Top ways to prevent Urinary Tract Infections
But you blamed it on your partner then because you could have sworn that he or she had given you a sexually transmitted infection.
Only for you to find out later that infact it was a urinary tract infection (UTI). How embarrassing that must have been but you are not alone.
Urinary tract Infections are very common, affecting more than 150 million people a year, and just like you most people presenting with such symptoms automatically think it’s a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
Urinary tract infection is an infection that happens along your urinary tract or in the kidneys. It is caused by bacteria around your genitals that enters your urinary tract.
Some people can get a UTI after sex but that does not necessarily mean it’s an STI, although sex can be another way for bacteria to enter your body from the outside.
There are several bacterial strains that can cause a UTI, from Escherichia coli to Enterococcus faecalis. People that present with UTIs usually have classic symptoms; hence it is most times a clinical diagnosis made by the doctor.
Majority of people that present with such symptoms such as dysuria (painful urination), urinary frequency, and urinary urgency most likely have a urinary tract infection.
Your doctor might choose to do a Urine culture and/or Urinalysis to ascertain it.
Since it is bacterial infection, antibiotics such as Fluroquinolones taken for about 3-7 days are the drug of choice depending on the severity.
Sometimes your doctor would go ahead and start treating even before urine culture and urinalysis test results are out.
This is because we do not want the bacterial infection to progress to even more severe condition such as acute pyelonephritis which is kidney inflammation; hence treatment is started immediately.
If the patient has symptoms such as abdominal pain, back pain (due to inflamed and infected kidneys) in addition to above symptoms, then the UTI has most likely progressed to pyelonephritis.
In such scenarios, the patient would have to be admitted and given IV antibiotics till the patient starts feeling better then you can discharge and continue oral antibiotics for 2 weeks.
UTIs are common infections and are easily treated with antibiotics. In fact, approximately, 60 % of people will experience a UTI at least once in their lifetime.
It is very important to quickly identify and treat UTIs in order to avoid this severe condition known as pyelonephritis which is when your kidneys are infected and inflamed.
20-30% of patients with untreated UTI will develop pyelonephritis so if you are experiencing such symptoms, please visit your nearest medical centre or talk to your doctor.
Hygiene also plays a major role in preventing UTIs, here are some tips on how to remain UTI free.
#1 Rule – Always wipe from front to back after urinating. This will prevent germs from being transferred from anus to urinary opening.
Try to urinate at least 20-30 minutes after sexual intercourse. This will reduce the chances of transferring post coital bacteria into the urinary tract.
Avoid taking prolonged bubble baths, because the water maybe contaminated and therefore, prolonged stay may allow the bacteria to reach urinary opening.
Therefore, ladies, think twice before running yourself a hot bubble bath, take a warm shower instead.
Please don’t hold your urine for long periods at a time, holding your urine will only give the bacteria a chance to multiply.
Drink plenty of fluids especially water not soft drinks or juice concentrates.
The only juice you are permitted to drink is cranberry juice. Water and cranberry help to flush out bacteria from the urinary tract.
Avoid using scented vaginal products such as scented douches and sprays because they can cause UTIs and other infections.
Stay away from all these perfumed products designed for your intimate area, they are harmful. Avoid too much sugary foods as excess sugar decreases your body’s ability to fight infections.