Don’t let the pain or difficulty of urinating go untreated. Read about the things you must know about the causes, symptoms, and treatments of UTIs.
The urinary system comprises the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common infection that occurs in this area. If you think you have a UTI or want to prevent one in the future, read about the things to know about the causes, symptoms, and treatments for UTIs.
UTIs occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract. Typically, bacteria from the rectum enters the urethra. It travels upward through the urinary tract and can infect any part of the system.
It’s common for both men and women to develop a UTI, but women are at a higher risk of infection. Women have a shorter urethra that allows bacteria to quickly reach the other areas of the urinary tract, like the bladder. Some of the potential causes of UTIs that women may encounter are sexual contact, going through menopause, and sensitive skin.
Men may experience different causes of a UTI than women do. Sometimes, sexual contact or a sexually transmitted disease may lead to a UTI. Other causes include an enlarged prostate, prostatitis, or diabetes.
UTIs are also a commonplace occurrence for people who use catheters. If you use one, understand the signs of a catheter UTI. Unsterile catheters and trapped urine can lead to recurrent UTIs.
Everyone experiences UTIs differently. However, two of the most common symptoms are the constant urge to urinate and a burning sensation when you do so. In many cases, there’s no more or very little urine in the bladder, even though your body communicates that you need to use the restroom. You might also notice an abnormal smell or cloudy urine.
Other symptoms include fatigue, fever or chills, shaky sensations, and back or lower abdomen pain. It can make it challenging to go about everyday activities. Instead of suffering from the symptoms and allowing the infection to grow, treatments are available.
Most healthcare providers will prescribe an antibiotic for urinary tract infections. Although the pain may subside after a few doses of an antibiotic, always take the entirety of the prescribed medicine to eliminate the infection.
Doctors may admit you to the hospital for treatment in more severe cases with pain, vomiting, and kidney infections present. Complicated UTIs need more immediate attention. An IV of antibiotics and other forms of care to treat the condition and pain are the main treatment options in this scenario.
For those who experience UTIs frequently, it’s essential to discuss with a healthcare provider various methods to prevent future UTIs. For example, some women may need to change their birth control methods, so their bodies are less susceptible to infection.
Some good practices you can adopt on your own include:
- Urinating when you feel the urge.
- Fully draining the bladder when urinating.
- Staying hydrated by drinking water.
- Avoiding irritating products near the rectum and urethra.
- Wipe from front to back.
- Sterilize all medical equipment before use, like catheters.
A better understanding of the causes, symptoms, and treatments of UTIs will give you the knowledge you need to live a happy and healthy life. Take care of the issue proactively and ask for help from a doctor when needed.