A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a bacterial infection that occurs in any part of the urinary system, including the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra. UTIs are common, with more than 150 million cases worldwide each year. They can be painful and uncomfortable, but if treated promptly, they usually clear up quickly. It’s important to recognize the symptoms of a UTI so that you can seek treatment as soon as possible.
Discover the indicators and manifestations of a urinary tract infection (UTI), and find out how to effectively address this ailment by following expert-recommended suggestions and counsel.
The symptoms of a UTI can vary depending on which part of the urinary tract is affected. The severity can also vary from person to person. However, some common symptoms include:
- Pain or discomfort during urination – This is one of the most common symptoms of a UTI. You may feel a burning sensation or pain when you urinate.
- Lower abdominal pain or pressure – UTIs can cause pain or pressure in your lower abdomen or back.
- Fatigue and fever – In some cases, a UTI can cause fatigue and fever. This is more common when the infection has spread to your kidneys.
- Nausea and vomiting – Severe cases of UTIs may cause nausea and vomiting.
- Pain during sexual intercourse – Women with UTIs may experience pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse. In some cases, the pain is extremely intense.
- Frequent urination: With a UTI, you may feel like you need to urinate more often than usual. This is because the infection irritates your bladder, making you feel like you need to empty it more frequently.
- Cloudy or strong-smelling urine: UTIs can make your urine look cloudy or have a strong, unpleasant odor. You may also notice blood in your urine.
- Pain or pressure in the lower abdomen or back: The infection can cause pain or pressure in the lower abdomen or back, particularly if the infection has spread to your kidneys.
- Fever or chills: If the UTI has spread to your kidneys, you may experience a fever, chills, and other flu-like symptoms.
If you experience any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. A doctor can perform exams and tests to determine if you have a UTI and prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection. Untreated UTIs can lead to more serious complications, such as kidney infections and sepsis.
In some cases, people may experience recurrent UTIs. This is when you have two or more UTIs within six months, or three or more within a year. Recurrent UTIs may be a sign of an underlying medical condition, such as kidney stones or an enlarged prostate gland. Your doctor may perform additional tests to determine the cause of your recurrent UTIs and develop a treatment plan. Once the cause of recurrent UTIs is discovered, the doctor can treat the underlying problem and hopefully prevent future problems.
Preventing UTIs is important, and there are several steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing an infection. These include:
- Drinking plenty of water – Water is a vital component in our bodies and can play a significant role in preventing and treating UTIs. When it comes to UTIs, water helps to flush out bacteria from the urinary tract, which can help to reduce inflammation and pain associated with the infection. Drinking plenty of water also helps to dilute urine, making it less concentrated and less likely to irritate the bladder and urethra. This can help to reduce pain and discomfort during urination, which is a common symptom of UTIs.
- Wiping from front to back after using the toilet – Wiping from front to back is an important hygiene practice that is recommended, especially for women, to prevent the spread of bacteria from the anal area to the urinary tract. The urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body, is located close to the anus in women, making it easier for bacteria to transfer from the anus to the urethra. When wiping from back to front, bacteria from the anal area can be spread to the urethra, increasing the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs). Wipe opposite direction to reduce the risk of spreading bacteria.
- Urinating after sexual intercourse – Urinating after sex can help to flush out bacteria that may have entered the urethra. Always use the restroom after sexual intercourse.
- Avoiding the use of irritating feminine products – Some feminine hygiene products, such as douches, powders, and sprays, can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina and urethra, making it easier for harmful bacteria to take hold and cause an infection. In addition, using scented products in the genital area can cause irritation and inflammation, which can also increase the risk of infection. Tampons and pads can also contribute to UTIs if they are not changed frequently enough. Bacteria can thrive in the warm, moist environment created by a used tampon or pad, and if left in place for too long, they can lead to infection.
- Changing birth control methods – Some types of birth control, such as diaphragms and spermicidal agents, can increase your risk of developing a UTI. Talk to your doctor about alternative birth control methods if you’re experiencing recurrent UTIs.
UTIs are common bacterial infections that can cause discomfort and pain. Recognizing the symptoms of a UTI is important so that you can seek treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you seek treatment, the sooner you get back to living pain-free days.
If you experience any symptoms of a UTI as mentioned above, schedule an appointment with your doctor. They can perform tests to determine if you have an infection and prescribe antibiotics to treat it or give other helpful treatment advice. You can also visit hellowisp.com to purchase treatment medications. By taking steps to prevent UTIs, you can reduce your risk of developing an infection in the first place.