Did you know that a Urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common bacterial infections seen in primary care? It affects about 12–15% of women annually and 50% of women by 32 years of age. UTIs can be painful to deal with, especially if you get them frequently. While this condition can happen to both men and women, women tend to get UTIs much more frequently.
If you think you might be suffering from UTI symptoms, you shouldn’t hesitate to call your doctor to get treatment. Otherwise, your UTI might only get worse. Keep reading and learn more about urinary tract infections, the symptoms, how they happen, and how to treat them.
What Is the Urinary Tract?
The urinary tract, as the name suggests, is the system in the body that is responsible for producing and excreting urine from the body. Specifically, this system is composed of the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra. The kidneys are especially important because they act as filters for the body and they can help to remove toxins from the blood. They are also responsible for the creation of urine. There are two kidneys on either side of the body situated back towards your spine. They are bean-shaped and they are connected to the ureters.
The ureters are two long tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder. They are the primary way in which urine travels to the bladder. The bladder is the third part of the urinary tract and, as you can imagine, it is very important. The bladder functions as a pouch to hold urine. Even though the bladder might be full, you have the ability to hold it for a long period of time. The bladder is made of unique cells known as the transitional epithelium. This cell type is unique because it can stretch. This function is important because the bladder needs to stretch and expand once it is filled with urine. Once you empty your bladder, the organ can shrink back to its original size.
The bladder is connected to the final part of the urinary tract: the urethra. In men and women, the urethra is different. Women have much shorter urethras which is why they are more prone to developing UTIs.
On the other hand, the male urethra spans the length of the penis and also travels through the prostate before it reaches the bladder, making it much longer. It is the tube in which urine must travel to leave the body.
What Are Urinary Tract Infections?
Before you look up UTI treatment online or how to order a UTI online prescription, you should first understand what urinary tract infections are. Many people don’t know that this type of infection can infect both the bladder and the kidneys. However, it is not very common for the kidneys to become infected.
Rather, the bladder usually becomes infected first. If you do not seek treatment such as with UTI antibiotics online, the infection may worsen and eventually spread to the kidneys. This may happen if the bacteria causing the infection manages to crawl up the ureters and into the kidneys.
When only the bladder is infected, this is known as cystitis. This type of infection, as mentioned before, is especially common in women. It occurs when bacteria crawl through the urethra and into the bladder.
Since men have longer urethras, it is harder for the same bacteria to reach their bladders and cause an infection. If a UTI spreads and affects the kidneys, the resulting kidney infection is known as pyelonephritis. Again, women are at a higher risk of developing this kind of infection than men.
Besides women, there are certain risk factors that might put certain people at a higher risk of developing a UTI. For example, people who have a urinary catheter tend to develop more UTIs than people without a catheter. A catheter is a small tube that allows urine to drain from the bladder. It is an important device for people who are not able to urinate on their own. When inserting the catheter, there may be bacteria on the surface of the device which is then introduced into the urethra. This will then cause a urinary tract infection. For that reason, it is very important to keep catheters clean.
What Are the Symptoms of a Bladder Infection?
The symptoms of a bladder infection may be painful, but they tend to not be too serious in the beginning. The most obvious symptom is painful urination. This pain tends to feel like burning in the urethra as the urine passes through it.
You may also feel like you need to urinate more often and more urgently. You may find that it is more difficult to hold your urine when you have a UTI because of this urgency. Yet, when you try to urinate, it may be difficult due to the discomfort and inflammation of the urethra.
Another common symptom includes blood in the urine. This may happen if your bladder and urethra are particularly inflamed. As long as you get the infection treated as soon as possible such as with Macrobid 100mg or Nitrofurantoin 100mg, the infection should not get any worse if the bacteria is sensitive.
What Are the Symptoms of a Kidney Infection?
A kidney infection tends to produce more serious symptoms than a bladder infection. The symptoms may also be added to the existing symptoms of a bladder infection. For that reason, it can be difficult at first to tell whether or not you have a kidney infection or just a bladder infection.
However, kidney infections tend to include the symptoms of fever, vomiting, and back pain. Bladder infections do not cause these symptoms. Because these symptoms can be much more serious, you should seek treatment as soon as possible.
Otherwise, the infection might spread to the rest of the body and become very dangerous to your health. While this isn’t a common occurrence, it’s still best to err on the side of caution.
How Do I Find Out If I Have a Urinary Tract Infection?
