Heat pad for uti: What to Do for a Bladder Infection
What to Do for a Bladder Infection
The pain and burning of a urinary tract infection (UTI, also called a bladder infection) can feel almost unbearable. Fortunately, most UTIs can be treated with antibiotics that relieve symptoms within a couple of days. While you wait for the prescription medication to kick in, you can try bladder infection treatment at home. Find out what works (and what’s an urban myth) when it comes to treatment of UTI.
How Bladder Infections Occur
Most UTIs occur when bacteria from fecal material (stool) comes in contact with the opening of the urethra—the tube that drains urine from your bladder. These bacteria, such as E. coli, move into the urethra and grow into a colony that irritates urethral tissue and causes inflammation and swelling. As urine passes out of the body, over the irritated tissues, pain and burning occur.
Left untreated, these bacteria can migrate into the bladder itself and even into the kidneys, causing a serious infection. And fecal bacteria aren’t the only things that can cause a bladder infection.
Other UTI causes include:
Fungi, including Candida—the same type that causes vaginal yeast infections
Long-term urinary catheter use
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like trichomoniasis, a parasite that can invade the urethra
Stones in the urinary tract (urethritis), especially in men
Underlying medical issues like prostatitis
Viruses, including herpes (herpes simplex virus type II)
Because many conditions and diseases can cause a UTI, you should always get a professional diagnosis before you try treating it at home.
Bladder Infection Diagnosis and Medical Treatment
Diagnosing a UTI usually involves a simple urine test. Your doctor or nurse will check your urine for signs of bacteria. However, if your urine tests clear of bacteria, then your healthcare provider will move on to other diagnostic tests that may include lab work or imaging studies.
Since the vast majority of bladder infections are caused by bacteria, you’ll likely receive a prescription antibiotic to clear the bacteria from your urinary tract. These drugs are precisely calibrated to work over a defined time frame, so it’s important you take all of the medication exactly as prescribed—even if your symptoms resolve. If you don’t take all the medicine, you run the risk of leaving pathogenic bacteria in your system. You might relieve your symptoms without actually destroying all the bacteria. In that case, your symptoms will return quickly.
Bladder Infection Home Treatments
Antibiotics should start providing symptom relief within 48 hours, but in the meantime, you can try a bladder infection natural remedy like flushing, over-the-counter medications, and comfort measures. These strategies should help alleviate bladder infection symptoms quickly.
Applying Heat to the Lower Abdomen
Applying a heating pad or hot water bottle to the bladder area may provide some relief from discomfort. Be careful to keep a protective towel between your skin and the heating pad or hot water bottle to avoid burning your skin. Try applying mild heat to the lower abdomen for 20 minutes at a time. Taking a warm shower or soaking in a hot bath may also relax muscles and provide pain relief.
Flushing the Urinary Tract
Drink plenty of water to help the antibiotics work and to literally flush bacteria out of your urinary tract. Drinking lots of water will cause you to urinate more frequently, which may feel uncomfortable, but it ultimately will soothe irritated internal tissues. Do not drink excessive quantities (a gallon or more) of water over a short time span, because this can lead to water intoxication, or a dangerous lowering of electrolyte levels in your body.
Most people can safely take over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol to ease the discomfort of a bladder infection. In addition, you can try a product that contains the drug phenazopyridine. This medication is a dye that exerts an anesthetic effect on the lining of the urinary tract. It relieves UTI symptoms like painful urination and urinary urgency. Phenazopyridine will turn the color of your urine dark orange or red and may stain undergarments. Over-the-counter pain relievers and phenazopyridine should be safe to take with most antibiotics, but consult your pharmacist to be sure.
One popular bladder infection treatment that probably doesn’t help? Cranberry juice. Despite showing promise in early research studies, cranberry juice since has been deemed ineffective for curing UTIs or even relieving symptoms. In fact, the sugars contained in cranberry juice may actually feed existing bacteria in the urinary tract. It’s an urban myth that drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry capsules can ‘cure’ a UTI. Instead, you should seek medical care promptly so the infection doesn’t migrate to your kidneys and cause serious complications.
Bladder infections may be uncomfortable, but with early diagnosis and appropriate home care you can get on your way to feeling normal again within a day or two.
The Link Between UTIs and Sex: Causes and How to Prevent Them
What May Cause a UTI After Sex?
The urethra is the tube through which urine exits the body from the bladder. In women, this tube is short, making it quicker and easier for bacteria to enter the opening and infiltrate the bladder.
The bacteria that cause a UTI live in the area around the anus, Dr. Yavagal says. Sex can shift bacteria toward the front. From there, it’s just a short hop up the urethra into the bladder, where it can multiply and cause a UTI.
RELATED: Everything You Need to Know About Sex Toy Care and Cleanliness
What Are the Symptoms of a UTI?
Not surprisingly, some of the symptoms of a UTI involve the frequency and quality of pee. Women suffering from a UTI, whether they get the infection from sex or other ways, can have a strong urge to urinate, have cloudy or red or pink urine, and may experience pain or burning during urination.
You might also get fever, shaking, or chills, and even pain in your upper back, your side, or the pelvic region.
Why Are Some People Prone to Getting a UTI Every Time They Have Sex?
You probably don’t get a UTI every time you have sex. But it can feel that way if you come down with UTIs often.
Sex definitely can trigger the condition. In fact, urinary tract infections have been nicknamed “honeymoon cystitis” — cystitis is another name for an infection of the bladder — because frequent intercourse can lead to the development of a UTI.
Other reasons you might get recurrent UTIs are: having a new partner, having a family history of them, living with diabetes or pelvic organ prolapse, transitioning to menopause (the increased dryness that results when estrogen levels drop can increase your odds), or having difficulty fully emptying your bladder, Yavagal says.
Men get UTIs, but much less frequently than women.
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How to Prevent UTIs When You’re Sexually Active
You don’t have to stop having sex to prevent UTIs. Here are some steps you can take to minimize bacteria buildup and reduce your risk of getting UTIs from sex.
- Urinate before sex and promptly after. This will flush your system and keep bacteria that has entered your urinary tract from gaining a foothold.
- Clean your genital and anal areas (wiping front to back only) before and after sex.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, then have an extra glass after intercourse. This will help rid your urinary tract of unwanted bacteria.
- Use a vaginal lubricant. Friction during sex can irritate the urethra.
- Consider a new form of birth control. If you’re prone to UTIs, you may want to avoid using a diaphragm or spermicide as your form of pregnancy prevention. These can introduce bacteria into the area and can kill off healthy bacteria that keep the problem germs in check.
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Other Ways to Minimize Your Chances of Getting a UTI
Yavagal also recommends these steps to her patients who are prone to the condition.
- Don’t use douches, sprays, or powders in the genital area. “There are protective bacteria in the vagina that we don’t want to wash away,” she says.
