Anyone who has had a urinary tract infection (UTI) knows that it is an incredibly uncomfortable experience. Those who have not suffered from a UTI are not always aware of the symptoms, which can lead them to delay seeking treatment when a UTI develops. The team at PrimeCare Urgent Care would like to share the following information in the hopes of assisting patients in identifying, treating and preventing urinary tract infections.
What is a UTI?
A urinary tract infection occurs when bacteria is introduced into an individual's urine, enters the urethra and travels into the bladder. Women are more likely than men to suffer from a UTI, simply because the female body has a short urethra. These infections are common, and an estimated ten out of 25 women and three out of 25 men can expect to experience at least one UTI in their lifetime.
What Are the Signs of a UTI?
The most common sign of a UTI is a sharp or burning pain during urination. Some sufferers also experience changes in the frequency or urgency of urination. The appearance of urine may become cloudy, pink or red, and might even have small white flecks. In addition to color changes, urine might also have a foul odor. Some people will feel pain in their lower back, abdomen or along their sides when they have a UTI.
Are UTIs Preventable?
UTIs occur when bacteria from urine enters the body, which means that there are ways to avoid infection by taking steps to prevent that contamination. It is important to note that the majority of UTIs originate from bacteria that is already in the bladder, so flushing that bacteria from the body can significantly reduce the chances of infection. By drinking plenty of water and ensuring that you void your bladder when necessary, your body is always moving fluids through the bladder and urethra, which prevents harmful bacteria from multiplying to dangerous levels.
Another important health habit for females to develop is to always wipe from front to back after using the restroom to prevent introducing bacteria into the urethra. An additional way to avoid the introduction of bacteria is by making an effort to empty your bladder after sexual intercourse, which serves to flush out the urethra. Research also suggests that people who suffer from recurring UTIs can find relief by taking high-quality cranberry supplements and choosing birth control methods that do not include spermicides or a diaphragm.
How Are UTIs Treated?
If you begin experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is important to seek medical care as quickly as possible. A simple course of antibiotics can effectively treat a urinary tract infection. More importantly, a physician can screen for other conditions that might be causing the symptoms of UTI, including sexually transmitted diseases and other medical issues.
At PrimeCare Urgent Care, we can quickly diagnose and treat urinary tract infections, and get you back on your feet and feeling great. Contact us today to learn more about our services.