Do you constantly experience the need to use the ladies room but become confused when hardly anything comes out? Or do you have a burning sensation during urination? It’s possible that you may have a urinary tract infection (UTI). Find out more about the condition and determine whether or not you need to take a trip to the doctor.
What Is a UTI?
According to the Mayo Clinic, a UTI is an ill condition in parts of your urinary system, which includes kidneys, uterus, bladder, and urethra. However, it is more common for the infection to effect the urinary tract—the bladder and urethra.
It is extremely common for a woman to have a UTI in comparison to a man. According to MedicineNet, about 40% of women and 12% of men have a urinary track infection some time in their life.
What Are Its Causes?
According to MedicineNet, the infection occurs usually from a type of bacteria called Escherichia coli, also known as E coli. It begins when the bacteria gets into the urine and starts to grow. The infection may start at the urethra, where the urine leaves the body, and work its way up to the urinary tract.
Watch out for common symptoms like a burning sensation during urination, a constant urge of urination when nothing comes out, irritation in the lower back or abdomen, urine with a strong odor, and the feeling of fatigue.
If you think you may have a UTI, visit your doctor as soon as possible. Your condition will be evaluated by a medical professional most likely by testing your urine. Blood tests are not usually required unless it is a more serious condition, like kidney failure. Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics that will eventually fight off the bacteria causing the UTI. Be sure to finish the prescribed medication fully, even if you start to feel better right away.
Infants, children, and elders with symptoms of a UTI should visit the emergency department for an evaluation because they are at risk for further damage on their body.
Preventions of Reoccurrence
Because reoccurrence of UTIs are extremely common, it’s recommend to take precaution and know methods of prevention. Here are some methods to try:
- Use the restroom frequently and don’t hold in urine
- When using the restroom, wipe front to back.
- Drink lots of water.
- Stay away from scented feminine hygiene products including tampons, douches, sprays and bath products.
- Urinate after intercourse to get rid of any bacteria.
- Wear loose fitting clothes; avoid wearing tight jeans or leggings because it can trap moisture in your genital area and build up bacteria.
There have been previous studies with mixed results of cranberry juice helping to prevent UTIs. The red berry contains a substance that is known to prevent E coli, the common bacteria of UTIs. However, more than 20 scientific studies took place in 2012 testing the effectiveness of cranberry juice against UTIs, which concluded there was no significant reduction in the infection.
If you believe you may have a UTI, contact your doctor immediately. UTIs can be fixed over time with the correct antibiotics and treatment.
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