Things You Can Do Yourself
To help ease pain:
- takeparacetamolup to 4 times a day to reduce pain and a high temperature for people with a UTI, paracetamol is usually recommended over NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or aspirin
- you can give childrenliquid paracetamol
- rest and drink enough fluids so you pass pale urine regularly during the day, especially during hot weather
It’s important to follow the instructions on the packet so you know how much paracetamol you or your child can take, and how often.
It may also help to avoid having sex until you feel better.
You cannot pass a UTI on to your partner, but sex may be uncomfortable.
Taking cystitis sachets or cranberry products has not been shown to help ease symptoms of UTIs.
Why Are Women And Older Adults More At Risk
E. coli or other bacteria cause UTIs, which are infections in your kidneys, bladder, ureters or urethra. Unfortunately, women are more likely to get them mainly because of their anatomy.
A womans urethra is shorter than a mans and closer to the anus. The urethra is also close to the vagina, which can collect bacteria during sex. So bacteria from both the anus and vagina have easy access to a womans urinary tract.
Post-menopausal women are also at higher risk because pH changes in the vagina make it more susceptible to infection.
Both men and women are more likely to get UTIs as they age. Certain medical conditions, such as bladder prolapse in women and enlarged prostate in men, cause incomplete bladder emptying in older adults. Urine that stays in your bladder too long can encourage bacteria to grow.
Some newer diabetic drugs can also promote sugar in the urine and create conditions ideal for a UTI, Dr. Vasavada adds.
How Are Chronic Utis Treated
If you have recurrent or chronic UTIs, your doctor may send you to a urologist who specializes in diseases of the urinary system. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, some of the ways that recurrent UTIs are evaluated and treated include:
- Testing The doctor will want to take a urine sample to test for bacteria and white blood cells. It may be necessary to do special X-ray studies to see if there is an obstruction or stones in the urinary tract. A urologist may look into your bladder by passing a special scope through the opening into your bladder. This exam is called cystoscopy.
- Antibiotics for Treatment Normally, UTIs responds very well to antibiotics, and you may only need to take medication for a few days. For recurrent UTIs, antibiotics may be needed for 10 days or more.
- Surgery In some cases of prostate disease, stones, or other obstruction of the urinary system, surgery may be done to restore normal flow of urine and help clear up infections.
- Antibiotics for Prevention Some strategies to prevent recurrent UTIs with antibiotics include taking low-dose antibiotics for six months or taking antibiotics after sexual intercourse.
- Frequent Urine Testing Women who have recurrent UTIs may benefit from testing their urine frequently with a dipstick that warns of any bacteria in the urine.
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Alcohol Use May Be The Root Cause Of Your Bladder Discomfort And Urinary Tract Infections
If you are prone to urinary tract infections and struggle to limit your alcohol consumption< , then you may wonder if drinking too much can cause a UTI. After all, some people get UTI symptoms after drinking alcohol.
While alcohol does not directly cause UTIs, it can raise your risk of getting a UTI, as well as worsen your symptoms. Sometimes, alcohol use can even mimic the symptoms of a UTI, making you feel like you have an infection when you dont have one. Additionally, avoid alcohol use with medications that treat UTIs.
What Is The Prognosis For A Person With A Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections typically respond very well to treatment. A UTI can be uncomfortable before you start treatment, but once your healthcare provider identifies the type of bacteria and prescribes the right antibiotic medication, your symptoms should improve quickly. Its important to keep taking your medication for the entire amount of time your healthcare provider prescribed. If you have frequent UTIs or if your symptoms arent improving, your provider may test to see if its an antibiotic-resistant infection. These are more complicated infections to treat and may require intravenous antibiotics or alternative treatments.
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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.
Living With Urinary Tract Infections
If you have 3 or more urinary tract infections each year, your doctor may want you to begin a preventive antibiotic program. A small dose of an antibiotic taken every day helps to reduce the number of infections. If sexual intercourse seems to cause infections for you, your doctor many suggest taking the antibiotic after intercourse.
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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.
- Females, wipe from front to back to keep bacteria around the anus from going in the vagina or urethra.
- 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.
How Long Does A Uti Last Untreated
If an elderly woman has nonspecific symptoms, it is important for the clinicians to encourage such persons to drink more water until more tests are done for proper diagnosis. When a delay is made, usually the women dont need to use antibiotics in the long run.
Even with no antibiotics, some positive results can be witnessed if adequate amounts of fluids are taken in a weeks time. However, it is important to assess other criteria because UTIs can be deadly and can spread if not treated on time.