- Clean your anus well after having a bowel movement. Use a separate sheet of toilet paper (or even a wet wipe) to clean the front and the back.
- Consider drugstore supplements. Yavagal especially likes concentrated cranberry pills, which are thought to create an acidic environment that minimizes the colonization of the wrong bacteria; probiotics; and d-mannose, which tiny pilot studies have linked to improvements in UTIs.
- Talk to your doctor about whether you need a prescription for antibiotics after you have sex.
How Are UTIs Treated?
Your doctor will typically prescribe an oral antibiotic to rid you of the UTI.
Yavagal says if you come down with a UTI frequently, ask your doctor to do a culture one time to be sure this is actually what you have. A chronic bladder condition known as interstitial cystitis (IC) is sometimes mistaken for a UTI, she says. You should be especially suspicious if the antibiotics you have taken for your UTIs in the past have not sufficiently helped.
Can You Have Sex if You Have a UTI?
In general, it is recommended that you avoid having intercourse when you have an active urinary tract infection. When you get an antibiotic prescription, ask your doctor when the right time to resume sexual activity would be. Of course, you can still kiss and have other intimate and emotional connections.
Once you have completed a course of antibiotics and the UTI has cleared away, you should be able to resume sexual activity. But be sure to take the careful steps necessary to prevent the sex from putting you on the road to yet another one.
Can Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar Help Get Rid of UTIs?
Many women have experienced a urinary tract infection more than once. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common. They happen when bacteria from the skin or rectum enter the urethra — the tube that allows urine to leave the body — and infect the urinary tract. Bladder infections are the most common type of UTI, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
RELATED: 8 Home Remedies for Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Symptoms
Both men and women can get a UTI, but they are especially prevalent among women. About 40 to 60 percent of women will experience a UTI in their lifetime, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
Natural remedies, including apple cider vinegar (ACV), are often touted for their ability to treat UTIs. Apple cider vinegar is a sour, acidic substance made from fermented apples and water. It’s often used to flavor foods or as an ingredient in salad dressings.
Vinegar has been used for centuries to clean and disinfect. It’s also been used as a food preservative, because of its ability to keep bacteria from spoiling food.
RELATED: The Link Between UTIs and Sex: Causes and How to Prevent Them
Fact or Myth: Can UTIs Be Treated With Apple Cider Vinegar?
Don’t believe the hype you may have heard regarding ACV for UTIs. While some studies, such as one published in January 2018 in Scientific Reports, have suggested that apple cider vinegar has some antibacterial and antifungal properties, there is no scientific or medical evidence that drinking apple cider vinegar cures UTIs. In general, most experts do not think that the things we eat or drink play a significant role in treating or curing UTIs, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
Related: Urinary Tract Infections During Pregnancy: Symptoms, Treatment, and Common Questions
Sign and Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infections or UTIs
The most common UTI symptom is pain or burning during urination.
According to the CDC, other symptoms of a UTI or bladder infection may include:
Related: 7 Surprising Risk Factors For Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
Is Apple Cider Vinegar Safe to Drink?
Apple cider vinegar is safe to drink in small amounts, though drinking apple cider vinegar is not likely to cure a UTI or other urinary tract problems.
Most experts recommend diluting no more than 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in water before drinking. That’s because apple cider vinegar is a strong acid and could irritate the throat if consumed frequently or in large amounts, notes the Mayo Clinic. Drinking undiluted apple cider vinegar may erode tooth enamel, the hard outer surface that protects teeth from decay, warns the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
Vinegar also may interact with certain medicines, including diuretics, laxatives, or insulin. It’s best to check with a doctor before drinking apple cider vinegar for a UTI.
Should You Douche With Apple Cider Vinegar?
No, douching with apple cider vinegar is not recommended.
Douching is rinsing out the inside of the vagina with water or a mixture of fluids. Douches sold in stores may contained prepackaged mixes of water and vinegar. However, there is no scientific evidence that douching with apple cider vinegar cures UTIs.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends against douching for any reason, including to cure UTIs.
Douching can change the natural acidity of a healthy vagina, which may lead to an overgrowth of harmful bacteria. This can lead to yeast infections or other infections of the vagina, uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries, notes the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
The laboratory study that was published in Scientific Reports showed that undiluted apple cider vinegar could kill microbes responsible for vaginal yeast infections in a petri dish. However, applying apple cider vinegar directly to the skin may not be safe and could even result in a chemical burn, suggested research published in Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
Proven Treatments and Therapies for Urinary Tract Infection
While apple cider vinegar has not been shown to cure UTIs, there are proven UTI treatments that can help to rid the body of infection and alleviate uncomfortable symptoms.
- Antibiotics are the gold standard treatment for UTIs. These drugs kill the bacteria that are causing the infection. Your doctor can prescribe antibiotics for a UTI. Pain and the frequent urge to urinate typically begin to go away after a few antibiotic doses, though it’s important to finish the entire course of treatment as prescribed by your healthcare provider. UTIs that aren’t fully treated can return more easily.
- Other drugs, such as Pyridium (phenazopyridine), may be prescribed to help ease painful urinary symptoms before the antibiotics have time to work.
- Drink a lot of water and urinate often. Drinking at least six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day helps ensure you’ll urinate often, which allows harmful bacteria to be flushed from your urinary tract. Make sure you urinate as soon as you feel the urge; bacteria can grow when urine stays in the bladder too long, says the Mayo Clinic.
- Place a heating pad on your back or abdomen to help alleviate pain from a UTI or bladder infection.
Prevent UTIs and Other Urinary Tract Problems
Making some changes to your daily routine may help prevent future UTIs:
- Drink six to eight glasses of water each day.
- Urinate when you feel the urge to go.
- Urinate shortly after having sex to flush away bacteria that may have entered the urinary track during sex.
- Always wipe front to back after urinating or having a bowel movement.
- Wear cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothing.
- Certain forms of birth control, including diaphragms, spermicide, and unlubricated condoms, can increase UTI or bladder infection risk. The NIH, instead, recommends using condoms with a nonspermicidal lubricant or lubricated condoms.
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Urinary Tract Infections in Teens and Adults | CS Mott Children’s Hospital
Is this topic for you?
This topic is about urinary tract infections in teens and adults. For information about infections in babies and young children, see the topic Urinary Tract Infections in Children.
What is a urinary tract infection?
Your urinary tract is the system that makes urine and carries it out of your body. It includes your bladder and kidneys and the tubes that connect them. When germs get into this system, they can cause an infection.
Most urinary tract infections (UTIs) are bladder infections. A bladder infection usually is not serious if it is treated right away. If you do not take care of a bladder infection, it can spread to your kidneys. A kidney infection is serious and can cause permanent damage.
What causes urinary tract infections?
