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:
Practice These Healthy Habits
Preventing urinary tract infections starts with practicing a few good bathroom and hygiene habits.
First, its important not to hold urine for too long. This can lead to a buildup of bacteria, resulting in infection .
Peeing after sexual intercourse can also reduce the risk of UTIs by preventing the spread of bacteria .
Additionally, those who are prone to UTIs should avoid using spermicide, as it has been linked to an increase in UTIs .
Finally, when you use the toilet, make sure you wipe front to back. Wiping from back to front can cause bacteria to spread to the urinary tract and is associated with an increased risk of UTIs .
Urinating frequently and after sexual intercourse can reduce the risk of UTI. Spermicide use and wiping from back to front may increase the risk of UTI.
Several natural supplements may decrease the risk of developing a UTI.
Here are a few supplements that have been studied:
- D-Mannose. D-Mannose is a type of sugar that is found in cranberries. Research suggests its effective in treating UTIs and preventing recurrence (
Causes Of Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections 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
do not use condoms or a diaphragm or cap with spermicidal lube on them try non-spermicidal lube or a different type of contraception
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Carefully Targeted Antibiotic Treatment For Urinary Tract Infections
So what do we do now? As a society and as individuals, we should reduce and carefully target antibiotic use. Both physicians and patients should be aware of the grave potential to lose effective antibiotics for all infections even simple UTIs. Its an opportunity that empowers individuals to have informed conversations with their doctors. Every time your doctor prescribes an antibiotic, ask: Do I need this? Why? Is there an antibiotic-free alternative? Talking about it might be enough to meaningfully reduce inappropriate antibiotic use.
If youre having UTI symptoms like burning with urination, more frequent urination, bloody or cloudy urine, low abdominal pain, or fever, you should see a medical provider to get tested. Youll have to urinate into a container and the medical office will test for products of bacterial metabolism. Make sure to tell your provider if youve had UTIs before, and what antibiotic you took. If you have a history of antibiotic-resistant infections, share that, too. There are alternatives to Cipro and Bactrim, but antibiotic choices are limited.
If antibiotic resistance continues to grow, more people will need intravenous treatment for UTIs we used to cure with simple oral antibiotic courses. Were also likely to see more complications, like kidney infections and sepsis, arising from ineffective treatment.
How To Use Augmentin Oral
Shake the bottle well before each dose. Carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. Take this medication with a meal or snack as directed by the doctor. Depending on your specific product, this medication is usually taken every 8 or 12 hours.
The dosage is based on your age, weight, medical condition, and response to treatment.
For the best effect, take this antibiotic at evenly spaced times. To help you remember, take this medication at the same time every day.
Continue to take this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished, even if symptoms disappear after a few days. Stopping the medication too early may allow bacteria to continue to grow, which may result in a return of the infection.
Tell the doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Read Also: Probiotics For Women’s Urinary Health
What Is The Best Antibiotic For Urinary Tract Infection
The urinary tract is comprised of the ureters , kidneys, bladder, and urethra . Urinary tract infections wake forest nc are most commonly located in the urethra and bladder and while typically caused by bacteria, UTIs can also be viral or fungal. For patients suffering from a bacterial UTI, they may be curious about what antibiotics are the best for treating their infection.
How Common Are Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are very common, occurring in 1 out of 5 women sometime in their lifetime. Though UTIs are common in women, they can also happen to men, older adults and children. One to 2% of children develop urinary tract infections. Each year, 8 million to 10 million visits to doctors are for urinary tract infections.
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Wipe From Front To Back
UTIs can develop when bacteria from the rectum or feces gain access to the urethra. This small channel allows urine to flow out of the body.
Once bacteria are in the urethra, they can travel up into other urinary tract organs, where they can cause infections.
After urinating, wipe in a way that prevents bacteria from moving from the anus to the genitals. Use separate pieces of toilet paper to wipe the genitals and anus, for example.
When To Get Medical Advice
Itâs 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 havenât 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 theyâre allowed to spread.
Read Also: How To Heal Urinary Tract Infection Naturally
Possible Complications And Side Effects
Amoxicillin is a commonly prescribed medication for urinary tract infections, but there are some minor possible side effects that you should be aware of:
- Severe diarrhea
Other medications or antibiotics may have different side effects. Consult your doctor about possible complications of any medications you might take to treat your urinary tract infection.