It is important to be very careful when you are administering antibiotics to seniors. The dose and the duration of use should also be carefully thought out. It is important to aim at the organism that is actually causing the infection so that the side effects can be minimized.
There are older adults in long-term facilities who may have renal insufficiency and this makes it necessary to make some adjustments to the most common dosages by using a glomerular filtration rate which is estimated.
Ask your doctor how to relieve UTI pain at night.
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Treatment For Recurrent Utis
Low-dose antibiotics, for six months but maybe longer
Self-diagnosis and treatment, if you stay in touch with your doctor
A single dose of an antibiotic after sex, if your recurrent UTIs are related to sex
Vaginal estrogen therapy, if youre postmenopausal
How Are Recurrent Utis Treated
Treatment for recurrent UTIs depends on whatâs causing them. Sometimes the answer is as simple as teaching a child to empty their bladder as soon as they have the urge to go.
If a condition like VUR is causing the infections, the solution is a bit more complicated. Kids with VUR must be watched closely, because it can lead to kidney infection and kidney damage. Most kids outgrow the condition. Some might need surgery to correct the reflux.
Some kids with VUR benefit from daily treatment with a small amount of antibiotics, which can also make surgery unnecessary. Kids with VUR should see a pediatric urologist, who can decide if antibiotic treatment is the best option.
In some cases, surgery is needed to correct VUR. The most common procedure is ureteral reimplantation, in which one or both of the ureters are repositioned to correct the backflow of urine from the bladder. This procedure requires only a small incision and, in some children, can be done using robotic-assisted laparoscopy. When surgery is necessary, the success rate is high, but not everyone is a good candidate for it.
Kids may be candidates for ureteral reimplantation if they:
- have an intolerance to antibiotics
- get recurrent infections while on antibiotic treatment
- have severe, or âhigh-grade,â reflux
- are older kids and teens with reflux
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Causes Of Recurrent Utis
Recurrent UTIs are a painful, inconvenient problem that affects 20 percent to 30 percent of all women. UTIs occur when bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract move from the anus to the urethra and into the urinary tract, potentially infecting the urethra, bladder, ureters, or kidneys.
Women who experience two or more UTIs in a six-month period, or those who have three or more UTIs in the course of a year are diagnosed with recurrent UTIs.
Sexual intercourse is a common cause of UTIs in women. People who use catheters are also at increased risk of developing recurrent UTIs.
After experiencing six or more UTIs a year, Marie knew there was a bigger problem. Learn how she finally found an answer at CU Urogynecology.
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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Does Cranberry Juice Prevent A Urinary Tract Infection
Many people say that cranberry juice can help treat, or even prevent, a UTI. Researchers are currently looking into the topic, but havent found a definitive answer yet. Healthcare providers recommend drinking lots of fluids if you have, or have a history of getting, a UTI. Adding a glass of unsweetened cranberry juice to your diet isnt a proven way to prevent a UTI, but it typically wont hurt you either.
Classification Of Urinary Tract Infections
UTIs are classified into 6 categories. The first category is an uncomplicated infection this is when the urinary tract is normal, both structurally and physiologically, and there is no associated disorder that impairs the host defense mechanisms. The second category is an complicated infection this is when infection occurs within an abnormal urinary tract, such as when there is ureteric obstruction, renal calculi, or vesicoureteric reflux. The third category, an isolated infection, is when it is the first episode of UTI, or the episodes are 6 months apart. Isolated infections affect 2540% of young females. The fourth category, an unresolved infection, is when therapy fails because of bacterial resistance or due to infection by two different bacteria with equally limited susceptibilities. The fifth category, reinfection, occurs where there has been no growth after a treated infection, but then the same organism regrows two weeks after therapy, or when a different microorganism grows during any period of time., This accounts for 95% of RUTIs in women. Bacterial persistence happens when therapy is impaired by the accumulation of bacteria in a location that cannot be reached by antibiotics, such as infected stones, urethral diverticula and infected paraurethral glands. The sixth category, relapse, is when the same microorganism causes a UTI within two weeks of therapy however, it is usually difficult to distinguish a reinfection from a relapse.
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Is Interstitial Cystitis Linked To Frequent Utis
We mentioned a study above, that found that 74% of survey respondents diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis, had previously been diagnosed with recurrent UTI.
Research has also shown that a high percentage of females with Interstitial Cystitis may in fact have biofilms, IBCs, or both within their bladder, and that this is the cause of their ongoing infection and recurrent symptoms.