Usually, germs get into your system through your urethra, the tube that carries urine from your bladder to the outside of your body. The germs that usually cause these infections live in your large intestine and are found in your stool. If these germs get inside your urethra, they can travel up into your bladder and kidneys and cause an infection.
Women tend to get more bladder infections than men. This is probably because women have shorter urethras, so it is easier for the germs to move up to their bladders. Having sex can make it easier for germs to get into a woman’s urethra.
You may be more likely to get an infection if you have diabetes or you are pregnant. The chance that you will get a bladder infection is higher if you have any problem that blocks the flow of urine from your bladder. Examples include having kidney stones or an enlarged prostate gland.
For reasons that are not well understood, some women get bladder infections again and again.
What are the symptoms?
You may have an infection if you have any of these symptoms:
- You feel pain or burning when you urinate.
- You feel like you have to urinate often, but not much urine comes out when you do.
- You have pain in your lower belly.
- Your urine is cloudy, looks pink or red, or smells bad.
- You have pain on one side of your back under your ribs. This is where your kidneys are.
- You have fever and chills.
- You have nausea and vomiting.
Call your doctor right away if you think you have an infection and:
- You have a fever, nausea and vomiting, or pain in one side of your back under your ribs.
- You have diabetes, kidney problems, or a weak immune system.
- You are older than 65.
- You are pregnant.
How are urinary tract infections diagnosed?
Your doctor will ask for a sample of your urine. It is tested to see if it has germs that cause bladder infections.
If you have infections often, you may need extra testing to find out why.
How are they treated?
Antibiotics prescribed by your doctor will usually cure a bladder infection. It may help to drink lots of water and other fluids and to urinate often, emptying your bladder each time.
For urinary symptoms such as pain or burning, there is a medicine you can buy without a prescription. Phenazopyridine (such as Azo-Gesic, Azo-Standard, and Uristat) can relieve these symptoms. But phenazopyridine doesn’t treat the infection, so you’ll still need an antibiotic.
If your doctor prescribes antibiotics, take the pills exactly as you are told. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to finish taking them all so that you do not get sick again.
Can urinary tract infections be prevented?
You may be able to help prevent these infections.
- Take time to empty your bladder as much as possible when you urinate.
- If you are a sexually active woman, make it a point to urinate shortly after having sex.
- If you are a woman past menopause who is having repeated UTIs, using vaginal estrogen may help.
Bacteria that enter the urethra and travel up the urinary tract are the usual cause of urinary tract infections (UTIs). Bacteria that normally live in the large intestine and are present in feces (stool) are the most common source of infection. Sexual intercourse may move bacteria into the urinary tract, especially in women. Catheters, which are small, flexible tubes inserted into the bladder to allow urine to drain, are a common source of bacterial infection in people who are in hospitals or who live in long-term care facilities.
Sometimes bacteria traveling through the blood or lymph system cause kidney or bladder infections.
Kidney stones, an enlarged prostate in men, and structural problems in the urinary tract can contribute to UTIs by limiting the body’s ability to eliminate urine completely.
Women who have repeated UTIs may have inherited genes that make them more likely to get these infections.
Symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI) may include:
- Pain or burning when you urinate.
- An urge to urinate frequently but usually passing only small amounts of urine.
- Pain in the lower belly.
- Urine that looks cloudy, is pink or red, or smells bad.
- Pain in the flank, which is felt just below the rib cage and above the waist on one or both sides of the back.
- Fever and chills.
- Nausea and vomiting.
Some people have bacteria in their urinary tract without having any symptoms. This is called asymptomatic bacteriuria. Asymptomatic bacteriuria may lead to infections that cause symptoms, but in many cases it does not. It usually goes away without treatment.
Several other conditions, such as vaginal infections or irritable bladder, cause symptoms similar to those of a UTI. Your doctor may evaluate your health for one or more of these if you have urinary symptoms, depending on your medical history and how well you respond to treatment for a UTI.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) typically occur when bacteria from the rectal area enter through the urethra and travel up the urinary tract to the bladder or kidneys.
Typically, UTIs cause urinary symptoms, such as pain or burning during urination. Some mild bladder infections may go away on their own within a couple of days. Most UTIs clear up quickly with antibiotics. The amount of time required to cure the infection and the need for urine tests will vary with the location (bladder or kidneys), frequency, and seriousness of the infection. Kidney infections and UTIs that are complicated by other factors require longer treatment.
Complications of UTIs are not common but do occur. Serious complications can include permanent kidney damage and widespread infection (sepsis), which can be life-threatening. The risk is greater if the infection is not treated or if the infection does not respond to antibiotics.
Some people have many UTIs. They are often new infections (recurrent UTIs), but they can also be the same infection coming back (a relapse). A rapid relapse usually means that treatment failed or there is another problem affecting the urinary tract (not just the infection).
UTIs in women
UTIs are most common in young to middle-aged women. They occur more often in women than in men because:
- The rectum is closer to the urine outlet (urethra) in women than in men. This allows bacteria present in stool to enter the urinary tract more easily.
- The urethra is shorter in women than in men, which allows bacteria to reach the bladder more easily.
- In women, sexual intercourse can push bacteria into the urethra.
- The fluid produced by a man’s prostate gland helps kill bacteria in his urinary tract.
Some women have an ongoing problem with UTIs. If a woman has more than two bladder infections in 6 months or more than three infections in a year, she is said to have recurrent UTIs. Recurrent UTIs usually get better with extended antibiotic treatment. But infection may recur as soon as the woman stops taking antibiotics. For this reason, doctors usually recommend preventive antibiotics.
UTIs in men
Most urinary tract infections in men are caused by bacteria.
UTIs in older men are more often related to prostate problems. This can make them more difficult to treat. Having an enlarged prostate, which is common in older men, can limit the body’s ability to pass urine. Repeated UTIs may indicate prostatitis, epididymitis, or another urinary tract problem.
For more information, see:
What Increases Your Risk
Risk factors in women
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are most common in young to middle-aged sexually active women. Things that increase a woman’s risk of getting UTIs include:
- Sexual activity, which pushes bacteria into the urethra. Sexual activity with the use of a diaphragm and spermicide raises the risk.
- Previous UTIs.
- Lack of estrogen, which allows bacteria that can cause UTIs to grow more easily in the vagina or urethra. Women who have gone through menopause are at increased risk for UTIs.
Risk factors in men
Things that increase a man’s risk of UTIs include:
- Problems with the prostate gland. Men become increasingly prone to UTIs as they get older because of prostate problems, such as enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia) and prostatitis.
- An uncircumcised penis.
- Anal intercourse.
- Unprotected sex with a woman who has a vaginal infection.
- HIV infection.
