PROTECT YOURSELF FROM UTI
If you have a urinary tract infection (UTI)
, you’re not alone. One out of five women will experience a urinary tract infection at least once in her life. Many women who have had a UTI will develop recurring urinary tract infections.
You may have heard that urinary tract infections affect women more often than men. It’s true — and it has to do with biology. A woman’s urethra is much shorter than a man’s, making it easier for bacteria to get into the bladder. In addition, a woman’s urethra is closer to her anus than a man’s is. This makes it easier for bacteria to spread and cause an infection.
What Are Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)?
UTIs are infections in the urinary system, including the bladder, ureters and urethra. Even though UTIs are very common, they should be taken seriously. Severe cases of urinary tract infections, left untreated, may cause kidney infection.
Symptoms of a UTI
- Burning pain during urination
- An urge to urinate when your bladder is nearly empty
- Feeling like you need to urinate all the time, especially at night
- Difficulty controlling when you urinate
- Lower abdominal pain or back pain
- Blood and/or pus in your urine
What Causes UTIs?
It is pretty easy to get a urinary tract infection (UTI). Anything that brings bacteria in contact with the vulva or urethra can cause a UTI. This can happen when tiny bits of faeces enter the urethra or even when toilet water back splashes.
UTIs can also be caused by STDs. When a UTI is caused by an STD, the infection is most often only in the urethra — not the bladder.
If you are not sure how you got UTI, don’t worry because bacteria can so easily find its way into the urethra, it’s very common for women to have UTIs without knowing the cause of the infection.
Is There a Treatment for UTIs?
Yes. A urinary tract infection is easy to treat. Treatment includes:
Can I Prevent UTIs?
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
The good news is you may be able to prevent UTIs. Try these simple tips to prevent getting a urinary tract infection:
- Drink water when you are thirsty.
- Urinate as soon as you feel the urge. Don’t hold it.
- Keep your vulva clean and dry.
- Drink unsweetened cranberry juice or take cranberry supplements.
- Urinate immediately before and after sex.
- Use latex or condoms during vaginal intercourse.
- If you are susceptible to frequent UTIs, you may want to talk to your health care provider to see if there are any other reasons for the infections. Your provider may be able to provide antibiotics to help prevent a recurring infection.