthy diet and exercise are two of the best ways for most everyone with SCI to boost their immune system. A healthy immune system helps you to fight off infections.
- Ask your health professional for advice before starting an exercise program or changing your diet.
- Consider taking vitamin and mineral supplements. Zinc magnesium and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, and E may help to boost your immune system. Ask your health professional for advice before taking any supplements.
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What Is Kidney Infection Back Pain
Lifestyle choices can also contribute to lower back pain, including:
- Long periods of immobility
However, if you are experiencing lower back pain along with frequent urination, blood in the urine, fever, or chills, you may have a kidney infectionback pain. This is a condition where the cause of the back pain is a kidney infection, also known as Pyelonephritis.
Under normal conditions, the urinary tract works as part of the system that cleans the blood. The kidneys are capable of filtering 150 quarts of water and waste from the blood each day. The filtering process produces one to two quarts of urine which are stored in the bladder until removed through urination.
To avoid potentially serious complications, an infection of the kidneys should receive immediate medical attention.
When To Seek Medical Advice
You may find your UTI symptoms are mild and pass within a few days. However, you should see your GP if you find your symptoms very uncomfortable or if they last for more than five days.
Also see your GP if you have a UTI and:
- you develop a high temperature
- your symptoms suddenly get worse
- you are pregnant
- you have diabetes
Recommended Reading: Urinary Tract Infection Water Retention
How Typical Is Lower Back Pain
Around 4 out of five people have lower back pain at some time in their lives. It is among the most typical reasons people check out healthcare providers.
Some people are more probable to have lower back pain than others. Danger factors for lower back pain include:
Age: Individuals over 30 have much more back pain. Disks deteriorate with age. As the disks weaken and also wear down, pain as well as stiffness can result.
Weight: People who are obese or bring added weight are more likely to have back pain. Excess weight puts pressure on joints and also disks. Overall wellness: Compromised stomach muscles cant support the spine, which can lead to back strains and sprains.
People who smoke, drink alcohol excessively or live a sedentary way of life have a higher risk of back pain.
Line of work as well as way of life: Jobs as well as tasks that need hefty training or bending can boost the threat of a back injury.
Structural issues: Extreme back pain can result from conditions, such as scoliosis, that transform back positioning.
Condition: People that have a family history of osteoarthritis, certain types of cancer and also other condition have a greater risk of low back pain. Psychological health and wellness: Back pain can arise from anxiety and anxiousness.
Read Also: What Causes Urinary Tract Infection In Women
Treatment Options For Utis
Drinking water and cranberry juice are two common recommendations for lower UTIs. However, research has shown the methods to be inconclusive. Extra liquids make urination easier but do not treat the root cause. Speaking with a doctor is the first step. Doctors will then prescribe antibiotics. As bacteria could stay in the cells of the bladder, removing the infection can be difficult. However, when caught early, antibiotics can be effective.
Also Check: How To Control Urinary Incontinence
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 you’re taking warfarin, you should avoid cranberry products.
Page last reviewed: 22 March 2022 Next review due: 22 March 2025
How Is It Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and medical history. You may have lab tests of your urine and discharge from the urethra and prostate gland.
For serious or repeated infections, you may need:
- An intravenous pyelogram . An IVP is a special type of X-ray of the kidneys, ureters, and bladder.
- An ultrasound scan to look at the urinary tract.
- A cystoscopy. This is an exam of the inside of the urethra and bladder with a small lighted instrument. It is usually done by a specialist called a urologist.
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How Are Utis Diagnosed
Only a health care provider can treat urinary tract infections. The first thing a doctor will do is confirm that a person has a UTI by taking a clean-catch urine specimen. At the doctor’s office, you’ll be asked to clean your genital area with disposable wipes and then pee into a sterile cup.
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.
Should I Take Antibiotics To Prevent Uti
Not usually. Antibiotics are medicines used to kill bacteria that cause infection. When you take an antibiotic to kill bacteria, the bacteria can change or adapt in a way that it becomes resistant to the antibiotic being used. This means that the antibiotic can no longer kill the bacteria. It takes a stronger antibiotic to then kill the bacteria in the future. There are a limited number of antibiotics that can kill bacteria, so its best to use antibiotics only when needed to avoid reaching the point when the bacteria are resistant to all antibiotics.