Risk factors in both women and men
Certain risk factors apply to both women and men. These include:
- Having a catheter in place. Bacteria can enter the catheter and start an infection. Most at risk are older adults who are in hospitals or who live in long-term care facilities.
- Kidney stones and other obstructions in the urinary tract. These may block the flow of urine, raising the risk of bacterial infection.
- Diabetes. People with diabetes are at greater risk for UTIs because their immune systems are weakened. Also, long-term high blood sugar can damage the kidneys’ filtering system (diabetic nephropathy).
- Structural problems of the urinary tract. These may be present at birth or develop later in life.
When should you call your doctor?
Call your doctor immediately if painful urination or other symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI) occur with:
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Fever and chills.
- Pain in the flank, which is felt just below the rib cage and above the waist on one or both sides of the back, or lower belly pain.
Call your doctor immediately if you are pregnant and have symptoms of a UTI (listed above).
Call a doctor if you:
- Have had UTI symptoms previously and have those symptoms again.
- Have minor symptoms of a UTI that do not clear up in 1 to 2 days, such as pain or burning when you urinate, foul-smelling urine, or the urge to urinate frequently while passing only small amounts of urine.
- Notice blood or pus in your urine.
- Have symptoms of a UTI and you have diabetes.
- Have been taking antibiotics for a UTI but your symptoms do not improve or they come back (recur) after improving temporarily.
Watchful waiting is a wait-and-see approach. If you get better on your own, you won’t need treatment. If you get worse, you and your doctor will decide what to do next.
In adults, home treatment for minor urinary tract infections (UTIs) often resolves the problem. Home treatment includes drinking plenty of water and urinating often, emptying the bladder each time.
- Try home treatment for 1 to 2 days if your symptoms are minor.
- If your symptoms last longer than 1 to 2 days or are severe, seek medical help.
Watchful waiting is not appropriate if you:
Who to see
The following health professionals can treat urinary tract infections (UTIs):
Exams and Tests
If you have symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI), your first evaluation by a doctor will likely include:
Your doctor may order a urine culture to confirm the diagnosis of a suspected UTI. But if your doctor thinks you have a UTI, he or she may have you start taking antibiotics right away without waiting for the results of your test.
Tests used less frequently
If the infection does not respond to treatment with antibiotics or recurs rapidly, if the infection may be complicated by other factors, or, in some cases, if the kidneys are infected, your doctor may order other tests to:
- Look for the cause of recurrent or chronic infections.
- Check for other kidney problems.
- Diagnose structural problems of the urinary tract that might make you more likely to get UTIs.
- Find out whether the infection is caused by unusual bacteria.
- Find out whether you have an impaired immune system.
If you get UTIs often, your doctor may write you a standing prescription for antibiotics that you can fill without a doctor’s appointment. Then when you first have symptoms of a UTI, you can start taking medicine right away. You may want to use a home test for UTI to make sure you have an infection before you start antibiotics.
Antibiotics can treat most urinary tract infections (UTIs) successfully. The goals of treatment for UTIs are to relieve symptoms, eliminate the infection and prevent recurrence, and prevent unlikely but serious complications such as kidney damage and sepsis. In pregnant women, treatment protects the woman and the fetus.
Treatment for bladder infections is usually a combination of antibiotics and home treatment. Home treatment includes drinking a lot of water and fluids and urinating frequently, emptying your bladder each time. More testing is not needed if your symptoms improve.
Oral antibiotics usually can treat kidney infections (pyelonephritis). But you may need a brief hospital stay and a short course of intravenous (IV) antibiotics if you are too ill or nauseated to take medicine by mouth (oral medicine). Kidney infections tend to make people more severely ill than bladder infections.
You may need more tests before and after treatment if you:
- Are pregnant.
- Are older than 65.
- Have diabetes or an impaired immune system.
- Are a man.
If you have a severe kidney infection, or if a bladder or kidney infection is complicated by other factors, you may need hospital care.
Treatment if the condition gets worse or recurs
If your urinary tract infection (UTI) does not improve after treatment with antibiotics, you will need further evaluation and additional antibiotic treatment.
If the infection spreads and affects your kidney function or causes widespread infection (sepsis), you will need hospital care. These complications are not common. And they rarely occur in people who are otherwise healthy.
A new infection, rather than a relapse of the same infection, usually is the cause of a UTI that keeps coming back (recurs).
- Women with recurrent bladder infections may be treated with preventive antibiotic therapy.
- Recurrent UTIs in men are usually a sign of prostate infection (prostatitis). Chronic prostatitis can be hard to treat. For more information, see the topic Prostatitis. Follow-up checkups are usually needed for men who have UTIs and are always needed if the infection recurs.
You can take steps to prevent new or relapsing urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Prevention tips for men and women
- Drinking more water and other liquids may help.
- When you urinate, take time to empty your bladder as much as possible.
Prevention tips for women
- Urinate immediately after sexual intercourse. This is the best protection women have against UTIs, because it helps prevent bacteria from moving into the urethra.
- Avoid using condoms coated with spermicide or a diaphragm for birth control if your doctor believes they are causing you to get UTIs.
- Change sanitary napkins often.
- Wipe from front to back after using the toilet to avoid spreading bacteria from your anus to your urinary tract.
- Some women have found cranberry juice to be helpful, although the evidence from studies isn’t strong.
- If you get UTIs often, ask your doctor about taking antibiotics right after sexual intercourse to prevent recurrent UTIs.
- Post-menopausal women may want to ask their doctors about using vaginal estrogen to prevent recurrent UTIs.
Prevention tip for men
Keep the tip of your penis clean, especially if you are uncircumcised. The foreskin can trap bacteria, which can then get into the urinary tract and cause infection.
Some people who have had a UTI in the past may be able to avoid getting another infection by taking action at the first sign of any pain or burning with urination. Here are some tips:
- Drink lots of water, especially during the first 24 hours after your symptoms appear. This will help make the urine less concentrated and wash out the infection-causing bacteria. This may alter some of your body’s normal defense mechanisms. But most doctors recommend drinking a lot of fluids when you have a UTI.
- Urinate frequently and completely, to empty your bladder each time.
But these steps won’t cure a UTI, so don’t delay getting medical treatment and starting on an antibiotic if you have an infection.
To relieve pain, take a hot bath or lay a heating pad over your genital area. Never go to sleep with a heating pad in place.
Self-treatment of recurrent UTIs
If you are a woman who has frequent uncomplicated UTIs, your doctor may write a standing prescription for antibiotics to take if you notice symptoms of a UTI. If you and your doctor agree to follow this approach and you start to have symptoms that you are certain are caused by a UTI, follow your doctor’s instructions for taking the medicine and for watching your symptoms. Be sure to tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if you start having UTIs more often than in the past.
