If you’ve ever had a urinary tract infection (UTI) you likely remember the symptoms very well. A painful burning sensation, an urge to go, urinating small amounts, blood in the urine – these can all be symptoms of a UTI.
“Women are more likely than men to get a UTI because of the anatomy of their urinary tract,” said Advance ER physician Dr. Ron Bryce. “Research indicates that 40-60% of women will experience a UTI at some point during their lives, but most of the time they respond well to treatment with no complications.”
You may already know these things about UTIs, but what you don’t know could help you prevent a recurrence.
Here are 3 things you might not know about a UTI:
- UTIs are preventable
Since UTIs are usually caused by bacteria, there are some things that women can do to try to prevent them.
- Wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria from the anus to travel to the ureter.
- Urinate after sex to purge any bacteria from the ureter.
- Drink plenty of water and keep your bladder empty – don’t wait too long to go to the bathroom since this weakens the bladder muscles.
- Wear cotton underwear and loose-fitting slacks to prevent moisture build-up.
- Avoid douches, feminine deodorant sprays and tub baths. Also, diaphragms and some spermicides can be an irritant.
- Clean yourself carefully every day.
- UTIs can be caused by more than bacteria
While the vast majority of UTIs can be caused by introducing bacteria into the urethra, there is also a flatworm that causes schistosomiasis, or a disease that affects the urinary tract. This is more commonly found in international travel. If you have been traveling, you should be aware that your risks for a UTI may have increased.
- UTIs can go hand-in-hand with diabetes
People with diabetes may be prone to UTIs, especially if their diabetes is not well-managed. According to one study, diabetics were 60% more likely to have a UTI. Reasons for this may be: poor circulation of white blood cells, glucose levels in the blood stream and bladders that don’t empty completely. Along with the urinary tract infection, diabetics can have serious complications.
What should I do if I think I have a UTI?
If you’re experiencing any of the typical symptoms of a UTI, you need to see your medical provider. “The longer you wait for treatment, the worse things can get,” said Dr. Bryce. “And in some cases the infection spreads up to the kidneys and becomes very serious.”
How is a UTI diagnosed?
A clean urine sample will be taken at Advance ER and the in-house lab will test it for the presence of bacteria. Your physician will also examine you and ask you questions about how you feel.
What is the treatment for a UTI?
Most UTIs will be treated with an antibacterial medicine. If you have had any adverse reactions to any medicines, be sure to tell your physician. Urinary tract infections will usually respond to antibiotics within 1-2 days, though you will need to complete the course prescribed by your doctor. If you’ve been having chronic UTIs, your physician may give you advice, medication and home tests to help.
Advance ER is always open
Since UTIs can sneak up on you and symptoms can compound over a short period of time, it is often at an inconvenient time of day or night when you realize that you’re getting worse. Advance ER is open 24/7 every day of the year to help you with your urinary tract infections. “Since a UTI doesn’t get better over time, it is important to get help right away,” said Dr. Bryce. “If you’re in pain, if it burns or stings when you try to urinate, if the urine is cloudy or bloody, you should come in to Advance ER right away. Here we have board-certified physicians, labs and pharmaceuticals to take good care of you.”
Advance ER: the right care in the right place at the right time.
Advance ER is available in two locations for your convenience:
Advance ER – Galleria Area
Advance ER – Park Cities
Meet Dr. Ron Bryce:
Ron Bryce, M.D., is board-certified in family practice. Dr. Bryce received his medical degree from Oral Roberts University School of Medicine, Tulsa, OK. He completed his residency at John P. Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, TX.
Experienced with providing both emergency and routine care for patients of all ages, Dr. Bryce believes in keeping the lines of communication open with his patients and in treating them like family.
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