What Happens If An Antibiotic Doesn’t Work For A Urinary Tract Infection
Antibiotics are the mainstay of treatment for urinary tract infections , most of which are caused by a bacteria called Escherichia Coli . Infections of the lower urinary tract, which includes bladder infections , are the most common type of UTI and are usually treated with a 3-5 day course of antibiotics. Sometimes, however, the antibiotic prescribed to treat a bladder infection doesnt work.
If you suspect your antibiotic isnt working you should promptly contact your healthcare provider. Left untreated a UTI may become more serious and in rare cases cause permanent or life-threatening complications.
Also Check: How Urinary Tract Infection Is Transmitted
What About Antibiotic Resistance
Resistance rates for antibiotics are always variable based on local patterns in the community and specific risk factors for patients, such as recent antibiotic use, hospital stay or travel. If you have taken an antibiotic in the last 3 months or traveled internationally, be sure to tell your doctor.
High rates of antibiotic resistance are being seen with both ampicillin and amoxicillin for cystitis , although amoxicillin/clavulanate may still be an option. Other oral treatments with reported increasing rates of resistance include sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim and the fluoroquinolones. Resistance rates for the oral cephalosporins and amoxicillin/clavulanate are still usually less than 10 percent.
Always finish taking your entire course of antibiotic unless your doctor tells you to stop. Keep taking your antibiotic even if you feel better and you think you don’t need your antibiotic anymore.
If you stop your treatment early, your infection may return quickly and you can develop resistance to the antibiotic you were using previously. Your antibiotic may not work as well the next time you use it.
What Is The Prognosis For A Urinary Tract Infection
A good prognosis is usual for spontaneously resolved and quickly treated UTIs. Even patients that have rapidly developing symptoms and early pyelonephritis can have a good prognosis if quickly and adequately treated. The prognosis begins to decline if the UTI is not quickly recognized or treated. Elderly and immunosuppressed patients may not have the UTI recognized early their prognosis may range from fair to poor, depending on how much damage is done to the urinary tract or if complications like sepsis occur. Like adults, most adequately treated children will have a good prognosis. Children and adults with recurrent UTIs may develop complications and a worse prognosis recurrent UTIs may be a symptom of an underlying problem with the urinary tract structure. These patients should be referred to a specialist for further evaluation.
Also Check: Neurological Causes Of Urinary Incontinence
Key Points About Utis
See other pages for UTIs in pregnancy, UTIs in men and UTIs in children.
Why Do Antibiotics Sometimes Not Work For A Urinary Tract Infection
If an antibiotic doesnt work it is likely that the bacteria causing the UTI is not susceptible or is resistant to the antibiotic you are taking.
Antibiotic resistance occurs when the bacteria that is causing the infection is no longer affected by a particular antibiotic and is able to continue to grow and multiply. Inappropriate and unnecessary antibiotic use contributes to the increasing problem of antibiotic resistance.
If you felt better for a little while and then came down with the symptoms of a UTI again, it is also possible that you have a new or recurrent UTI.
Another possibility if you continue to experience symptoms of a UTI despite antibiotic treatment, is that you have another type of infection that mimics that symptoms of a UTI and you need a different antibiotic or other treatment. Sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, for example, produce symptoms that mimic a UTI. Vaginal yeast infections can also cause burning when you pee.
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What Are Potential Side Effects Of Antibiotics For Uti
In addition to the notable side effects weve already covered, there are a few more potential antibiotic side effects youll want to know about.
Most antibiotics can cause some degree of stomach upset like nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea. If you have severe diarrhea or diarrhea that lasts for 2 or more days, let your healthcare provider know. Diarrhea is a common side effect while taking antibiotics and just after finishing them. But in some cases, diarrhea from antibiotics can be a sign of a more serious infection caused by Clostridium difficile bacteria.
Some people are also sensitive to antibiotics, which could result in a minor reaction like a rash or a more serious reaction like anaphylaxis. If you notice difficulty breathing or major skin changes after taking an antibiotic, get medical help right away.
Causes Of A Bladder Infection
Bladder infections are not contagious. You cant get one from someone else, from a toilet seat, or from sharing a bath.
The most common cause of bladder infections is bacteria from the bowels. The bacteria get onto the skin around the opening of the urethra. From there they can get into the urine and travel up to the bladder. This causes inflammation and an infection. This often happens because of:
An enlarged prostate
Poor cleaning of the genitals
Procedures that put a tube in your bladder, such as a Foley catheter
Read Also: Can Drinking Too Much Alcohol Cause Urinary Tract Infection
Drink Plenty Of Water
Although urinating can be painful when you have a UTI, its important to drink as many fluids as possible particularly water. Most adults should aim to drink between six and eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day.