Oral antibiotics can treat most bladder infections and uncomplicated kidney infections successfully. In many cases, if the symptoms and urinalysis suggest a urinary tract infection (UTI), you will start taking antibiotics without waiting for the results of a urine culture.
The number of days your doctor will have you take antibiotics depends on your infection and the type of antibiotic medicine.
Antibiotics for recurrent infections
Doctors sometimes advise that women with repeat infections use preventive antibiotic therapy. This may include taking a small dose of antibiotics daily or on alternate days, taking antibiotics after sexual intercourse (since sex often triggers UTIs in women with recurrent infections), or taking antibiotics only when you develop symptoms. Talk with your doctor about which treatment strategy is right for you.
Medicines used to treat UTIs include:
- Antibiotics to cure the infection. Antibiotics used for UTIs include sulfonamides with trimethoprim (such as Bactrim).
- Phenazopyridine (such as Uristat) to treat the pain and burning of a UTI. Uristat is an example of phenazopyridine you can buy without a prescription.
- Other nonprescription medicines for pain. These include acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (for example, Advil) and naproxen (for example, Aleve).
Medicines used to prevent recurrent UTIs include:
- Antibiotics, including sulfonamides with trimethoprim (such as Bactrim).
- Methenamine (such as Hiprex).
- Vaginal estrogen (such as Estrace, Estring, or Vagifem) for women who have been through menopause.
Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label. Be sure to tell your doctor if you are or think you may be pregnant. Some of these medicines are not safe to use if you are pregnant.
What to think about
These medicines are often prescribed in a less costly generic form rather than under a brand name. A pharmacist might also decide to give you a generic instead of a brand name medicine unless the prescription says “no generic. “
Take all of the antibiotics your doctor has prescribed. Most people begin to feel better soon after they begin the medicine. But if you stop taking the medicine as soon as you feel better, the infection may return. And not taking the full course of antibiotics encourages the development of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. This not only makes antibiotics less effective but also makes bacterial infections harder to treat.
Current as of:
June 29, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson MD – Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD – Family Medicine
Elizabeth T. Russo MD – Internal Medicine
Avery L. Seifert MD – Urology
UTI Treatment: 5 Things To Know
If you’ve ever had a urinary tract infection (UTI) – the second most common type of bacterial infection – you know how uncomfortable it can be. The relentless need to pee and the burning sensation when you do prompt you to consider the fastest option for relief.
While contacting your doctor might be your first inclination, did you know there are other convenient options – like visiting an urgent care center for same-day diagnosis and treatment, saving you time and hassle? Plus, understanding the root cause of infection and knowing how best to prevent it can help you avoid reoccurrences. Because, let’s face it, no one wants a UTI.
1. Women are 10x more likely to get a UTI than men
When it comes to developing a urinary tract infection, anatomy isn’t in a woman’s favor. Her urethra (the tube urine is released from) is shorter than a man’s, making it easier for bacteria to travel up to the bladder and multiply. That doesn’t mean that men don’t suffer from UTIs though. They do, especially as they age, but not at the same rate as women.
Statistics from the National Kidney Foundation show that 1 in 5 women will have at least one UTI in her lifetime. And unfortunately, once you get one, you’re more inclined to have another. Some women are also more prone to infection because of pregnancy and both perimenopause and menopause.
2. Sex may cause UTIs, but it’s not the only culprit
The urinary tract is designed to keep bacterial microorganisms out, but it’s not foolproof. Anything that upsets the natural flora of the urinary tract can lead to a urinary tract infection. Sex especially puts a woman at risk for developing a UTI, since during intercourse the urethra comes into contact with bacteria from the genital area or anus that can move into the urinary tract. In fact, almost 80% of premenopausal women with an infection have had sex within the previous 24 hours.
But there are other pre-existing conditions, activities, and products that can lead to a UTI. Some of the most common causes include:
- Dehydration –Drinking enough water, especially during hot summer months, can make the difference between flushing out the bacteria that can cause a UTI or not.
- Holding It – If you hold your urine for 6 hours or more, you could be putting yourself at greater risk for bacteria overgrowing in the bladder.
- Constipation or Diarrhea – It’s often difficult to empty your bladder completely when you’re constipated, which means bacteria have time to grow and cause an infection. Conversely, bacteria from loose stool that’s excreted can also easily make its way into your urethra.
- Kidney Stones – Because they can block your urinary tract and hold urine in, kidney stones give bacteria time to grow and can lead to a UTI.
- Diabetes – For some people with uncontrolled diabetes, the bladder doesn’t empty as well as it should and can become a breeding ground for bacteria. In addition, high blood glucose levels can increase the odds of a UTI.
- Hygiene Products – Since bacteria are more prone to grow in moist environments, it’s important to make sure you change your pad or tampon frequently when you have your period.
- Birth Control – Hormone shifts from switching your birth control can lead to a fluctuation of the normal bacteria in your vagina, increasing your likelihood for a UTI. The use of diaphragms and spermicide can also make you more susceptible to an infection.
Other reasons you’re likely to develop a UTI involve urinary tract abnormalities, a spinal cord injury, nerve damage around the bladder, and having a shorter urethra than normal. Getting a urinalysis to examine the urine for the number of healthy red blood cells and healthy white blood cells, as opposed to bacteria counts in your urine, can help further determine a root cause of recurring UTIs.
3. Irritation down there doesn’t necessarily mean a UTI
You’re likely to remember the symptoms of a UTI if you’ve experienced one. You have a frequent urge to pee – which often results in a minimal amount of urine – and any urine that is released causes a painful, burning sensation. You could also have discolored or foul smelling urine, or pressure in your lower abdomen, back or sides below your ribs. In the elderly, confusion can be the main symptom of a UTI. Such discomfort, however, may not indicate a urinary tract infection.
Other diseases present similarly to a UTI. For example, yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis lead to vaginal itchiness, irregular discharge or blood in the urine (which is rare for a UTI to cause). At the onset, symptoms for sexually transmitted diseases can also be confused with those of UTIs. That’s why it’s important you seek professional medical advice when you start having symptoms you think are a urinary tract infection. If you do have a UTI, and you wait too long to receive treatment, it could lead to a more serious kidney and lower urinary tract infections.
4. You can visit an urgent care center for UTI treatment
It’s likely you trust your OB/GYN or primary care physician to help determine the best course of treatment when ailments arise. But demands for medical care can make it difficult for you to get in to see you doctor, not to mention if you develop symptoms for a urinary tract infection at a time when your physician’s office is closed.
Urgent care centers, like OneSource Healthcare, routinely treat UTIs. With extended hours and same-day walk-in appointments, it’s easy to get answers – and relief – from a healthcare professional. At a OneSource, we’ll perform a urine test, also known as a urinalysis, to determine if you do indeed have a UTI. On-site laboratories allow us to review urine cultures and ensure we prescribe, if necessary, the best course and type of antibiotic treatment for you.
