Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are a common problem that can affect both men and women, although women are significantly more likely to contract a UTI at some point in their lifetime. In fact, women have about a 50% chance of experiencing a UTI during their lives. Not only this, but certain individuals are more prone to urinary tract infections than others, with some women experiencing frequent infections that can last for months or even years.
What exactly is a urinary tract infection?
An urinary tract infection is a bacterial infection typically caused by E.Coli. The bacteria enters the body via the urethra and can then go on to infect the bladder and even the kidneys if the symptoms are not caught early on. In most cases, a doctor is able to treat the infection but, in rare situations, a hospital stay might be necessary.
What is the cause of urinary tract infection?
"What is the cause of urinary tract infection" is perhaps one of the most important questions to answer, especially since doing so can help both men and women better prevent infection. When answering the question, "what is the cause of urinary tract infection", one first needs to understand the types of bacteria that are typically response for the problem.
Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria, typically E.Coli from the digestive tract, invade the urethra. This is a particularly common problem in women, although a mens urinary tract infection can occur as well. E.Coli is a common bacteria in the large intestine. Since the urethra is located so close to the anus, infection resulting from E.Coli passed from the anus to the urethra is a common situation. This is why it is so often recommended to always wipe from front to back after going to the bathroom. When careful to do so, the spread of bacteria is far less likely, making infection impossible.
If E-Coli is able to enter the urethra, it can then travel up to the bladder, where infection can occur. If the infection goes untreated and is allowed to linger for too long, infection can even spread to the kidneys and cause additional, sometimes very serious damage as well as further complications.
Why are urinary tract infections more common in women?
Now that the "what is the cause of urinary tract infection" question has been answered, it's important to better understand what makes one more susceptible to these infections than others. Mens urinary tract infection is far less common, both due to the nature of restroom use as well as the fact that men have a much longer urethra than women. This makes it far more difficult for the bacteria to affect men, as the urethra is the tube responsible for transporting urine from the bladder to outside of the body and is also the means by which bacteria travels from outside of the body to the bladder. Mens urinary tract infection issues account for only 20% of all UTIs reported, making women far more likely to experience this unpleasant infection.
What are some of the symptoms of a UTI?
Urinary tract infection symptoms can often be difficult to pinpoint, especially since they can vary so much in type and intensity. A urinary tract infection can be both intensely painful as well as largely symptomless and "silent". However, in the majority of cases, both women as well as men who are experiencing a mens urinary infection will be able to see some irregularity in their urination or general sensations. Some of the most common urinary tract infection symptoms include:
- A burning feeling during urination
- A frequent need to urinate, even if very little is actually expelled from the body during urination
- Pressure or discomfort in the lower back or abdomen
- Cloudy urine that may smell strange
- Bloody urine
- Shakiness and/or fatigue
- Chills or fever, which may indicate a problem in the kidneys
If you're experiencing any of these urinary tract infection symptoms, it's important to contact a doctor for an examination, diagnosis, and treatment as soon as possible before the situation can worsen. Without prompt care, urinary tract infection symptoms can increase and become even more debilitating.
What tests are performed to determine whether you have a UTI?
If you're experiencing any symptoms of a men's urinary tract infection or you're a woman who is noticing some unusual signs that may indicate a urinary tract infection, make an appointment at your earliest opportunity. To properly diagnose either a woman's or a mens urinary tract infection, the doctor will:
- Ask you to provide a urine sample.
- Test the sample for bacteria.
- Provide you with a list of your treatment options, if an infection is diagnosed.
What are the typical treatments recommended?
Antibiotics are the most commonly prescribed medication for UTIs. If antibiotics are prescribed, it's always essential to complete the entire run of these crucial urinary supplies. Even if you feel substantially better or back to normal, don't ever stop taking your prescription until you have finished your treatment.
In most cases, antibiotics will be administered for a period of around three days, but the course can go for as long as a week. Compounding problems such as prostatitis in men or other issues in women may necessitate the need for an even longer round of antibiotics.
