What is a Urinary Tract Infection?
A urinary tract infection, commonly known as a UTI, is most often a bacterial infection in any part of the urinary system including kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Most UTIs involve the bladder and are among the most common infections in people. Women are usually at greater risk of developing a urinary tract infection, but they can occur in men and children as well. If you think you or your child may have a UTI, it is important to seek medical attention. The sooner you receive treatment for a UTI, the less chance it will spread to your kidneys, which can have more serious consequences.
Symptoms of a Urinary Tract Infection
- Burning with urination
- Strong, constant urge to urinate
- Blood in the urine
- Back pain
- Frequent urination
- Odor to urine
How to Prevent a Urinary Tract Infection
Stay Hydrated: Drinking a minimum of eight cups of water helps you flush out your urinary tract. Be sure to drink plenty of water daily to avoid an increased risk of developing a UTI.
Choose a Shower Over a Bath: Taking a bath every once in a while can be relaxing. However, taking a shower prevents bacteria from entering the urethra, which can cause a UTI.
Avoid Scented Hygiene Products: Scented feminine hygiene products can irritate the urethra. Instead of choosing a scented tampon or feminine hygiene spray, opt for an unscented product to decrease the risk of irritation.
Don’t Hold It In: When you need to urinate, do it. Women who hold in urine are more likely to develop a UTI because bacteria is more likely to develop the longer you hold it in.
Take Vitamin C Supplements: Vitamin C can help neutralize the bacteria in urine, which may reduce the chance of getting a UTI. In addition to taking vitamin C supplements, drinking cranberry juice is also helpful in both lowering the chance of getting a UTI and speeding up recovery from a UTI.
Treatment for Urinary Tract Infections
If you are experiencing urinary tract infection symptoms, our physicians will ask for a urine sample for analysis. The urinalysis will evaluate if there is bacteria in your urine. The doctor will be able to diagnose and treat your infection. A UTI is usually treated with a course of oral antibiotics, and you can expect a full recovery.