First: What Is A Uti Exactlyand How Do You Usually Treat One
Essentially a UTI is a bacterial infection that can form in your urethra, bladder, or kidneys, causing unpleasant symptoms like frequent urination, a burning sensation while you pee, pelvic pain, and more.
When UTI symptoms rear their ugly head, trying to treat them yourself will only give the infection more time to spread. The longer you wait to get medical attention, the more you’re putting yourself at risk for more serious health complications.
One in five women gets a UTI at least once in her life, according to the National Kidney Foundation.
Waiting too long to start treatment can allow the infection to progress from a simple bladder infection treated with three days of oral antibiotics to a complex kidney infection requiring intravenous antibiotics, says Ekene Enemchukwu, MD, assistant professor of urology at Stanford University School of Medicine.
Dr. Enemchukwu also points out that there’s also the chance you’re actually not dealing with a UTI at allanother reason to always check in with your health care provider about any concerning symptoms. “UTI-like symptoms, in the absence of bacteria, can be caused by other conditions, such as vaginal infections, STDs, kidney stones, severe constipation, and vaginal atrophy,” says Dr. Enemchukwu.
If its a typical, mild UTI, heres what your treatment will look like. These interventions can also make it easier for you to go about your day and sleep with a UTI.
Heres How To Treat A Yeast Infection When Youre On Your Period
Normally when you notice the first signs of a yeast infection, youre probably tempted to run to the drug store, pick up an antifungal suppository, and call it a day. But you should consider at least calling your ob/gyn before trying to treat the infection at home, especially given our current reality.
For one thing, your doctor may be able to ask you questions in a tele-health appointment to try to confirm whether youre actually dealing with a yeast infection or one of several other conditions that can cause similar symptoms. If necessary, they can also advise you on how to get testing to confirm whats going on as safely as possible. Knowing exactly whats plaguing you is important under normal circumstances, but especially right now. Its not the ideal time to try to treat a yeast infection at home when its really something else that could flourish without the right treatment.
Another thing to consider? Over-the-counter topical treatments are messy in and of themselves, Dr. Andersen says, adding that its enough to deal with a period, not to add vaginal cream . Whether or not youre menstruating, a single-dose oral medication, like fluconazole , is often a bit easier to use than an over-the-counter cream or suppository, Dr. Andersen says, but you do need a prescription to get itwhich is another reason its a good idea to loop in your doctor.
Uti Or Something Else
Although burning during urination is a telltale sign of a UTI, it can also be a symptom of a number of other problems such as a vaginal yeast infection or certain sexually transmitted diseases . These include chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis. Simple lab tests are available to distinguish a UTI from an STD. Interstitial cystitis also has many of the same symptoms as a urinary tract infection. It can happen in both men and women and can start after a UTI. A cystoscopy, a thin tube and camera that is inserted into the bladder, can not diagnosis interstitial cystitis, but it can help identify abnormalities in the badder that cause cystitis.
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Symptoms Of Toxic Shock Syndrome
The symptoms of toxic shock syndrome start suddenly and get worse quickly. They include:
- a high temperature
- flu-like symptoms, such as a headache, feeling cold, feeling tired or exhausted, an aching body, a sore throat and a cough
- feeling and being sick
Sometimes you may also have a wound on your skin where the bacteria got into your body, but it may not look infected.
Utis And Menstrual Bleeding: Can A Urinary Tract Infection Delay Or Affect Your Period
While science now shows that men have a hormonal cycle of sorts, much as women do, they dont menstruate meaning that most women between puberty and menopause deal with monthly bleeding that men do not.
As if that isnt enough of an issue for women, with cramps in their uterus and ovaries that can range from annoying to debilitating, women are also more prone to urinary tract infections, or UTIs, with about 50 percent of women experiencing at least one UTI in their lifetime. Of course, a UTI can have complications that eventually affect more than just the urinary tract.
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Things Every Woman Should Know About Utis
Doctors who treat urinary tract infections explain the facts about curing and preventing them.
