How Are Utis Diagnosed
Visit your doctor if you have UTI symptoms. They may perform a physical examination and a sample of urine will be collected for testing.
The Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases recommend that if your urine tests results show bacteria in your urine but you don’t have any symptoms of a UTI, it is unlikely you will need antibiotics. For more information, visit the Choosing Wisely Australia website.
Can I Prevent A Urinary Tract Infection
You can usually prevent a urinary tract infection with lifestyle changes. These tips can include:
In some post-menopausal women, a healthcare provider may suggest an estrogen-containing vaginal cream. This may reduce the risk of developing a UTI by changing the pH of the vagina. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have recurrent UTIs and have already gone through menopause.
Over-the-counter supplements are also available for UTIs. These are sometimes recommended for people who have frequent UTIs as another way to prevent them. Talk to your healthcare provider before starting any supplements and ask if these could be a good choice for you.
Home Remedies To Relieve Utis
If you do find yourself with a Urinary Tract Infection, there are several home remedies you can try before resorting to an over the counter or prescription drug.
Increase Your Water Intake. An increase in fluids can help flush out the urinary tract and put you on the road to recovery. Just make sure you’re drinking water and avoid any sugary or caffeinated drinks.
Empty Your Bladder Frequently. Emptying your bladder helps you get rid of the bacteria that’s causing the infection. Be sure to go whenever you feel the urge – dont hold it in!
Take Some Vitamin C. Eat plenty of foods rich in Vitamin C, or take a supplement to make your urine more acidic. This helps prevent the growth of bacteria in your urine.
Watch What You Eat. Avoiding bladder irritants can help make it easier for your body to fight off infections within the urinary tract. Steer clear of spicy foods, acidic foods, carbonated drinks, or sugary sweets.
Use Heat To Relieve Pain. Urinary Tract Infections can be painful. Use a heating pad on the stomach or pubic area to relieve discomfort, or take a warm bath.
Baking Soda. This household staple can help neutralize the acidity in your urine, helping you to heal from the infection. Add a teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of water and drink up.
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Risk Factors For Developing Utis
Some people are at greater risk than others of developing UTIs. These include:
- women sexually active women are vulnerable, in part because the urethra is only four centimetres long and bacteria have only this short distance to travel from the outside to the inside of the bladder
- people with urinary catheters such as people who are critically ill, who cant empty their own bladder
- people with diabetes changes to the immune system make a person with diabetes more vulnerable to infection
- men with prostate problems such as an enlarged prostate gland that can cause the bladder to only partially empty
- babies especially those born with physical problems of the urinary system.
Uti Causes And Risk Factors
Prostatitis, which is an infection of the prostate, shares many of the same symptoms as 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
What Affects The Amount Of Urine You Produce
The amount of urine you produce depends on many factors, such as the amount of liquid and food you consume and the amount of fluid you lose through sweating and breathing. Certain medicines, medical conditions, and types of food can also affect the amount of urine you produce. Children produce less urine than adults.
When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider
- Back pain.
If you have any of these symptoms, or your other symptoms continue after treatment, call your healthcare provider. A UTI can spread throughout your urinary tract and into other parts of your body. However, treatment is very effective and can quickly relieve your symptoms.
Duration Of Urinary Tract Infections
Once treatment has started, symptoms of simple bladder infections usually go away within one to two days, though you’ll need to continue taking any course of antibiotics as prescribed. If the infection is complicated and has spread to the kidney, it may take a week or longer before symptoms disappear.
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Common Questions & Answers
UTI symptoms can be uncomfortable or painful. They include the following:
- A strong urge to urinate
- Pain or burning during urination
- Passing small amounts of urine
- Cloudy, strong-smelling, red or pink urine
- Mucus or discharge
- Fever, shaking, chills, or pain in the upper back, side, or groin
What Are Clinical Trials And Are They Right For You
Watch a video of NIDDK Director Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers explaining the importance of participating in clinical trials.
This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by the NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.
The NIDDK would like to thank:Ariana L. Smith, M.D., FPMRS,University of Pennsylvania Health System
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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.
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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Causes And Risk Factors Of Urinary Tract Infections
UTIs are caused by bacteria entering the urinary tract, which consists of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. While any of these parts can become infected, most UTIs involve the lower urinary tract, which includes the bladder and the urethra . A UTI that infects the bladder is called cystitis one that infects the urethra is called urethritis.
The majority of UTIs that affect the bladder and the urethra are caused by E. coli or other bacteria that are normally found in the digestive tract, which can travel from the anus to the urethra. UTIs that affect the urethra are also caused by sexually transmitted infections, including herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and mycoplasma. Most of the time, urinating flushes out lingering bacteria in the urethra before it causes problems, though your body isnt always able to do this.
Less often, UTIs involve the upper urinary tract, which includes the kidneys and the ureters . A UTI infection in the kidneys, called pyelonephritis or a kidney infection, most often begins in the bladder and moves up through the ureters to one or both kidneys. In certain cases, a kidney infection can lead to serious health problems.
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.
