What Are The Symptoms Of A Urinary Tract Infection
These are the most common symptoms of a UTI:
- Frequent urination
- Pain or burning when passing urine
- Urine looks dark, cloudy, or reddish in color
- Urine smells bad
- Feeling pain even when not urinating
- Pain in the back or side, below the ribs
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Despite an strong urge to urinate, only a small amount of urine is passed
- Women may feel an uncomfortable pressure above the pubic bone
The symptoms of UTI may look like other conditions or medical problems. Always see a health care provider for a diagnosis.
How Does A Woman Get A Urinary Tract Infection
How Does a Woman Get a Urinary Tract Infection? Frankly speaking, there are various causes of UTI in women, but we will discuss the fundamental causes.
The risk of urinary tract infection in women is greater than in men. Why are women more vulnerable to UTI? There are various causes of urinary tract infections. However, how does a woman get a urinary tract infection? The first aspect to point out is that women have shorter urethras in comparison with men. This easily allows bacterial transformation into the bladder.
One should note here that bacteria may spread through sexual intercourse. Spermicides and contraceptive diagrams may change the environment around the urethra of women. There are also several causes that make women more vulnerable to UTI. In this article, well discuss some causes of UTI in women.
Why Do Women Get Urinary Tract Infections More Often Than Men
Women tend to get urinary tract infections more often than men because bacteria can reach the bladder more easily in women. The urethra is shorter in women than in men, so bacteria have a shorter distance to travel.
The urethra is located near the rectum in women. Bacteria from the rectum can easily travel up the urethra and cause infections. Bacteria from the rectum is more likely to get into the urethra if you wipe from back to front after a bowel movement. Be sure to teach children how to wipe correctly.
Having sex may also cause urinary tract infections in women because bacteria can be pushed into the urethra. Using a diaphragm can lead to infections because diaphragms push against the urethra and make it harder to completely empty your bladder. The urine that stays in the bladder is more likely to grow bacteria and cause infections.
Frequent urinary tract infections may be caused by changes in the bacteria in the vagina. Antibacterial vaginal douches, spermicides, and certain oral antibiotics may cause changes in vaginal bacteria. Avoid using these items, if possible. Menopause can also cause changes in vaginal bacteria that increase your risk for urinary tract infection. Taking estrogen usually corrects this problem but may not be for everyone.
Recommended Reading: Does Cranberry Juice Clean Urinary Tract
Southern Cross Medical Library
The purpose of the Southern Cross Medical Library is to provide information of a general nature to help you better understand certain medical conditions. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. This information is not intended to relate specifically to insurance or healthcare services provided by Southern Cross. For more articles go to the Medical Library index page.
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 don’t rush, and be sure you’ve 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 they’ll 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. DonÃ¢â¬â¢t wear tight jeans and nylon underwear they can trap moisture, creating the perfect environment for bacteria growth.
Read Also: Urinary Tract Infection And Bv
Can You Get A Uti From Having Sex
Yes, you can get a UTI from having sex, especially if youre a woman.
During sexual intercourse, thrusting can introduce bacteria up the urethra and into the bladder, increasing the risk of a UTI, explains Dr. Lakeisha Richardson, MD, OB-GYN.
The reason that women are more prone to getting a UTI from sex is due to female anatomy. Women have a shorter urethra than men, which means its easier for bacteria to get into the bladder.
Also, the urethra is closer to the anus in women. This makes it easier for bacteria, like E. coli, to get into the urethra.
Its important to keep in mind that you can also get a UTI from oral sex, not just penetrative sex. With oral sex, bacteria can still get introduced into the urethra, which can lead to an infection.
Although anyone is susceptible to getting a UTI from having sex, Richardson says women with a history of recurrent UTIs or urinary abnormalities have an increased risk for these infections.
Although it might not be possible to come up with a completely foolproof plan to prevent a UTI, you can certainly take steps to reduce your risk for getting a UTI after sex.
Here are some tips:
Richardson also says women who have recurrent UTIs may benefit from taking a prescribed antibiotic after sex. This is typically one dose taken immediately after having sexual intercourse.