Chances are, you’ve experienced the agonizing telltale symptoms of a urinary tact infection : the constant need to pee, and the awful burning sensation every time you go. UTIs are one of the most common types of infections, resulting in more than 8 million doctor visits each year.
UTIs are most often caused when bacteria gets into the urethra, which is the tube that allows urine to pass out of the body, Daniela Carusi, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston, tells Health. They can occur in any part of the urinary tractkidneys, ureters, bladder or urethra.
Most of the time, your body flushes out the bacteria with your pee, no problem. But sometimes the bacteria stick around and grow. While most women will notice it when it hurts to pee, some may just feel a dull pelvic ache or cramps, or even develop a fever.
Whether its your first UTI or youve had one multiple times, here’s what you need to know to deal with this common yet stubborn and painful problem.
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Suggestions For Reducing Uti Risk During Periods
A 2013 review, which came out before either of the previously referenced studies, evaluated evidence from 14 different papers on the health effects of menstruation and did not find a strong association between menstruation and UTIs . However, this is a difficult topic to research in a controlled way, and when that is the case, anecdotal evidence should be taken seriously. Sufferers of chronic UTIs understand their own symptoms and can recognize these patterns when they emerge. While the exact cause of the increase in UTIs during menses in some women has not been proven, we do know that changes are occurring that could very well have an impact.
Based on these collective findings, there may be some proactive actions someone can take to try and reduce the risk of UTIs during menstruation. These suggestions have not been evaluated directly and are merely speculative.
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Can A Uti Affect Your Period
According to some estimates, 50-60% of women will develop at least one urinary tract infection within their lifetime, making it one of the most common medical conditions in the country.
A UTI develops when bacteria, usually E. coli, travels from the skin or rectum into your urethra.
Under normal circumstances, your immune system can fend off invaders like this, but when those defenses fail, the bacteria multiply, becoming an infection that adversely impacts one or more parts of your urinary tract.
When left untreated, a UTI can develop into a bladder infection or impact your ureters. In rarer, more severe cases, it can become a kidney infection or travel into your bloodstream.
Because women have urinary tracts separate from their reproductive organs, a urinary tract infection will never adversely affect menstruation or ovulation.
There is a relationship between UTIs and sexual health, but a UTI will never directly cause you to develop irregular periods, experience a late period, or miss a period all together.
UTIs can be dangerous if they are left untreated. If you believe you have a urinary tract infection or have questions about your menstrual cycle, seek medical advice from a gynecologist or another health care provider.
They can take a urine sample, discuss your symptoms, and recommend treatment options that will help address your discomfort and improve your health and wellbeing.
How To Prevent Utis
- Empty your bladder frequently as soon as you feel the urge to go and empty it completely.
- Wipe from front to back.
- Dont use scented feminine care products they just cause irritation.
- Always pee before and after sex.
- Wear cotton underwear only and loose-fitting clothing as much as possible. Avoid tight jeans and nylon underwear as they can trap moisture and create an environment that breeds bacteria.
- Never stay in a wet swimsuit for too long.
- Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.
- Take probiotics and increase your vitamin C intake to boost your immune system.
- Opt for showers over baths.
- If you use a diaphragm, unlubricated condoms, or spermicide as a birth control method, you may want to consult your doctor about switching to another option as these have all been known to contribute to UTIs.
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When Should You Call Your Doctor
An immediate visit to a physician is warranted if you have a fever, flank pain, flu-like symptoms, or four-smelling vaginal discharge. These may be signs that your body may be fighting more than an uncomplicated UTI. Contrary to a common assumption among patients, the smell or appearance of urine by itself is not a reliable measure of infection, said Dr. Dielubanza.
Here she addresses some other common myths and truths about UTIs.
When May My Child Need To Be Hospitalized For A Uti
Your child may need to be hospitalized for the following reasons:
- If theyre a young infant or child.
- If they have a high fever.
