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How to Detect and Deal with a Urinary Tract Infection

How to Detect and Deal with a Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary Tract Infection

Nobody wants to talk about urinary tract infections. Vagina owners are too embarrassed to it and would rather brush the subject aside as “women’s problem”. But here’s your chance to know about urinary tract infection (UTI) symptoms and treatment options.

What is Urinary Tract Infection?

A UTI occurs when bacteria multiplies in the urinary tract, causing infections. It may enter the tract through the urethra. Sometimes, bacteria present in the body may proliferate due to some disruption in the microbiome’s environment caused by lower acidity.

UTIs usually affect the bladder and urethra in the lower parts of the urinary tract. However, the other parts like the ureter and kidneys are at equal risk. UTIs spreading to the kidneys can have serious consequences. UTIs are more common among the biologically female population.

Some types of UTIs result from sexually transmitted infections. Conditions like herpes, mycoplasma, gonorrhea, and chlamydia cause infection in the urethra. Sometimes, sex may even push some bacteria from the anal area towards the genital area, causing infections.

Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms

In the initial stages, UTIs may not present discernible symptoms. But when they start to appear, you might experience a few or all of the following:

  • Strong and regular urge to urinate
  • Burning sensation during urination
  • Frequent flow of small amounts of urine
  • Cloudy (yellow) urine
  • Reddish urine signifying blood
  • Strong odour in urine
  • Pain in the centre of the pelvis or around the pubic bone
  • Fever and shivering

Sometimes, the early signs of UTI may be mistaken as other health conditions, especially among the elderly. So, at the earliest signs of these problems, you should get in touch with a doctor to get tested and start your treatment.

Urinary Tract Infection Treatment

To treat UTIs, you will have to stomach some strong antibiotics. The course may last from a few days to several weeks, depending on the severity of your condition and the symptoms you have developed. You may also have to take pain medicines to manage the pain and burning sensation. Of course, you must not take these medicines on your own. There are many topical medicines and herbal alternatives. But don’t resort to any of these before consulting your doctor.

Self-Care Practices to Keep Urinary Tract Infections Away

Did you know that there are ways to prevent urinary tract infections? A little self-care is all you need to protect yourself from the sensation of being on fire. For that, you can try the following:

a) Stay Hydrated.

Drinking fluids can help flush out all the microbes. In addition to 6-8 glasses of water, drink fruit juices, green tea, milk, etc. That’s not a signal for drinking more alcohol and coffee.

b) Don’t Hold Back Urine.

In general, you should not wait for more than 3-4 hours to pee. Holding back urine can encourage the growth of bacteria and prevent them from getting flushed out, thus causing UTIs.

c) Eat Probiotics.

Probiotics in the form of natural food items and supplements can increase good bacteria in the urinary tract and prevent UTIs. They also keep your gut healthy when you start your antibiotics.

d) Urinate After Sex.

Sex increases the chances of UTIs as microbes can enter your body more easily. Plus, the fluids discharged by men and the lubes you use may be alkaline – and peeing can wash them out.

e) Take Vitamin C.

Vitamin C, present naturally in many fruits, can increase acidity in the urine and the urinary tract. This creates an acidic environment in which harmful microbes causing UTIs cannot survive.

f) Drink Cranberry Juice.

Experts believe that cranberry juice can prevent harmful bacteria from sticking to the walls of the bladder. Find quality juice or supplement brands containing real cranberries (and no sugar).

g) Steer Clear of Vaginal Products.

Your vagina is a self-cleaning device. The cleaning products you shove inside do more harm than good. You can use washes on the outside of the opening, as long as they’re not aromatic.

i) Choose the Right Birth Control Means.

All the fancy birth control tools like condoms with spermicides, non-lubricated condoms, contraceptive diaphragms, etc., can cause UTIs. So choose lubricated male or female condoms.

j) Hold Off Sex When Infected.

We’ve already told you how sex can spread UTIs. So if you are already infected or can feel them coming, it’s best to hold off sex. Plus, all the rubbing can increase the pain caused by UTIs.

Final Words

Here’s an advice: don’t Google diseases and cures instead of going to the doctor. The internet is loaded with misinformation and bad advice about UTIs. So don’t experiment with products like vaginal douches, and random medications. A little self-care and a doctor’s consultation at the right time can keep your urinary tract happy!

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