If you don’t know what the acronym UTI stands for, consider yourself a lucky lady. The urinary tract is made up of your bladder and kidneys and the tubes that connect them. When germs creep up the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of your body, they can get into your bladder, causing a urinary tract infection (UTI). Most UTIs start off as bladder infections.
If left untreated, these infections can spread to your kidneys and do some serious damage to your body. The bacteria that travels up the urethra and into the bladder come from the vagina and anal areas…hence the reason why women should always wipe from front to back!
Unfortunately, women are anatomically more prone to UTIs than men are, because women’s urethras are shorter than men’s, making it much easier for bacteria to get into the urinary tract. Pregnant women have a much higher risk of developing UTIs, because the hormones of pregnancy cause changes in the urinary system. Women with diabetes are also at a higher risk.
Even though women are anatomically predisposed to UTIs, there are several ways to prevent them from occurring. First and foremost, drink lots of fluids! And after you fully hydrate, be sure to empty your bladder frequently. This will flush your system of any bacteria that might be lingering in your urinary tract.
Activities like wearing tight clothes, intercourse, and crossing your legs cause friction that can propel bacteria into the urinary system. This doesn’t mean you have to hang up your skinny jeans…just don’t wear themall day! Another way to help ward off the evil UTI is to empty your bladder immediately after intercourse to flush out any bacteria that may have entered the urethra.
If you’ve ever had a UTI, you know how painful and inconvenient they can be. Common symptoms are pain and burning when you urinate. In addition, you have the urge to urinate frequently, but when you do go…not much comes out. Other symptoms include fever and chills, pain in one side of your back under your ribs, and cloudy or smelly urine.
So what should you do if you suspect that you have the dreaded UTI? Call our office immediately to schedule an appointment so that we can test and treat you appropriately. Until you can get to the office, drink plenty of fluids and take Azo-Standard to give you some relief, but remember this doesn’t treat the infection it just treats some of the symptoms.