In addition to antibiotics, your doctor may choose to prescribe you additional urinary supplies such as pain remedies if you're experiencing painful symptoms. This can help to ease your discomfort until the antibiotics begin to address the bacteria and the root cause of your pain.
Are there any home remedies for UTIs?
There are a number of recommended home remedies that are believed to help address UTIS and the uncomfortable symptoms they cause. For one, many doctors recommend that patients drink plenty of water, as this has been shown to help flush out E.Coli and other potentially dangerous bacterias from the bladder and urethra.
Additional urinary supplies such as heating pads can also be useful during a UTI as a means of reducing discomfort. Cranberry juice may also be effective, as this special red berry contains tannins that may be able to prevent bacteria from adhering to the bladder and causing infection. While results are not definitive regarding whether or not cranberry juice is a effective treatment, drinking cranberry juice certainly can't hurt and may even help reduce the risk of infection. This may be especially true if the juice is combined with other helpful urinary supplies and treatment methods.
Can UTIs become a chronic problem?
Believe it or not, approximately one out of five women will experience more than one urinary tract infection, while others may even find the problem to be a recurring, persisting one. In cases such as these, a UTI is most often caused by a different type of bacteria than the typical E.Coli. In rare cases, these bacteria are able to colonize the cells of the body and become resistant to both antibiotics as well as attacks from the immune system. When this happens, the stage is set for repeated infections that can continue for years on end.
Unfortunately, there are some individuals, particularly women, who tend to be genetically more inclined to experience UTIs. There are also those who have unique, abnormal urinary tracts that are simply more likely to become infected. Additionally, women with compromising conditions, such as diabetes, may also be more likely to develop UTIs as they have a compromised immune system that can make them less able to combat infections like the urinary tract infection. Women are also more likely to experience UTIs if pregnant or while experiencing kidney stones. Individuals with spinal cord injuries or multiple sclerosis are also especially susceptible.
What can be done to reduce the occurrence of chronic UTIs?
In the event that you find yourself with more than three UTIs in a year's time, you should speak to your doctor about what urinary supplies might help and what tips might assist you in effectively reducing their occurrence. Some of the preventative and diagnostic options that might be helpful include:
- Consistently taking a low dose of antibiotics for an extended period of time.
- Taking antibiotics after sexual intercourse, which is often an infection trigger for women.
- Taking antibiotics for a day or two after the onset of symptoms.
- Using urine tests at home to test for infection.
At-home urine tests are perhaps one of the most convenient urinary supplies you can buy. You can purchase these crucial urinary supplies without a prescription and they can better help you determine when a visit to the doctor is necessary.
Can you prevent reinfection with at-home care?
Those who are interested in home remedies and convenient urinary supplies should be happy to know that there are a number of reliable methods of preventing a re-infection following a urinary tract infection. After an infection and while you're recovering, make sure to:
- Urinate frequently and ensure that your bladder is emptied completely each time.
- Wipe from front to back after using the bathroom.
- Skip baths and take a shower instead.
- Avoid using douches and scented bath products as well as feminine hygiene sprays
- Wash thoroughly before sex.
- Urinate following sex to remove any bacteria that may have entered.
- Wear cotton underwear and loose clothing as nylon undergarments and tight-fitting clothing can promote a moist atmosphere that facilitates bacterial growth.
While these may not be able to definitively prevent the reoccurrence of a urinary tract infection, these simple, at-home, tips may very well be able to help you to eliminate the infection and remain healthy.
On to you
Now that you have a better understanding on options for urinary supplies and info to help with urinary tract infections, what additional question do you have? Save Rite Medical is here to assist you in any way we can so please leave a comment below and we'll help you. Feel free to call us directly at
CEO, Save Rite Medical
Marc Kaplan's vision is to help the medical community by providing premium service to those in need. Through offering best selling products to cost saving alternatives, Save Rite Medical is the #1 source for medical professionals and home users a like.