You’ve probably heard a lot about UTI—an infection that most perceive as easily treatable with the help of antibiotics and proper hygiene. But ladies (and even gentlemen), bear in mind that UTI is more sensitive than you think it is. Aside from the fact that it involves the genital area, it is also a candidate gateway to graver illnesses.
Read on and learn about the basics of what you need to know about UTI, including root cause, list of symptoms, as well as the best ways to treat it. Yes, it involves paying your good old doctor a visit!
What is UTI?
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is a bacterial infection that affects our urinary system, which houses our two kidneys, two ureters, two sphincter muscles, our urethra, and bladder. Although most UTIs are bladder infections, remember that it can also affect any of our urinary system’s other parts.
Note: When a bladder infection caused by UTI is not treated immediately and seriously, this can lead to a kidney infection which causes permanent damage to these organs.
How do you get UTI?
Unfortunately, women form a greater chunk of UTI victims than men. This is because the female body includes shorter urethra—the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body system where most of the bacteria pass.
These germs are often found in our stool, which makes improper washing one of the top causes of UTI. Additionally, insanitary sexual intercourse and a low intake of fluids, most especially water, are also major catalysts of this infection. On the other hand, those who are pregnant or diagnosed with diabetes are also leading UTI prospects.
What are the symptoms of UTI?
- Discomfort/pain/burning sensation when urinating;
- Urine that is cloudier and more pungent than usual;
- An uncomfortably tender or heavy feeling in the stomach area;
- The need to urinate often, with little amounts of urine flushed out by the body;
- Pain where your kidneys are located—on both sides of your back, right under your rib cage;
- Fever, chills, and even diarrhea;
- Nausea and vomiting
However, call your doctor ASAP for immediate treatment when:
- Fever, nausea, or vomiting happens along with the pain on either side of your lower back;
- You have a frail immune system;
- You are diagnosed with kidney problems, diabetes, or a frail immune system;
- You are pregnant;
- You are 65-years-old or above
How do you treat UTI?
For mild infections, oral antibiotics are usually prescribed. The most commonly recommended drugs for simple UTIs include Ampicillin, Amoxicillin (Amoxil, Augmentin, others), Ciprofloxacin (Cipro), Levofloxacin (Levaquin), Sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim (Bactrim, Septra, others), and Nitrofurantoin (Furadantin, Macrodantin, others). These medicines are usually taken for one to three days, depending on the symptoms and a person’s medical history. Some doctors also advise analgesics to numb the urethra and bladder and relieve the burning sensation when urinating.
Meanwhile, frequent UTIs are treated differently, as such needs longer courses of antibiotic medication. For some cases, doctors require patients to take a dose of a prescribed antibiotic after every sexual intercourse when the UTI is caused by sexual activity. Home urine tests and Vaginal Estrogen Therapy are also recommended for those who are in their postmenopausal stage. Severe UTIs, on the other hand, are treated using intravenous antibiotics while admitted in a hospital.