If seeing your OB/GYN or primary care physician is not an option, and you’re wondering whether to go to an urgent care center or the emergency room, you should consider these differences. Emergency rooms are usually reserved for just that – emergency or life-threatening situations, like strokes, head trauma or difficulty breathing. UTIs, while painful, are not life-threatening, especially if caught and treated early. Plus, visiting an urgent care center for UTIs typically costs far less than an emergency room, and may be covered by your health insurance.
5. Some home remedies can help alleviate or prevent UTI pain
Unfortunately, UTIs rarely go away on their own – it’s the reason antibiotics are recommended as the primary treatment method. However, there are other home remedies that don’t require a doctor’s prescription and can be effective in helping to prevent a UTI from occurring in the first place:
- Drink Water – Make sure you drink plenty of fluids. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases recommends drinking six to eight, 8-ounce glasses of water a day in order to flush bacteria out of your urinary tract. Fluids also help to dilute your urine, so bacteria doesn’t grow to begin with.
- Avoid Bladder Irritants – Substances like coffee, alcohol and carbonated soft drinks containing artificial sweeteners can further irritate your bladder and make it harder for your flora to return to a normal state.
- Get Vitamin C – Large amounts of Vitamin C makes your urine more acidic, which may prevent bacteria from growing. Eating foods like oranges, blueberries, strawberries, grapefruit and leafy greens or taking a Vitamin C supplement can help combat UTIs.
- Apply Heat – Use a warm blanket or heating pad (on the low setting) to help soothe painful urination and more topical pain, or just the irritation in your pubic area. Avoid placing the heat source directly on your skin so as to not burn yourself.
- Empty Your Bladder – Even though it might be a burden to constantly be running to the bathroom, every little bit of urine you remove helps. Emptying your bladder gets rid of some of the bacteria that are causing your UTI. If you regularly suffer from UTIs, you should aim to go to the bathroom more regularly.
- Adopt Better Habits – Simple changes to your daily routine can help you recover from a UTI or prevent its development altogether. Make sure you urinate after having sex and wipe from front to back, especially after a bowel movement. Also, avoid fragranced feminine hygiene products, powers, sprays or douches, wear loose-fitted underwear and change out of sweaty workout clothes following exercise.
- Cleanliness – Being sure to clean your genitals before sex and avoiding fragrant soaps or bubble baths.
Additional methods for treating and preventing UTIs have also been debated. While recent studies are inconclusive as to the benefits of drinking cranberry juice to prevent a UTI, once you get an infection, cranberry juice won’t help. Same goes for probiotics.
The best course of action is to prevent infection before it even starts. Make small changes to your daily routine, like drinking enough water and eating foods high in fiber and rich in vitamin C. Also, reevaluate the products you use and the clothes you wear as they affect vaginal bacteria. Should you feel the irritating symptoms of a UTI coming on, seek treatment from a medical professional – especially if you’re elderly, pregnant or have any compromising health conditions.
Source: Go Health
Treatment | NIDDK
How do health care professionals treat a bladder infection?
If you have a bladder infection caused by bacteria, a health care professional is likely to prescribe antibiotics. If the diagnosis is not certain, based on your symptoms or lab test results, you may not need antibiotics. Instead, your health care professional will work to find the cause and the best treatment for your symptoms.
Which antibiotic you take is based on the type of bacteria causing your infection and any allergies you may have to antibiotics.
The length of treatment depends on
- how severe the infection is
- whether your symptoms and infection go away
- whether you have repeated infections
- whether you have problems with your urinary tract
Men may need to take antibiotics longer because bacteria can move into the prostate gland, which surrounds the urethra. Bacteria can hide deep inside prostate tissue.
Follow your health care professional’s instructions carefully and completely when taking antibiotics. Although you may feel relief from your symptoms, make sure to take the entire antibiotic treatment.
If needed, a health care professional may prescribe other medicines to relieve any pain or discomfort from your bladder infection.
Drink a lot of liquids and urinate often to speed healing. Water is best. Talk with a health care professional if you can’t drink a lot of liquids due to other health problems, such as urinary incontinence, urinary frequency, or heart or kidney failure.
A heating pad on your back or abdomen may help you manage pain from a kidney or bladder infection.
Researchers are studying ways to treat or prevent bladder infections without taking antibiotics. The bacteria that cause these infections can become stronger and harder to fight when a person takes antibiotics repeatedly. Alternate approaches include probiotics, vaginal estrogen, and “watchful waiting.” Talk to your health care professional about any treatment for a bladder infection before you start it, including home remedies and supplements. Some supplements can have side effects or react poorly with other medications you take.
Drink lots of liquids and urinate often to speed healing. Water is best.
How can I prevent a bladder infection?
Changing some of your daily habits and lifestyle choices may help you prevent repeated bladder infections.
Drink enough liquids
Most people should try drinking six to eight, 8-ounce glasses of liquid a day. Talk with a health care professional if you can’t drink this amount due to other health problems, such as urinary incontinence, urinary frequency, or heart or kidney failure.
Be aware of your bathroom habits
Take enough time to fully empty your bladder when urinating—don’t rush it. Urinate after sex to flush away bacteria that may have entered the urethra during sex. Clean the genital area before and after sex.
If you’re a woman, wipe from front to back, especially after a bowel movement, to keep bacteria from getting into the urethra.
Wear loose-fitting clothing
Consider wearing cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothes so air can keep the area around the urethra dry.
Consider switching birth control methods if you have repeat bladder infections
If you have trouble with repeat bladder infections, talk with a health care professional about your birth control. Consider switching to a new form of birth control if you use diaphragms, unlubricated condoms, or spermicide, all of which can increase your chances of developing a bladder infection. Consider using lubricated condoms without spermicide or using a nonspermicidal lubricant.
90,000 Yes, lay down the baby!
So I lied. And put it down. And in the crib, and in the chaise longue, and in the cradle from the stroller, and even (!) Warmed the crib with a heating pad beforehand. So that after warm mother’s hands, the child in a cold bed does not instantly wake up.
Because she tried to listen to the nurses from the clinic and other advisers, wise with glorious Soviet experience, and other advisors, including aunts, nannies, and grandmothers.
– But what are you carrying around? Put it in the crib!
– Well … you can do something. At home there …
– Yes, I, like .. already …
– Well, get some sleep.
– So she won’t lie alone in the crib, it’s easier for me to take her to me.
– Aha! Woooot! I told you! You can’t wean yourself from hands now. Look, how tame it has become. Let me sit down.Well well well. Ooty-uti! Baaay-bye! Baaay-bye! Here. Take a look. Lies! And nothing.
One: the thick ass of the counselor floated out of the room.
Two: the door was closed with a creak.
Three: the kettle clicked, a bag of buns rustled.