If you think you might be experiencing the symptoms of a urinary tract infection, you shouldn’t hesitate to call your doctor or nurse practitioner. That way, you won’t be wasting any time getting treated if you do have a UTI. If you explain your symptoms to your doctor, they should be able to tell whether or not you have a UTI since the symptoms tend to be obvious.
If your doctor is still unsure after you explain your symptoms, a urine test may be in order. A urine test is simple and it will be able to definitively tell whether or not you have a urinary tract infection. Then, you will be able to start treatment.
If your doctor is not sure what is causing your symptoms or if your doctor thinks you might have a kidney infection, you might need to go through more detailed urine tests to see if there are bacteria present. That way, your doctor can plan the best course of action for your treatment.
How Are Urinary Tract Infections Treated?
More often than not, your doctor will treat you with antibiotic pills such as Macrobid 100mg or Nitrofurantoin 100mg. Antibiotics work by destroying the bacteria that caused the urinary tract infection in the first place. Antibiotics are some of the most effective UTI treatment options around and they work quite fast.
For a bladder infection, you will need to take antibiotic pills such as Macrobid or Nitrofurantoin for three to seven days. If you have a kidney infection, on the other hand, you will need to take the antibiotics for a longer period of time. That’s because kidney infections are more serious than bladder infections since the bacteria causing the infection has had more of an opportunity to spread.
You will need to take antibiotics for around ten days to two weeks to treat a kidney infection. In more severe cases, you may need to get this treatment in a hospital. After a few days of taking the antibiotics, you should notice an improvement in your symptoms.
However, you should never stop taking the medication early. Otherwise, there is a good chance that the UTI could come back. If your UTI is especially painful, your doctor may provide you with medication to numb your bladder. That way, urinating won’t be painful and you won’t need to urinate so often either.
What If I Get Bladder Infections a Lot?
UTIs on their own are frustrating to deal with, but when you get them frequently, they can be unbearable. If you seem to be getting a lot of UTIs, it will be a good idea to check in with your doctor. That way, you will be able to see if your symptoms are really being caused by a urinary tract infection.
This is important because the symptoms of a bladder infection can mimic the symptoms of other conditions. If you have other conditions that might be causing your symptoms, your doctor or nurse will be able to see what the root of your symptoms really is.
If you do suffer from frequent UTIs, there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of getting more in the future. For example, drinking water and other fluids is very important. This will help to keep your urinary tract flushed out and healthy.
For women who have already gone through menopause, vaginal estrogen may be helpful. It may come in a cream or in the form of a ring that you can insert into your vagina. Whatever form it comes in, it may help prevent bladder infections.
Other Things That May Help Prevent UTIs
Avoiding cream or gel spermicides is important. When used with a diaphragm, spermicides seem to increase the risk of women developing UTIs. If you use spermicides and often get UTIs, try using another form of birth control.
Urinating after having sex may be helpful for preventing UTIs as well. While the research is scarce on this technique and while there is not yet proof that it works, urinating after sex won’t hurt if you’re concerned about UTIs. It can help flush out any bacteria that may have entered your urethra during sex.
If these methods don’t help and you still are dealing with frequent bladder infections, your doctor might prescribe you antibiotics to prevent infection. However, using antibiotics for a long period of time is usually not a good idea and has many downsides. For that reason, your doctor will prefer to try other treatment options first.
Can Cranberry Juice or Other Products Prevent Bladder Infections?
While it is understandable that some people would want to treat their urinary tract infections naturally, some natural treatments might not work. This is especially true once your UTI gets worse and spreads. While trying natural treatments won’t hurt, you shouldn’t only use them in place of modern medicine.
If you want, you can use natural remedies in conjunction with antibiotics. Cranberry juice is one natural remedy that people use to treat UTIs. While many claim that cranberry juice (along with other products such as probiotics and vitamins) can cure a urinary tract infection, there is not actually any evidence for this.
If you want to know more about whether or not cranberry juice and other products have any effect on urinary tract infections, you can talk to your doctor or nurse practitioner about them.
All about UTIs and UTI Symptoms
UTIs can be a pain to deal with, especially if you get a lot of them. They occur when bacteria enter the bladder through the urethra. Because women have shorter urethras than men, they tend to get UTIs more frequently.
Common UTI symptoms include painful urination and urinary frequency. If you think you might have a UTI, you should call your doctor so you can treat the infection as soon as possible. Book an appointment here if you’re looking for UTI treatment online in British Columbia.
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