If you are a woman chances are that you have had at least one urinary tract infection ( uti ).
You will know how uncomfortable and downright painful they can get. And you are not alone. The prevalence of utis is high. An average of 1-in-5 women will develop at least one uti in their lifetime. 53.5% of women in the US between the ages of 20-74 have had a uti in their lifetime. And utis are not restricted to women. Men also can suffer with them, but are much less likely to develop one than a woman. The prevalence of men in the US between the ages of 20-74 who have reported having a uti is about 13.9%.
The symptoms of utis are as follows: Consistent need to urinate, burning during urination, cloudy or bloody urine, urine with a strong odor, pain in the area of the bladder and in more serious cases, fever and chills. Some people, especially women, get,repeat utis that can last over a number of years. These can be hard to treat, especially since constant administration of antibiotics can make utis worse.
The causes of utis in women are multiple. The bladder or urinary tract can pick up tiny bacteria from feces. This can be the case if you don’t wipe correctly when going to the bathroom ( you should always wipe front to back ) or if there is back splash from the toilet water. If you have anal sex, you put yourself at a higher risk of a uti because the movement of bacteria from the anus to the vagina is more likely.One of the chief reasons that women are so prone to utis is because the vagina is so closely positioned to the anus. Bacteria can quickly move from the anus to the urethra and into the bladder. In serious cases, this will cause kidney infections which require immediate medical treatment.
Treatment for utis is normally quite straight forward. If you visit a doctor, he or she will prescribe a course of antibiotics. A painkiller may also be prescribed to ease the discomfort you feel in your bladder. However, in the case of chronic utis, a longer term treatment of antibiotics or bladder sanitizers that make it difficult for the bacteria to grow in the bladder may be needed. Your doctor may also order a cystoscopy in which a camera is inserted into your urethra and upwards to see if any abnormalities can be spotted.
There are some home remedies that work.
Firstly, drink lots of water. This helps flush out bacteria. And urinate as often as possible as this gets rid of the bacteria. You may try a urine alkalizer like bicarbonate, but be careful as too much can result in bicarbonate poisoning. Wear loose fitting cotton clothing and use a heating pad to ease the pain. Take lots of Vitamin C and avoid caffine, alcohol and nicotine. All these irritate the bladder walls and can worsen the infection. A study done in 2013 indicated that,despite what has been reported, no solid link could be found between cranberry juice and its effectiveness against utis.
So, if you are suffering with utis, especially chronically, it is advisable to seek professional medical care.