And why am I, fool, happy?
And why, tell me, is it bad that the child would have been put to bed by the grandmother? Would I really put it straight, at least for half an hour? And I would at least wash my head and do a manicure.
Do not know. But I grab the child and rejoice.
I’m happy, tired, happy, sleepy and with an unwashed head, I’m happy, hungry, that someone needs me like this. Unwashed, with bags under her eyes and cellulite, in crumpled sweatpants and a stretched T-shirt.
But you still need it. Always, every second. It is necessary until blue in the face and pain in the tummy, it is necessary, because life without me for this little man is not something that is not a joy, but, it seems, is generally impossible for him.
I am glad that only yesterday I was a seemingly ordinary girl: eyebrows, Instagram, cats on my nails, and today, somehow, suddenly, against my will, I can radiate such warmth, such inhumanly powerful waves of tenderness and love that it seems that I can at least melt the snow on the street, at least drain the puddles, at least help the sun to warm everyone.
Will survive my instagram so far without nails and eyebrows.
After all, this puffy-sunny happiness, which I cannot get enough of, is too fleeting, this fragrant-sleepy sweetness is too short to let go of it even for a minute.
URA “KAPKĂNA LEXEN” | KHYPAR
Sypă chirĕ gout pirki Hippocrates văhătĕnchekh pĕlnĕ. Gout sămakh greklaran kuçarsan “kapkănri ura” tenine pĕlteret. Yratnine irtterme avaltanpah halăh melĕsempe anla usa kurnă.
Khurăn . Vĕtetnĕ 2 apat kashakĕ çulçine tin vĕrenĕ çur liter of yamalla seam, 10 minutes vĕretmelle. Çulăm çinchen ilsen 10 minutes pçĕkhterse lartmalla ta sărăkhtarmalla. Kunne 3 hut apat văhătĕnche chĕrĕksher glass ĕçmelle. 35 minutesran sărăkhtarmalla.The recipe for yunra numay puhănă shak yÿçekĕnchen hatălma pulăshat.
Emel kurăkĕpe çăka chechekĕ. Pĕrremĕsh recipe for Hebrews vitĕmeh kÿret. Ÿsen-tărana çurmalla ilse hutăshtarmalla. 1 apat kashăkĕ puhkha tin vĕrenĕ çur liter of shiva yamalla, 35 minutesran sărăkhtarmalla. Kunne 4 hut çurshar glass ĕçmelle.
Sukhan Yashki. Gout vĕrĕlsen usăllă, yratnine irtteret. Viçĕ suhana zumalla, huppipeh 1 liter of yamalla seam, zemzelichen pĕzermelle. Shĕveke kunne 3 hut apat umĕn 1-er glass ĕçmelle.2 erne siplenmelle.
Hayar uchi / sage /. Văl chir vĕrĕlsen usăllă. Tin vĕrenĕ çur liter of grout 200 grams hayar uti çulçi yamalla, 2 sekhetren sărăkhtarmalla. Vannăna 33 degrees ăşă shiv yamalla, unta hayar utin shĕvekne hushmalla. Vannara shiv 27 degrees citi chakichchen larmalla.
Huçalăh supănĕ. Unsăr puçne tata çur pack of tăvar kirlĕ. Çur katăk supăne terkăpa khyrmalla. Untan supănpe tăvara 40 degrees ram ăsătnă shyva yarsa irĕltermelle. As shyva urasene chikse çur sekhet larmalla.Sivĕnnĕ may vĕri shiv hushsakh tamalla.
Yodpa aspirin. 5 tÿme of aspirin tÿse 10 ml iodine tincture of yamall. Shĕvek tĕssĕrlenet. Kazkhine vyrtas umĕn ăna yratakan vyrănsene sĕrmelle. Ăshă chălkha e perchetke tăkhansa çyvărmalla. Yodpa ura vanni tuma yurat. 9 tumlam iodine 3 whose kashakĕ apat sodipe hutashtarmalla, 3 liter vĕri shiva yarsa irĕltermelle. Shyva urasene chikse larmalla.
Dust. Chirlĕ syppa maltan hot water bottle khursa ăşătmalla. Untan ăna pylpa chĕrĕk sekhet sătărmalla.Avan compress: sypa çine zdar sĕrnĕ napkin humalla, cellophane witmelle, bintpa çikhmalla. 3.5 sekhetren kompressa ilmelle, syppa ăşă shyvpa çusa tasatmalla. Schemăpa siplenmelle: compresa maltankhi tăvata kun – kullen, ulta kun pĕrer kun sikterse humalla. Ikĕ erne tăkhtană khyççăn tepĕr course irttermelle.
Hot water bottle for a teapot “Hen” 100% cotton on the joint purchases site Tambov
Joint purchase (joint purchase, collective purchase) is the principle of organizing a purchase, in which several persons are united in a group to purchase goods directly from a supplier or manufacturer at wholesale prices, or in another country, for example, through an online store or an online auction.
The organizer of the purchase becomes the intermediary between the supplier and the buyers. He is engaged in the selection of an assortment, finding suppliers, collecting orders and payments from purchase participants (buyers), receiving goods and transferring them to customers.
To pay for the services of the organizer, an organizational percentage (organizational percentage) or a fee is charged on the price of the goods, usually about 10-30% of the purchase price of the goods. Participants in the purchase pay the cost of the goods, organization fee and delivery costs of the order.
Joint purchases are often made via the Internet on specialized sites, thematic forums or through social networks.
Regular organization of joint purchases requires registration as an individual entrepreneur and payment of taxes. A one-time organization of purchases requires only the declaration of taxes and the payment of personal income tax.
The mechanism for making a collective purchase
From the buyer’s point of view, the joint purchase scheme looks like this:
1.The organizer opens the purchase and indicates the conditions for participation in the purchase, the price list. The product is selected by the client directly from the supplier’s website or from the catalog created by the organizer. Due to the wholesale purchase of a consignment of goods, the prices offered by the supplier are usually lower than the retail prices for the same product in the store.
2. Participants in the purchase (buyers) place orders.
3. When orders are collected for an amount sufficient to buy out goods from a wholesale supplier, the organizer announces a Purchase Stop.The organizer sends a general order to the supplier to agree on the availability of goods in the warehouse and waits for an invoice for payment of confirmed goods.
4. Before the announcement of the purchase stop, the participants can change or delete their orders, after the stop, cancellations are not accepted.
5. After receiving an invoice from the supplier, the organizer announces the terms and options for collecting money. Most often, cashless payments take place.
6. After collecting money from the participants in the purchase, the organizer pays the invoice from the supplier, receives the goods from the transport company upon their arrival, sorts them for distribution to buyers, and, if necessary, makes a recalculation with the participants in the joint purchase.