If youre prone to getting UTIs, you may want to talk with your doctor about an antibiotic prescription for this purpose.
- drink plenty of water
What Causes A Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections are caused by microorganisms usually bacteria that enter the urethra and bladder, causing inflammation and infection. Though a UTI most commonly happens in the urethra and bladder, bacteria can also travel up the ureters and infect your kidneys.
More than 90% of bladder infection cases are caused by E. coli, a bacterium normally found in the intestines.
Don’t Miss: Homeopathic Medicine For Urinary Tract Infection
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.
Can A Uti Go Away On Its Own
It is possible for a simple UTI to go away on its own, but its difficult to predict when this can happen. Healthcare providers recommend treating UTIs with antibiotics when you begin having symptoms, especially if you have other medical problems or are:
Older in age
Experiencing fever or vomiting
Most women discover that UTI symptoms are too uncomfortable to wait, so they prefer to treat a UTI as soon as possible. UTIs are best treated with antibiotics.
Also Check: Medicine To Stop Urinary Burning
Causes Of Urinary Tract Infection
UTI is caused when microorganisms, such as bacteria, virus, or fungi, bacteria being the most common, infect different parts of the urinary system.3 The urethra serves as a connection between the urinary system and the outside of the body and microbes can enter through it. Infection of the kidneys and ureters are much more severe than the infection of the bladder and urethra.
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.
Don’t Miss: How To Cure Urinary Retention
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
do not use condoms or diaphragms with spermicidal lube on them try non-spermicidal lube or a different type of contraception
What Are The Symptoms Of A Uti In An Elderly Person
In some elderly people, mental changes and confusion may be the only signs of a UTI. Older adults with a UTI are more likely to be tired, shaky, and weak and have muscle aches and abdominal pain. Symptoms of a UTI in the bladder may include: Some people may have bacteria in the bladder or urinary tract, but not feel any symptoms.
Potential Causes of Vaginal Bleeding. Urinary Tract Infections Urinary tract infections can be very painful, reduce ones ability to go to the bathroom properly, and in severe cases can lead to blood in the urine. Additionally, the infection can lead to spotting or dribbling of urine, which might occur when the woman doesnt realize it.
Don’t Miss: Can Probiotics Help With Urinary Tract Infection
What Is Pelvic Pain
Pelvic pain can be a sign that there might be a problem with one of the reproductive organs in a womans pelvic area.
Although pelvic pain often refers to pain in the region of women’s internal reproductive organs, pelvic pain can be present in either sex and can stem from other causes. Pelvic pain might be a symptom of infection or might arise from pain in the pelvis bone or in non-reproductive internal organs. In women, however, pelvic pain can very well be an indication that there might be a problem with one of the reproductive organs in the pelvic area .
Can You Have Sex If You Have A Uti
In general, it is recommended that you avoid having intercourse when you have an active urinary tract infection. When you get an antibiotic prescription, ask your doctor when the right time to resume sexual activity would be. Of course, you can still kiss and have other intimate and emotional connections.
Once you have completed a course of antibiotics and the UTI has cleared away, you should be able to resume sexual activity. But be sure to take the careful steps necessary to prevent the sex from putting you on the road to yet another one.
