Can Urinary Tract Infections Be Prevented Or Avoided
There are many lifestyle choices that can help you prevent UTIs. These are some of the things you can do to protect yourself from them:
- Drink plenty of water to flush out bacteria. For some people, drinking cranberry juice may also help prevent urinary tract infections. However, if youre taking warfarin, check with your doctor before using cranberry juice to prevent urinary tract infections. Your doctor may need to adjust your warfarin dose or you may need to have more frequent blood tests.
- Dont hold your urine. Urinate when you feel like you need to. Some children dont go to the bathroom often enough. If your child does this, teach him or her to go to the bathroom several times each day.
- Wipe from front to back after bowel movements. Teach your child to wipe correctly.
- Urinate after having sex to help wash away bacteria.
- Use enough lubrication during sex. Try using a small amount of lubricant before sex if youre a little dry.
- If you get urinary tract infections often, you may want to avoid using a diaphragm as a birth control method. Ask your doctor about other birth control choices.
- Avoid taking or giving your child bubble baths.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing , and dress your child in loose-fitting clothing.
- If you are uncircumcised, wash the foreskin regularly. If you have an uncircumcised boy, teach him how to wash his foreskin.
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
Cranberry Is An Excellent Remedy
Cranberry has long been used to address UTIs and is recommended by many doctors. Multiple studies have found that cranberry was as effective as antibiotics, and produced no side effects. One randomized, placebo-controlled study reported that, over a 24-week period, women who consumed cranberry juice did not experience a recurrence of infection. Cranberry juice with high concentrations of antioxidants, specifically proanthocyanidins, appears to be a helpful defense for UTIs in children.
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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.
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.
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What Is The Urinary Tract
The urinary tract makes and stores urine, one of the body’s liquid waste products. The urinary tract includes the following parts:
- Kidneys: These small organs are located on back of your body, just above the hips. They are the filters of your body removing waste and water from your blood. This waste becomes urine.
- Ureters: The ureters are thin tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to your bladder.
- Bladder: A sac-like container, the bladder stores your urine before it leaves the body.
- Urethra: This tube carries the urine from your bladder to the outside of the body.
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 you’re 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
- Low birth weight
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Uti Causes And Risk Factors
The most common cause of a UTI in the urethra is a sexually transmitted disease. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are two STDs that can cause a UTI. STDs are also the most common cause of UTIs in younger men.
Prostate problems can also cause UTIs. An enlarged prostate is common in older men and can block the flow of urine. This can increase the odds that bacteria will build up and cause a UTI.
Prostatitis, which is an infection of the prostate, shares many of the same symptoms as UTIs.
Diabetes and other medical issues that affect your immune system can also make you more likely to get a UTI.
All About Urinary Tract Infections
This site is dedicated to providing you with the best information regarding urinary tract infections , an infection that can occur in any part of the urinary system kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. We aim to provide the most comprehensive resource available about UTIs and how to properly address them.
We provide you with impartial, up-to-the-minute information regarding this very common infection, which affects many individuals. UTIs are quite common, so understanding causes, symptoms and which measures can be taken to help eradicate this uncomfortable condition, once and for all.
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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.
What Causes Urinary Tract Infections
Normal urine is sterile and contains fluids, salts, and waste products. It does not contain bacteria, viruses, or fungi. A UTI occurs when germs, most often bacteria from the digestive tract, get into the opening of the urethra and start to multiply.
Most UTIs are caused by E. coli bacteria, which normally live in the colon.
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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.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Urinary Tract Infection In Teens And Adults
The symptoms are different depending on where the infection is.
Symptoms of a UTI in the bladder include:
- Pain or burning when you urinate.
- An urge to urinate often, but usually passing only small amounts of urine.
- Pain in the lower belly.
- Urine that looks cloudy, is pink or red, or smells bad.
Symptoms of a UTI in the kidneys include:
- Pain in the flank. This is felt just below the rib cage and above the waist on one or both sides of the back.
- Fever and chills.
- Nausea and vomiting.
Some people have bacteria in their urinary tract without having any symptoms. This is called asymptomatic bacteriuria. It may lead to infections that cause symptoms, but in many cases it doesn’t. It usually goes away without treatment.
Several other conditions, such as vaginal infections or an irritable bladder, can cause symptoms like those of a UTI.
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How To Prevent Uti Re
Following some tips can help you avoid getting another UTI:
- Empty your bladder often as soon as you feel the need to pee donât rush, and be sure youâve emptied your bladder completely.
- Wipe from front to back after you use the toilet.
- Drink lots of water.
- Choose showers over baths.
- Stay away from feminine hygiene sprays, scented douches, and scented bath products theyâll only increase irritation.
- Cleanse your genital area before sex.