7. All stages of the purchase are highlighted by the organizer on the forum.
8. After sorting the goods, the place of distribution is announced for the participants and the organizer issues orders, carries out refunds, accepts the goods in the annex.
Benefits of participating in joint purchases on our website:
– Lower price compared to the retail price of goods due to a decrease in the number of intermediaries in the chain and a decrease in their costs (lower trade margins, the price does not include sellers’ expenses for renting premises, warehouse , staff, etc.NS.).
– A wide range of products. The choice of catalogs is not limited to the assortment of a particular store and its availability in the place of residence. Also, on our website, it is proposed to purchase goods from foreign stores or directly from manufacturers of goods that are not represented in Tambov or in general in Russia.
– Convenience in choosing and paying for goods from the catalog via the Internet, the ability to study reviews on goods, to consult with the organizer of the purchase and with other participants.
– An automated system for collecting and processing orders allows you to track the status of purchases, the cost of goods, saves the history of purchases.
– Center for issuing orders in the city center – you no longer need to search for the desired goods throughout the city or stand in line for a parcel at the post office.
– The JV Participant Protection Program guarantees a refund in case of fraud on the part of the procurement organizer (for more details see the terms of the Program).
– The highest order picking speed in the city and region due to the extensive and friendly community of JV participants.
CAN UTI CAUSE ELDERLY PERSONAL CONFUSION? – URINARY CANAL
The classic symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI) are burning pain and frequent urination.UTIs may not cause these classic symptoms in older adults. Instead, older people, especially those with dementia, may experience behavioral symptoms such as confusion.
Although the link between UTI and delusion is well known, the reason for this link is still unknown.
What are urinary tract infections
The urinary tract includes:
- urethra – the opening through which urine leaves the bladder
When bacteria do not enter the urethra, your immune system does not fight with them, they can spread to the bladder and kidneys.The result is a UTI.
The study reported that in 2007, there were about 10.5 million medical visits for UTIs in the United States. Women are more likely to develop UTIs than men because their urethra is shorter than men.
Your risk of UTI increases with age. More than one third of all infections in people in nursing homes are associated with UTIs, according to one study. More than 10 percent of women over 65 have reported a UTI in the past year.This number rises to nearly 30 percent for women over 85.
Men are also more likely to develop UTIs with age.
Symptoms of a urinary tract infection in the elderly
It can be difficult to tell if an older person has a UTI because they do not always show the classic symptoms. This may be due to a slower or suppressed immune response.
Classic UTI symptoms include:
- Urethral burning when urinating
- Frequent urination
- Abnormal odor urine
about them.It can be associated with age-related problems such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Symptoms such as confusion can be vague and mimic other conditions.
Nonclassical UTI symptoms may include:
- urinary incontinence
- decreased mobility
- decreased appetite
Other symptoms may appear if the infection spreads to the kidneys.These serious symptoms may include:
- reddened skin
- back pain
What causes a urinary tract infection?
Bacteria are the main cause of UTI at any age. Escherichia coli is the main cause, but other organisms can cause UTIs as well. In older people who use catheters or live in a nursing home or other permanent care facility, bacteria such as Enterococcus and Staphylococcus are more common causes.
Risk factors for urinary tract infection in the elderly
Certain factors may increase the risk of UTI in the elderly.
Conditions in the elderly can lead to urinary retention or neurogenic bladder. This increases the risk of UTIs. These conditions include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and diabetes. They often require people to wear incontinence panties. If the underpants are not changed regularly, infection is possible.
Several other factors increase the risk of UTI in older people:
- history of UTI
- catheter use
- prolapsed bladder
Postmenopausal women are at risk of UTIs due to estrogen deficiency. Estrogen can help protect the vagina and urethra from overgrowth Escherichia coli . When estrogen drops during menopause, E. coli can take over and cause an infection.
The following may increase the risk of UTI in men:
- Bladder stone
- Kidney stone
- Enlarged prostate
- Catheter use
- Bacterial prostatitis, chronic prostate infection
Diagnosing a Urinary Tract Infection in the Elderly
Vague, unusual symptoms such as confusion make it difficult to diagnose a UTI in many older adults.If a doctor suspects a UTI, this is easily confirmed by a simple urinalysis. Your doctor may do a urine culture to determine the type of bacteria causing the infection and choose the best antibiotic to treat it.
There are home tests for UTIs that check your urine for nitrates and white blood cells. Both are common with UTIs. Because bacteria are often present to varying degrees in the urine of older people, these tests are not always accurate. Call your doctor if you take a home test and get a positive result.
Treating urinary tract infections in the elderly
Antibiotics are the best treatment for UTIs in the elderly and young. Your doctor may prescribe amoxicillin and nitrofurantoin (Macrobid, Macrodantin). More severe infections may require broad-spectrum antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin (cetraxal, ciloxan) and levofloxacin (levaquin).
You should start taking antibiotics as soon as possible and take them throughout your treatment.The infection should go away in a few days. Stopping treatment early, even if symptoms resolve, increases the risk of relapse and antibiotic resistance.
During treatment, it is important to drink plenty of water to get rid of any remaining bacteria.
People who have two or more UTIs in 6 months or three or more UTIs in 12 months may use prophylactic antibiotics. This means taking an antibiotic every day to prevent UTIs.
Healthy seniors may want to try over-the-counter pain relievers for UTIs, such as phenazopyridine (azo), acetaminophen (Tylenol), or ibuprofen (Advil), to relieve burning sensation and frequent urination.A heating pad or hot water bottle can help relieve pelvic and back pain. Elderly people who have other medical conditions should not use home remedies without first consulting a doctor.
How to Prevent Urinary Tract Infections in Older People
It is impossible to prevent all UTIs, but there are steps that can help reduce a person’s chance of getting infected. They can do this:
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Change your underpants frequently if you are incontinent
- Avoid bladder irritants such as caffeine and alcohol
- Keep your genitals clean by wiping them from front to back after using the toilet
- Do not shower
- urinating as soon as the urge arises
- using vaginal estrogen
Proper nursing home or long-term care is critical to preventing UTIs, especially for people who are immobile and unable to take care of themselves.They rely on others to keep them clean and dry. If you or your loved one lives in a nursing home, talk to management about their personal hygiene practices. Make sure they are aware of the symptoms of UTIs in older people and how to respond to them.
UTI can cause confusion and other symptoms of dementia in older adults. Preventive measures and monitoring for UTI symptoms should help prevent infection. If your doctor diagnoses a UTI early, you have a good prognosis.
Antibiotics cure most UTIs. If left untreated, a UTI can spread to the kidneys and bloodstream. This can lead to life-threatening blood poisoning. Severe infections may require hospitalization for intravenous antibiotics. It can take weeks to solve them.
Get medical attention if you suspect you or a loved one has a UTI.