No one wants a painful urinary tract infection. They can occur fairly quickly and ruin your plans for a week or more! Learn what can be done to lower your risk and prevent UTIs.
There are plenty of easy ways to simply avoid getting a UTI, so say goodbye to that painful need to urinate every 5 minutes.
On the other hand, if you have already contracted one or think you might have, your doctor can help get you back on track again with the right treatment. They can help you determine if your conditions are caused by something else (unexplained), or if you are simply sensitive to an irritant.
First, let’s take a look at how you can prevent a UTI, to begin with!
Most UITs are easily avoided by following a healthy lifestyle, including keeping your diet and activity level up. Here is a list of lifestyle changes that should be incorporated in order to prevent Urinary Tract Infections:
- Drinking plenty of water. This naturally flushes out the bacteria before it can make its way up the urethra.
- Never hold your urine. Of course, some situations make this impossible, but whenever possible, urinate as soon as you feel the urge.
- Ladies should wipe from front to back. This pushes bacteria away from the urethra.
- If you get frequent UTIs, consider changing your birth control method. Diaphragms or condoms with spermicidal lubes can contribute to the growth of bacteria.
- Don’t use feminine hygiene products, such as soaps, sprays, or powders. The vagina is naturally self-cleaning. If you have an unpleasant odor from your genitals, speak to your doctor.
- Women especially should wear cotton underwear that allows the vulva to “breathe”.
- Avoid frequent hot baths or hot tubs.
- Avoid wearing tight clothing too often.
- Wash before having sex.
- Urinate as soon as possible after having sex.
Sometimes your doctor may recommend that you choose safe sex and use condoms.
This is to protect against bacterial infections in the vagina and urinary tract. However, safe sex doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you avoid any STIs, so you still need to make sure you are taking all the necessary steps to protect yourself against sexually transmitted diseases and urinary tract infections.
If you have had a UTI in the past, you probably remember the strange “tingling” or mild burning sensation in the urethra. This is your first clue that bacteria have made their way to the entrance of the urethra. Many people find that if they begin drinking large amounts of water, alternating with glasses of cranberry juice, they can nip the problem in the bud.
Even if that feeling disappears in a few hours, continue to drink at least 3 liters of water each day, along with a liter of cranberry juice for at least 24 hours after those feelings pass.
Cranberry juice stops bacteria from sticking to the urethra and plenty of water will help to flush the bacteria out of the body.
If this is your first UTI or if you didn’t recognize the problem quickly enough, you will need to see your doctor for treatment. Most doctors will recommend antibiotics that contain sulfonamides to cure the infection. They can also prescribe antibiotics to decrease inflammation.
Antibiotics are taken as a treatment to destroy the bacteria causing the infection.
There are also specific precautions when taking antibiotics. Be sure to follow all instructions from your doctor. If you think your medication is giving you side effects, talk with your doctor and your pharmacist about how to minimize the side effects.
Tell your healthcare provider if you have a history of urinary tract infections or if you’ve had your urinary tract infection in the last 6 months.
If you can’t see your doctor right away, you can help relieve the symptoms until your doctor is available. Pharmacies should carry an over the counter treatment that contains phenazopyridine (a popular name brand is Uristat) that will help ease the burning and pain.
Unlike other pain treatments, this pain-relieving formula not only treats but also prevents problems in urinary tract. Simple and easy to use, this natural urine product can ease any bladder ache. Beneficial ingredients are soothing to the bladder and balanced with herbal herbs, vitamins, and minerals.
Ask a health care professional first if you have a urinary tract infection before taking an antibiotic. You may need to see a doctor who specializes in infectious diseases if your symptoms do not improve after three days.
You can also try over the counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to help ease the pain until you can see your doctor.
If recurring UTIs are due to menopause, your doctor might prescribe vaginal estrogen, (such as Estrace) to help restore the balance of estrogen in the body.