Interstitial Cystitis and associated conditions are considered to be incurable, however
Interstitial Cystitis is a diagnosis of exclusion. This means IC is diagnosed in the absence of any other obvious cause. If a cause for your UTI symptoms is not identified by testing, a diagnosis of IC may be given.
Check out our expert video series to learn more about the chronic UTI and IC connection.
Causes Of Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections
The most common recurrent urinary tract infection causes in women are
- The female urethra is shorter than a mans, which means that bacteria has a shorter distance it needs to travel in order to get to the bladder, multiply, and cause infection.
- The proximity of the female urethra and rectum can result in a bacteria exchange from the rectum to the urethra, particularly if the patient wipes back to front instead of front to back after defecating.
They can be prevented by:
- Staying hydrated aka drinking plenty of water, ideally a gallon per day, to flush out bacteria.
- Being cautious when using a diaphragm during sex. Diaphragms can push up against the urethra, which makes it harder to fully empty the bladder during urination. The urine that doesnt empty is more likely to grow bacteria.
- Avoiding spermicides, vaginal douches, and certain oral antibiotics. They can change the bacterial makeup of the vagina, which increases the risk of developing a chronic UTI.
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Latin America: Progress Towards Regional Guidelines
Close to one-tenth of the worlds population lives in Latin America. Theunique ethnic makeup of patients, alongside local variation in the availabilityof medicines, antibiotic resistance, and health care practices necessitates thecreation of regional guidelines on the treatment of UTI. Prescription ofantibiotics for recurrent UTI without consideration of preventive measures iscommon in many Latin American countries. In a global survey of E.coli susceptibility in 10 countries, the mean sensitivity totrimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole was 71.2% in the sole representative LatinAmerican country, Brazil, it was 54.4%.46
The current Brazilian guidelines were based on systematic review and expertopinion, organized by the Urogynecology Committee of the Brazilian Federation ofGynecology and Obstetrics Associations . Thecommittee included papers that cover genital prolapse, stress urinaryincontinence, overactive bladder, mixed urinary incontinence, painful bladdersyndrome, and recurrent UTI. Guideline sections covering genital prolapse andstress urinary incontinence have been published in the Brazilian Journal ofGynecology and Obstetrics.47,48 The guidelines forrecurrent UTI have yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, but areavailable online as a guide for members of FEBRASGO they recommend behavioralmodification, followed by immunomodulatory prophylaxis ,and, finally, by either continuous or postcoital antimicrobial prophylaxis.
When Should I Call The Doctor
As soon as you think that your child has a UTI, call your doctor. The doctor may recommend another urine test after treatment to be sure that the infection has cleared.
If your child has from recurrent UTIs, consult a pediatric urologist, who can do a thorough evaluation and order tests for urinary system abnormalities. In the meantime, follow your doctor’s instructions for treating a UTI.
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Reasons Why You Might Get Recurring Utis
Many women who get a urinary tract infection may get one again at some point in their lives. In fact, one in five women experience recurrent UTIsan infection that occurs two times or more within six months or at least three times in a year. Men can get recurrent UTIs too, but it is not as common and is often due to some type of urinary tract blockage.
Do Cranberries Prevent Utis
Research on whether or not cranberries can prevent UTIs is inconsistent. Some studies show a benefit while others show very little or no benefit. Some researchers think that cranberries work because they have a component called proanthocyanidin that makes it hard for E. coli to move around and attach to the urinary tract.
There are no clinical recommendations for an exact dose or product to use. Small clinical studies suggest that 150 mL to 750 mL of cranberry juice every day might be helpful. Other small studies have shown that dried cranberries and cranberry tablets might work. The FDA also does not regulate cranberry products like they do medications.
Cranberries are generally considered to be safe. However, too much can cause stomach irritation and weight gain . Cranberries can also affect how medications behave, so be sure to consult your provider if you are considering taking them at the same time. Also keep in mind, cranberries are not as effective as antibiotics a 2011 clinical trial showed TMP/SMX led to fewer UTIs per year than cranberry capsules .
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Which Bacteria Cause Uti
Escherichia coli is the most common cause of UTI and is responsible for about 80 to 85% of all UTIs. Other bacteria involved in UTIs include Staphylococcus saprophyticus, Klebsiella, Pseudomonas and Enterococcus. UTIs are rarely due to viral, fungal and parasitic infections.
It is thought that in women who experience recurrent bacterial UTI that the normal healthy bacteria that live in the vagina are replaced by uropathogenic bacteria from the bowel. Uropathogenic bacteria have features that make it easier for them to enter, breed and survive in the urinary tract.