The more you drink, the more youll urinate, which can help flush harmful bacteria from the urinary tract.
Can Men Get A Uti
Because women have shorter urethras, UTIs are much more common for them. However, men are not immune to UTIs and do get them occasionally, especially if they are not circumcised.
According to Melissa Ernst, a FastMed Family Nurse Practitioner in North Carolina, Men can get UTIs in fact, approximately 12% of all UTIs occur in males.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Urinary Tract Infection Male
Can A Uti Become A Kidney Infection
A urinary tract infection or kidney infection can affect your quality of life in the short term and your long-term health. It is important that you know the difference between these two conditions, their symptoms, and how to treat them.
Understanding how kidney infections are related to UTIs can help you prevent future occurrences of either condition.
It’s important to understand the differences between the symptoms of these two conditions and the steps you can take to prevent further damage.
What is a urinary tract infection?
UTI, or urinary tract infection, happens when bacteria enter into any part of your urinary system. This system includes your urethra, bladder, and kidneys.
These bacteria grow and multiply, which causes an infection.
What is a kidney infection?
If left untreated, the bacteria that cause your urinary tract infection can move up from your urinary system to your kidneys. This causes pyelonephritis, the scientific term for kidney infection. However, UTIs are not the only source of kidney infections.
Bacteria Hide In Your Bladder Lining
One interesting fact from Dr. Hawes: during bladder cystoscopy of chronic UTI patients she frequently sees pimples on their bladder surface. The correct medical term is Cystitis cystica, which is a benign lesion of the bladder as a result of chronic inflammation.
These pimples are thought to be caused by chronic irritation of the urothelium because of infection, calculi, obstruction, or tumor.
Per Dr. Hawes, a biopsy of these pimples typically comes back with results of bacterial contamination. Basically, bacteria comfortably reside inside of these pimples on a bladder wall. The worst thing, they can reappear from time to time to cause yet another infection. Thats why you notice that UTI symptoms come back after antibiotics.
If thats the case, Dr. Hawes identifies the type of bacteria via a culture test and which antibiotic bacteria are susceptive to. After that, she combines short-term intensive antibiotic therapy with long-term low dose antibiotics. This normally kills bacteria that keep reappearing out of the cysts into your bladder.
Many thanks to Dr. Lisa Hawes who took the time off her weekend to share these insights. We hope this information will help you when discussing a treatment plan with your urologist. And if you are happened to be in Maryland, here is the contact information for Dr. Hawes practice.
Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Urinary Tract Infection Pain
Which Antibiotic Will I Be Prescribed
Uncomplicated UTIs are most commonly treated with a three day course of one of two antibiotics: trimethoprim or nitrofurantoin. Trimethoprim works by stopping certain enzymes in bacteria from working, which stops the bacteria from being able to multiply.10 Nitrofurantoin works slightly differently it damages a bacterias DNA to stop it from being able to work properly.
Occasionally, the course of antibiotics you are given wont work for you. This might be because the UTI is caused by an unusual bacteria, because the bacteria are resistant to the antibiotic youve been given, or that the symptoms are caused by something else entirely.
If symptoms remain significant after the three day course of antibiotics, it is advisable to return to your GP they might do more tests to ensure the diagnosis of UTI is definitely correct
Generally, when you visit a healthcare professional with symptoms suggestive of a UTI, urine will be tested in whats called a dipstick test this is a fast test which can show whether certain cells and components which may indicate infection are present in the urine. If this test is positive and symptoms are suggestive of a UTI, the urine sample probably wont be sent off to the labs for further testing, as there is no real need for this.11
Antibiotic Overuse Leads To Antibiotic Resistance
At some point, most people have taken a course of trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole or ciprofloxacin , two common antibiotics used for UTIs. However, in the last few years it has become clear that the likelihood these antibiotics will kill most UTIs is dropping rapidly. You may have read the recent, frightening New York Timesarticle reporting one in three uncomplicated UTIs in young healthy women are Bactrim-resistant and one in five are resistant to five other common antibiotics. Pretty scary, since we used to feel confident that writing a prescription for Bactrim was a sure recipe for cure.
How is it that we are losing the antibiotic war with bacteria? Though many things drive bacterial resistance, giving antibiotics to animals and antibiotic overuse in humans top the list.
We use a lot of antibiotics in humans too much, and not always for the right reasons. When we prescribe antibiotics for viral illnesses like a cold, the flu, or common sinusitis, we create a massive shift in the bodys bacteria for no good reason .
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