The pain and burning sensation associated with a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is something less than desired. Whether you’ve gotten one, or know a friend who has, you know how bothersome and uncomfortable they can be. But what causes a UTI? More importantly, how can you prevent getting one?
UTIs are caused by germs that enter the urethra and then the bladder. Though men can get UTIs, they are more common in women because the urethra is shorter and closer to the anus than in men. Women are more likely to get the infection after a sudden increase in sexual activity.
Symptoms can include pain or burning with urination, having to urinate often—even right after you just went—cloudy or bloody urine, cramps in the lower abdomen or back, fatigue, nausea and sometimes a fever. If you experience any of these symptoms, ask your doctor to take a urine sample and provide treatment if necessary. If left untreated, a UTI can worsen and spread to the kidneys. Symptoms usually disappear within 24-48 hours after treatment begins.
If you can’t get to a doctor right away, stock up on cranberry juice and cranberry pills. Tablets such as AZO Cranberry are available over the counter and act as a natural antibiotic. Drinking 100 percent cranberry juice when you don’t have a UTI can also act as a preventative measure.
UTIs may be prevented on some occasions. Take showers instead of baths, avoid bath oils, urinate before and after sexual activity, avoid tight-fitting pants and wear cotton-cloth underwear. Drinking a lot of fluids daily is also helpful, while limiting alcohol and caffeine intake as these fluids can irritate the bladder.
This is a post from the Feather archives. We lost all of our old content, so we’ll be reposting some of our favorite stories.