- Pee after sex to flush out any bacteria that may have entered your urethra.
- If you use a diaphragm, unlubricated condoms, or spermicidal jelly for birth control, you may want to switch to another method. Diaphragms can increase bacteria growth, while unlubricated condoms and spermicides can irritate your urinary tract. All can make UTI symptoms more likely.
- Keep your genital area dry by wearing cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothes. DonÃÂ¢Ã¢Â¬Ã¢Â¢t wear tight jeans and nylon underwear they can trap moisture, creating the perfect environment for bacteria growth.
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?
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How To Feel Better
If your healthcare professional prescribes you antibiotics:
- Take antibiotics exactly as your healthcare professional tells you.
- Do not share your antibiotics with others.
- Do not save antibiotics for later. Talk to your healthcare professional about safely discarding leftover antibiotics.
Drink plenty of water or other fluids. Your healthcare professional might also recommend medicine to help lessen the pain or discomfort. Talk with your healthcare professional if you have any questions about your antibiotics.
Can Urinary Tract Infections Be Prevented
These steps may help reduce the chance of getting UTIs:
- Drink plenty of water every day.
- Drink cranberry juice. Large amounts of vitamin C limit the growth of some bacteria by acidifying the urine. Vitamin C supplements have the same effect.
- Urinate when you feel the need. Do not wait.
- Take showers instead of tub baths.
- Clean the genital area before and after sex, and urinate shortly after sex.
- Women should not use feminine hygiene sprays or scented douches.
- Cotton underwear and loose fitting clothes help keep the area around the urethra dry. Tight clothes and nylon underwear trap moisture. This can help bacteria grow.
- Repeated bouts of urinary tract infections can be treated with small doses of regular antibiotics.
Please consult your health care provider with any questions or concerns you may have about UTIs.
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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
What Causes A Bladder Infection
Most of the time a bladder infection is caused by bacteria that are normally found in your bowel. The bladder has several systems to prevent infection. For example, urination most often flushes out bacteria before it reaches the bladder. Sometimes your body cant fight the bacteria and the bacteria cause an infection. Read the reasons you may be at risk for UTIs.
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What Makes Yale Medicine Unique In Its Treatment Of Urinary Tract Infections
UTI management usually starts with the primary care provider, but patients with recurrent or resurgent infections should be referred to a urologist to determine the underlying source, says Dr. Brito. Though most UTI symptoms will respond to a course of antibiotics, similar symptoms may signal something more serious. Dont ignore what your body is trying to tell you.
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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Urinary Tract Infections May Be More Than The Eye Of The Storm
Cystitis, or inflammation of the bladder, is one of the most common types of urinary tract infection and affects more than 90% of women.
It is typically caused by bacteria invading the bladder wall. Pain when urinating or passing frequent, small amounts of urine are also signs of cystitis. So is blood in the urine, which can make it pink and cloudy but it can indicate other problems such as bladder cancer, too. Therefore, the finding of blood in the urine should be called to the attention of your doctor immediately.
UTIs should not be ignored since they can lead to more serious complications such as kidney infection as the bacteria travel up from the bladder.
The diagnosis is easily made by a urinalysis. If there is evidence of an infection, a urine culture is obtained which identifies the best antibiotic to treat the infection.
For mild cystitis, drinking plenty of water can help flush out bacteria. Although many people believe that cranberry juice can help, recent research found no evidence that the fruit, taken as capsules, made any difference to decrease the bacteria in urine.
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Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms And Signs
Symptoms of a urinary tract infection are similar in men, women, and children.
- Early symptoms and signs are usually easy to recognize and primarily involve pain, discomfort, or burning when trying to urinate.
- Accompanying this can be the sense that one needs to urinate urgently or the need for frequent urination . Even when there is a strong urge to urinate, you may pass only a small amount of urine.
- The urine itself may appear bloody or cloudy. Men may feel pain in the rectum, while women may experience pain around the pubic bone.
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A Urinary Tract Infection Can Spread To Other Parts Of The Body
First, a little primer on how UTIs happen: Bacteria gets into the urinary system, which includes the kidneys and the bladder. This typically happens through the urethra . The bacteria then begins to multiply once in the system, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The infection is most often seen or located in the bladder, but it can happen in any part of the urinary tract.
In some cases particularly if left untreated the infection can spread to the kidneys or other parts of the body, and sometimes make its way into the bloodstream. Complications from this can include permanent kidney damage. It can also lead to sepsis, a potentially life-threatening complication. As part of the process of responding to an infection, the body releases chemicals into the blood stream to fight it off. Sepsis can occur when the bodys response to those chemicals becomes out of balance, according to the Mayo Clinic. This can result in damage to your organs.