How Is A Uti Diagnosed
To find out whether you have a UTI, your doctor or nurse will test a clean sample of your urine. This means you will first wipe your genital area with a special wipe. Then you will collect your urine in midstream in a cup. Your doctor or nurse may then test your urine for bacteria to see whether you have a UTI, which can take a few days.
If you have had a UTI before, your doctor may order more tests to rule out other problems. These tests may include:
- A cystogram. This is a special type of x-ray of your urinary tract. These x-rays can show any problems, including swelling or kidney stones.
- A cystoscopic exam. The cystoscope is a small tube the doctor puts into the urethra to see inside of the urethra and bladder for any problems.
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.
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Organs Of The Urinary Tract
The urinary tract consists of the kidneys, ureters , bladder, and urethra. These organs may be injured by blunt force or by penetrating force . Injuries may also occur unintentionally during surgery.
UTIs are usually classified as upper or lower according to where they occur along the urinary tract, although it is sometimes difficult or impossible for doctors to make such a determination:
Some doctors also consider infections of the urethra and prostate to be lower UTIs. In paired organs , infection can occur in one or both organs. UTIs can occur in children Urinary Tract Infection in Children A urinary tract infection is a bacterial infection of the urinary bladder , the kidneys , or both. Urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria. Infants and younger… read more as well as in adults.
Natural Treatments For Urinary Tract Infection
There are also natural remedies for UTIs that you can try at home, but it is best to check with your doctor first. These remedies should be used in conjunction with medications and not as a replacement.
Remedies such as cranberry juice or cranberries do not treat UTIs, but they can help your body clear infection faster. A chemical in cranberries can also prevent future UTIs by preventing certain bacterial types from attaching to the lining of your bladder.
Other home remedies you can try include:
Staying hydrated because water dilutes urine and speeds up its journey through the body
Use probiotics, specifically lactobacilli. These have been found to prevent harmful bacteria from attaching to the urinary tract.
Get enough vitamin C, which reacts with the nitrate in urine to form nitrogen oxide. This is known to kill bacteria.
How Does Urination Occur
To urinate, your brain signals the sphincters to relax. Then it signals the muscular bladder wall to tighten, squeezing urine through the urethra and out of your bladder.
How often you need to urinate depends on how quickly your kidneys produce the urine that fills the bladder and how much urine your bladder can comfortably hold. The muscles of your bladder wall remain relaxed while the bladder fills with urine, and the sphincter muscles remain contracted to keep urine in the bladder. As your bladder fills up, signals sent to your brain tell you to find a toilet soon.
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Treatment Procedures And Medication
The typical treatment for a urinary tract infection is a prescription of antibiotics. The type of bacteria found in your urine sample will determine which drug your doctor will prescribe. Remember to take all of the medication as prescribed and finish the prescription even after the symptoms have abated.
To reduce your discomfort, apply warmth to your abdomen with a heating pad or hot water bottle wrapped in a towel. Drink adequate fluids and take an over-the-counter painkiller if you need pain relief.
Also, if your symptoms worsen or if your infection comes back once treatment has stopped, see your doctor as soon as you can for more help combating your infection.
Signs And Symptoms Of Urinary Tract Infections
UTI symptoms can vary, and it’s possible for someone who has a urinary tract infection to experience no symptoms. But for many people, UTI symptoms are uncomfortable and painful. Besides a strong, persistent urge to urinate, common symptoms include:
When a urinary tract infection moves to the kidneys, symptoms such as fever, shaking, chills, and pain in the upper back, side, or groin may occur.
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Increase Vitamin C Intake
Some evidence shows that increasing your intake of vitamin C could protect against urinary tract infections.
Vitamin C is thought to work by increasing the acidity of the urine, thereby killing off the bacteria that cause infection .
An older 2007 study of UTIs in pregnant women looked at the effects of taking 100 mg of vitamin C every day .
The study found that vitamin C had a protective effect, cutting the risk of UTIs by more than half in those taking vitamin C, compared with the control group .
Fruits and vegetables are especially high in vitamin C and are a good way to increase your intake.
Red peppers, oranges, grapefruit, and kiwifruit all contain the full recommended amount of vitamin C in just one serving .
Despite these studies, there is still more research needed to prove the effectiveness of vitamin C for reducing UTIs. .
Increasing vitamin C intake may decrease the risk of UTIs by making the urine more acidic, thus killing off infection-causing bacteria.
Drinking unsweetened cranberry juice is one of the most well-known natural remedies for urinary tract infections.
Cranberries work by preventing bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract, thus preventing infection .
In a 2016 study, women with recent histories of UTIs drank an 8-ounce serving of cranberry juice every day for 24 weeks. Those who drank cranberry juice had fewer UTI episodes than the control group .
For Those Who Experience Frequent Utis Managing Risk Factors May Help With Prevention
In some people, urinary tract infections come back again and again. Women, especially, are likely to have recurrent UTIs. While recurrences usually develop within three months of the original infection, having more than two within six months is technically considered a recurrence.
Besides precautions and at-home strategies to help prevent UTIs, sometimes antibiotics are used as a preventive measure for those with frequent UTI recurrences.
Managing risk factors by maintaining good hygiene, such as wiping from front to back for women and avoiding spermicides can lower your likelihood of repeat UTIs.