Don’t Miss: What Is The Best Medicine For Urinary Tract Infection
Why Am I Experiencing Recurrent Uti
3 Minute Read
A urinary tract infection, or UTI, can be uncomfortable to downright painful. And it often requires a trip to urgent care plus a prescription for antibiotics. If you experience recurrent UTIs, you know first-hand how they can affect your quality of life.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk. Heres more about why recurrent UTIs happen, how to treat them, and ways to reduce the chances of having another one.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Uti
One of the most common symptoms of a UTI is a frequent and urgent need to pee. You might feel like you need to pee all the time, even if you just went. Other UTI symptoms include:
pain or burning when you pee
bad-smelling or cloudy urine
blood or pus in your urine
soreness, pressure, or cramps in your lower belly, back, or sides
If the infection goes to your kidneys, your UTI symptoms may also include:
pain in your mid-back
Recommended Reading: Side Effects Of Urinary Tract Infection In Elderly
International And Domestic Recommendations
According to American Urological Association , Canadian Urological Association , and Society of Urodynamics , Female Pelvic Medicine, and Urogenital Reconstruction guidelines, most recommendations are classified as level B or C . Diagnosis of recurring UTI should always be confirmed by a urine culture. Prior to treatment initiation, the practitioner should review urinalysis and urine culture results. In case of very severe symptoms, however, antibiotic treatment may be initiated while waiting for laboratory test results. Asymptomatic bacteriuria should not be treated it does not necessitate urinalyses or urine cultures, either. Antibiotic treatment of symptomatic UTI should follow the results of an antibiogram. Antibiotic treatment should not exceed 7 days, and it may be administered parenterally whenever required. If symptoms recede, no post-treatment laboratory tests are required. If symptoms persist, a repeat urine culture should be carried out to guide further treatment. Topical vaginal administration of oestrogens is recommended in post- and perimenopausal women . In accordance with the WHO plan to counteract inducing excessive antibiotic resistance, the aforementioned research associations permit prophylactic use of cranberry and other alternative therapies.
Im Pregnant How Will A Uti Affect My Baby
If you have a UTI and it isnt treated, it may lead to a kidney infection. Kidney infections may cause early labor. Fortunately, asymptomatic bacteriuria and bladder infections are usually found and treated before the kidneys become infected. If your doctor treats a urinary tract infection early and properly, it wont hurt your baby.
You May Like: Does Cvs Minute Clinic Do Urinary Tract Infections
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.
However, there are many reasons to use condoms. Theyre important for reducing the spread of sexually transmitted infections and preventing unwanted pregnancy.
To help prevent friction and skin irritation from condoms, be sure to use enough water-based lubricant during sex.
Avoid using condoms that have been coated with spermicide.
Presentation And Diagnosis Of Asymptomatic Bacteriuria And Symptomatic Uti In Older Adults
Dr N: Do you feel ill from the bladder infection that you can tell?
Mrs M: Just in my head. I dont have any of the accompanying symptoms. Theres no odor, theres no burning or anything like that. But for the past at least half-dozen years, it just has been there, thats all. Every time they took a test, there was a very small amount of E coli. Whatever that means.
Dr N: For me, its just so challenging. Were taught in medical school that you dont treat asymptomatic bacteriuria in people. It doesnt help them. The problem when people have chronic urinary symptoms is that we are trying to determine if this is now a symptomatic bacterial infection and how do I figure out what is a UTI sign or symptom in somebody who has these chronic voiding problems to begin with. So, thats always been the tricky part. She has been hospitalized a couple of times for UTIs. She basically presented with dizziness, had trouble walking, confusion, and low blood pressure. She was admitted and found to have a UTI based on urine cultures. She was treated with antibiotics intravenous fluids and got better.
Also Check: Severe Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms In Elderly
Risk Factors For Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections
Anyone can get a UTI, but theyre more common in women because of the female anatomy. A womans urethra is close to the rectum, where bacteria live, plus its shorter than a mans urethra. That means if bacteria from your feces get into the urethra, they have less distance to travel to infect the bladder.
As many as 60% of women will experience a UTI in their lifetime. About 1 in 4 women are likely to have recurrent UTIs. Recurrent means more than 2 UTIs in the past 6 months or more than 3 in the previous year.
Youre more likely to have recurrent UTIs if you:
- Are sexually active. Intercourse makes it more likely that feces can get into your urinary tract.
- Have fewer friendly bacteria in your vagina from using a spermicide for birth control or being in menopause. Beneficial bacteria help control harmful bacteria and keep them out of your urinary tract.
- Are older. The risk increases in middle age and after menopause.
- Are unable to empty your bladder completely, as with nerve damage around the bladder.
- Have structural problems with your urinary tract.
- Have a health condition that compromises your immune system, like diabetes.