UTIs are extremely common among women. In fact, 70% to 80% of women will experience UTIs in their lifetime. Reoccurrences are also extremely common, and 80% of all UTIs are reoccurrences. They are extremely easy to treat, but they can cause kidney infections and other complications if left untreated. If you believe you have a urinary tract infection, visit AFC Urgent Care Waltham. Our physicians can provide treatment to help you feel your best again.
Symptoms of UTIs
UTIs may not always cause symptoms, but in many cases, they do. They are typically not severe and do not cause real damage to the body. However, they can be irritating and should be treated promptly. Signs can include:
- A persistent urge to urinate
- A burning sensation while urinating
- Cloudy or red urine that has a strong smell
- Pelvic pain in women
If the infection is in different parts of the urinary tract, additional symptoms may appear. This can include fever if the infection is in the kidneys, lower abdomen pain if it is in the bladder, or discharge if it is in the urethra.
Certain complications can occur after experiencing a UTI. These can include:
- Recurrent UTIs
- Permanent kidney damage from an untreated UTI
- Risk of pregnant women delivering premature babies or low birth weights
- In severe cases, sepsis
Women, those experiencing menopause, sexual activity, and certain birth control types can make UTIs more common.
UTIs are normally treated with antibiotics. Urine samples are analyzed to determine the type of bacteria, which can make deciding on the antibiotic more effective. Antibiotics should be taken as prescribed and completely. For typical, uncomplicated UTIs, antibiotics may be prescribed for a week. Additional medications can be prescribed to help with the pain. Symptoms typically subside within a few days.
Staying hydrated with water can help to dilute the urine and pass the infection. This can also help with more painful symptoms. There is no medical proof, but many believe cranberry juice can help treat and prevent UTIs. Be sure to avoid beverages that contain caffeine, alcohol, or citruses, as these can irritate your bladder.
The easiest way to prevent UTIs is by staying hydrated consistently. Urinating frequently can help to pass any bacteria that is in your system. Additionally, be sure to use the bathroom right after sex to flush bacteria and wipe from front to back to avoid transferring bacteria. Avoid using any irritating feminine products, and speak with your doctor about certain birth control methods.