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Urinary Tract Infections (UTI); Symptoms and Treatments

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Posted July 3, 2014 by Kimani in Infection Section

What is a UTI? 

Your urinary tract is the system that makes urine and carries it out of your body. It includes your bladder and kidneys and the tubes that connect them. When germs get into this system, they can cause an infection.

Most urinary tract infections are bladder infections. A bladder infection usually is not serious if it is treated right away. If you do not take care of a bladder infection, it can spread to your kidneys. A kidney infection is serious and can cause permanent damage.

How are UTI’s Caused? 

Urinary Tract Infections are often caused by bacteria getting into the urethra (the tube that transports urine from your bladder to outside your body). The germs that usually cause these infections live in your large intestine and are found in your stool. If these germs get inside your urethra, they can travel up into your bladder and kidneys and cause an infection.

Women tend to get more bladder infections than men. This is probably because women have shorter urethras, so it is easier for the germs to move up to their bladders. Having sex can make it easier for germs to get into your urethra.

What are the symptoms?

You may have an infection if you have any of these symptoms:

  • You feel pain or burning when you urinate.
  • You feel like you have to urinate often, but not much urine comes out when you do.
  • Your belly feels tender or heavy.
  • Your urine is cloudy or smells bad.
  • You have pain on one side of your back under your ribs. This is where your kidneys are.
  • You have fever and chills.
  • You have nausea and vomiting.

Call your doctor right away if you think you have an infection and:

  • You have a fever, nausea and vomiting, or pain in one side of your back under your ribs.
  • You have diabetes, kidney problems, or a weak immune system.
  • You are older than 65.
  • You are pregnant.

How are UTI’s diagnosed?

Urine samples are tested by your physician for bacteria that causes the infection.

 How do I prevent a Urinary Tract Infection? 

Drink lots of fluids (water)

Limit sugar intake (UTI’s tend to be higher in those with diabetes)

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For women, urinate right after sexual intercourse

Do NOT attempt to hold urine; if you have to go – do it when possible.

Post-menopausal women may want to ask their doctors about using vaginal estrogen to prevent recurrent UTIs.

Over-the counter remedies are available to fight urinary tract infections, such as pure cranberry juice and plenty of hydration. Please see a licensed physician if you are experiencing symptoms of a urinary tract infection. Only a doctor can prescribe antibiotics to rid you of the infection.







Information courtesy of WebMD




About the Author

Kimani

A NY transplant in Florida, Kimani has taken on the task of educating the world on sexual health and education. The Mount Vernon native has seen AIDS and HIV spread through her community like wildfire, and hopes to cease the transmission of these and other diseases one person at a time. If you know better, you're inclined to do better.

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