Here are a few recommendations for using antibiotics and better avoiding antibiotic resistance.
- Do not take antibiotics that are not prescribed to you.
- Do not take antibiotics for conditions that do not require them. For example, dont take antibiotics to treat viruses like the cold or flu.
- Do not take antibiotics simply because your urine has bacteria. It is very common for people with SCI to have bacteria in their urine, so you usually only need to take an antibiotic to treat a UTI when you begin to you have signs and symptoms.
- Antibiotics may be used to prevent infection in some situations. For example, women with SCI are often prescribed antibiotics to prevent UTI during pregnancy.
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.
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
Read Also: Can Diabetes Cause Urinary Tract Infection
Causes Of Urinary Tract Infections
A UTI is caused by a bacterial infection in the urinary tract. The urinary tract is where our bodies make and expel urine and is made up of the kidneys, the ureters, the bladder and the urethra. You can get an infection in the lower or upper part of the urinary tract. Upper UTIs are potentially more serious because there is a risk of kidney damage and in acute cases can cause kidney failure or blood poisoning. Urinary tract infection is a term used to cover a variety of infections.
The three main causes of UTIs are:
- Cystitis infection in the bladder
- Urethritis infection in the urethra
- Pyelonephritis infection in the kidney
How Do You Get Urinary Tract Infections
The design of the human body makes it so it isnt hard to get a bacterial UTI, because the infection comes from outside, through the urethra. Bacteria in the genital area can enter the urethra and the urinary tract, either because wiping after going to the bathroom, sexual activity, or unsanitary conditions. Once the bacteria have entered the urethra, the body tries fight them off, but sometimes the bacteria multiply and cause an infection.
In the case of a fungal infection, usually the fungus gets to the urinary tract through the blood stream. Those who develop this type of infection are usually ill with a disease that has compromised their immune system, such as AIDS.
In general, people with shorter urethras get more UTIs than do cisgender men and transgender men who have had a phalloplasty, surgery to create a penis and lengthen the urethra. This increases with age. Statistics show that those with shorter urethras often get more than one. Over their life time. Almost 20% who have had one UTI will go on to have a second.
It Turns Out Urine Is Not Sterile
It has become common knowledge that urine is sterile its even become ingrained in first aid advice, like urinating on a wound is better than using non-sterile water. But it turns out its not.
The bladder has its own unique microbiome, and an ideal balance of microbes that your body does its best to maintain.
Studies have found hundreds of different bacteria in healthy bladders. And in patients with UTIs, they have found even more. Thats a lot of different bacteria that were assumed not to exist in the bladder!
Because UTI test techniques have always assumed urine is sterile, they have always been flawed.
For many, the consequences of this are UTI test results that list contamination which implies the bacteria came from a source other than the bladder possibly skin, vagina, or elsewhere.
This contamination may actually be bacteria from inside the bladder that should be considered as part of the puzzle. Results may also show insignificant levels of growth that are then often dismissed.
Its important to acknowledge here that actual sample contamination is also a real possibility, so minimizing this is also important. Weve discussed this more below.
Managing Low Back Pain And Incontinence
If youre experiencing back pain, incontinence, or even both, go speak to your doctor. They may be able to rule out any serious conditions contributing to the issues and they can put together a proper treatment plan.
In some cases, incontinence can be treated and with physical therapy to relieve pain and Kegel exercises to strengthen pelvic floor muscles may go away over time. In other cases, incontinence can only be managed.
Lifestyle changes can be beneficial for assisting with both back pain and incontinence symptoms. Try to become more active, with at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise about three times a week. Try swimming, riding a bike, or simply even walking to get moving.
Also, a healthy diet to relieve pressure on your digestive tract. Caffeine, items high in sugar, spicy foods, and alcohol can increase incontinence symptoms. Try adding more water, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to your diet to relieve constipation and pressure on the bladder. The added nutrition may help with your low back pain as well.
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