A urinary tract infection, or UTI, occurs when an infection develops inside your urethra, ureters, bladder or kidney. Most of these infections remain in the lower portions of the urinary tract, causing pain and discomfort. However, when a UTI spreads to the kidneys, it can cause serious symptoms and complications. Thus, it is important to do what you can to lower your risk of developing a UTI.
What Causes UTIs?
Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria multiply inside the urinary tract. These infections are more common among women because of their anatomy, but they can occur in men, as well. Other risk factors for developing a UTI include:
- Use of a catheter
- Suppressed immune system
- Abnormalities in the urinary tract
- Use of birth control
- Sexual activity
- Completion of menopause
How Can I Prevent UTIs?
To reduce your risk of getting a UTI, consider these five tips:
1. Avoid the use of products that irritate the urethra.
Certain products, such as feminine deodorants or douches, may irritate the urethra and raise the risk of infection.
2. Urinate after intercourse.
Urinating soon after intercourse will help to flush bacteria out of the urinary tract.
3. Wipe from front to back.
Wiping from front to back after using the bathroom prevents bacteria from entering the urinary tract.
4. Drink plenty of water.
Drinking an adequate amount of fluids ensures regular urination, which eliminates bacteria from the area.
5. Urinate when you feel the urge.
“Holding it” allows bacteria more time to colonize, thus increasing your chances of developing a UTI.
Even when you try to prevent UTIs, infections can still occur. If you have an infection, your urologist will most likely prescribe a course of oral antibiotics. He or she may also prescribe pain medication to control the symptoms. Severe infections may require hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics.
If you develop the symptoms of a UTI, make an appointment with us at Georgia Urology today.