A urinary tract infection, also commonly known as a UTI, is an infection of any part of the urinary system. However, the most common infections occur in the urethra and bladder. In more serious cases, the infection can travel all the way to the kidneys, which can cause more complications. Although UTIs are relatively common, they happen to women much more than they do to men. This is due to the difference in male and female anatomy. If you think you might have a UTI, you might be able to benefit from over-the-counter remedies. However, you might also need to seek professional care from a physician depending on the severity of your symptoms.
What Are the Symptoms of a UTI?
You can have a urinary tract infection without experiencing any symptoms at all. But most people do experience some discomfort when they have this type of infection. The most common symptom is an overwhelming and frequent urge to urinate. However, when you do go to the bathroom, you might only notice a small amount of urine. You might also experience a burning or painful sensation when urinating; cloudy, red, or brown-looking urine; or pelvic pain. If you experience any of these signs, there is a good chance that you are suffering from a UTI.
What Causes a UTI?
There are many different causes of UTIs. Simply being a woman is a cause, as the female anatomy easily allows bacteria to enter the urinary tract. However, recent sexual activity, birth control, and menopause can also be major causes. Those with suppressed immune systems often experience UTIs more frequently than those who are healthy.
The best treatment for urinary tract infections is prevention. There’s a lot you can do to mitigate your chances of getting a UTI. These include drinking lots of water and making sure you are hydrated, always wiping from front to back when you use the toilet, and emptying your bladder soon after you finish having intercourse. You should also avoid using feminine products that irritate the urethra. If you think you are experiencing UTIs due to your method of birth control, you might want to explore other birth control options that might be available to you.
Most of the time, doctors recommend using antibiotics to cure a UTI. That’s because these infections can become serious if they travel to your kidneys. Therefore, a short cycle of antibiotics generally does the trick and will work wonders to make you feel better. It’s important to visit your doctor if you think you might be suffering from a urinary tract infection.
At Prime Medical Associates in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, we are proud to treat urinary tract infections. We can provide you with the medical attention you need to get better, and we can offer you advice about how to prevent UTIs in the future. If you are suffering from urinary tract infection symptoms, make an appointment to come see us right away. We’ll be happy to help you out.