- If they have back pain.
- If theyre dehydrated .
- If he or she is unable to tolerate oral antibiotics.
- When there is a concern that the infection has spread to their bloodstream.
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Impact Of Urine Infections On Periods
Urinary Tract Infection is a common bacterial infection in women, with every one in two women affected by it at some point in time. When bacteria enter the bladder through the urethra and starts to multiply, it results in urinary tract infection. Most of the times UTI is caused by the bacterium E.coli. This bacterium is found in the digestive tract and skin around the vagina. If it enters the urinary tract, it can cause a painful and a severe infection.
The kidneys filter the blood and remove wastes and excesswater as urine. This urine is stored in the bladder and expelled out of thebody through the urethra. The urethral opening is just above the vaginalopening. UTIs are more common in women due to anatomical reasons. A womansurethra is close to the anus as a result, bacteria from the anus can end up inthe vagina and urethra. Also, women have a shorter urethra, which makes iteasier for the bacteria to reach the bladder. This is why girls are alwaysadvised to wipe from front to back after using the washroom. This helps toprevent the bacteria from anus enter the vagina and up to the urethra. Anothercommon cause of UTIs in women is sex. During sex, bacteria from genital areasand anus can enter urethra and bladder causing UTI. Sexually active women aremore likely to get UTIs. UTIs are not contagious, and you cannot get it fromyour partner.
Impact of urine infections on periods
Some standard measures that you can take to avoid UTIs are
Can Dehydration Cause A Uti
When you dont hydrate, your urine gets concentrated and can aggravate the bladder lining. While its good to keep up on your water intake on a daily basis, if you notice that you have bladder or urinary pain because of dehydration perhaps after a night of drinking or a bout of food poisoning Dr. Lewicky Gaupp says loading up on water can dilute the urine and relieve some of the irritation.
Even if youre not dehydrated, alcohol, caffeine, and some foods like acidic citrus fruits can exacerbate symptoms in those with a sensitive or overactive bladder.
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What Can Happen If A Uti Is Not Treated
If treated right away, a UTI is not likely to damage your urinary tract. But if your UTI is not treated, the infection can spread to the kidneys and other parts of your body. The most common symptoms of kidney infection are fever and pain in the back where the kidneys are located. Antibiotics can also treat kidney infections.
Sometimes the infection can get in the bloodstream. This is rare but life-threatening.
How Do You Know If Youre Dealing With A Standard Uti Or Severe Kidney Infection
Both are technically forms of UTIs. A standard UTI, though, typically just means you’re dealing with cystitis, or inflammation of the bladder. That inflammation causes those typical UTI symptoms like painful or burning urination and urgent or frequent urination, explains Dr. Mueller.
But a kidney infection, also known as pyelonephritis, is caused by the same bacteria and oftentimes results from an untreated bladder infection. These symptoms are typically much more severe.
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Myth: Hygiene Habits And Clothing Fit Contribute To Utis
You may have heard that certain hygiene practices are risk factors for UTIs, particularly for women. But UTIs are not caused by how you wipe in the bathroom, by tampon use or by failing to empty your bladder after sexual intercourse. Theyre also not caused by wearing tight clothes.
A lot of women express concern about these, said Dr. Dielubanza. But studies have shown there is no association between these practices and UTIs.
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How To Treat Utis
If you think you have a UTI, the first thing you should do is schedule an appointment with your OBGYN or primary care physician. Many women will try to self-treat it, or worse, just hope it goes away on its own. And while some minor UTIs do go away on their own, its best to see a doctor and have them diagnose and treat it as the infection can spread to other parts of your body and be dangerous.
Your doctor will take a urine sample which will allow them to diagnose it right then and there, meaning youll leave the office with an answer and a solution! Well choose an antibiotic based on the type of bacteria you have, taking into account other factors like pregnancy, allergies, other medications, and medical history. Now all you have to do is take the full cycle of treatment to make sure the infection is completely gone.
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