Urinary Tract Infections:
A Common Problem for Some Women
What causes urinary tract
Most urinary tract infections are
caused by bacteria. Any part of your urinary tract can become infected. The
urinary tract includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Bladder
infections are the most common.
How do I know if I have a urinary
Possible signs of a bladder
A burning sensation when you
Feeling like you need to urinate
more often than usual
Feeling the urge to urinate but not
being able to
Leaking a little urine
Urine that smells bad
Cloudy, dark or bloody urine
Nausea, lower back pain and fever
may be signs of a kidney infection.
Why do women have urinary tract
infections more often than men?
Women tend to have urinary tract
infections more often than men because bacteria can reach the bladder more
easily in women. The urethra is shorter in women than in men, so bacteria have a
shorter distance to travel.
The urethra is also located near the
rectum in women. Bacteria from the rectum can easily travel up the urethra and
Having sex may also cause urinary
tract infections in women because bacteria can be pushed into the urethra.
Using a diaphragm can lead to
infections because diaphragms push against the urethra and make it harder to
completely empty the bladder. The urine that stays in the bladder is more likely
to grow bacteria and cause infections.
How are urinary tract infections
If your doctor thinks you have a
bladder infection, he or she will probably test a sample of your urine to find
out if there are bacteria in it. Your doctor will then prescribe an antibiotic
for you if you have an infection. Usually, symptoms of the infection go away 1
to 2 days after you start taking the medicine.
Your doctor may also suggest a
medicine to numb your urinary tract and make you feel better while the
antibiotic starts to work. The medicine colors your urine bright orange, so
don't be alarmed by the color when you urinate.
What can I do if I have frequent
If you have urinary tract infections
often, you can try some of the suggestions below. Talk with your doctor about
what changes would be helpful for you.
Your doctor also may give you a low
dose of medicine for several months or longer to prevent infections from coming
If having sex seems to cause your
infections, your doctor may suggest that you take a single antibiotic pill after
you have sex to prevent urinary tract infections.
Tips on preventing urinary tract
Drink plenty of water to flush out
Drinking cranberry juice may also
help prevent urinary tract infections. However, if you're taking warfarin
(brand name: Coumadin), check with your doctor before using cranberry juice to
prevent urinary tract infections. Your doctor may need to adjust your warfarin
dose or you may need to have more frequent blood tests.
Don't hold your urine. Urinate when
you feel like you need to.
Wipe from front to back after bowel
Urinate after having sex to help
wash away bacteria.
Use enough lubrication during sex.
Try using a small amount of lubricant (such as K-Y Jelly) before sex if you're
a little dry.
If you get urinary tract infections
often, you may want to avoid using the diaphragm. Ask your doctor about other
birth control choices.
How serious are urinary tract
Bladder infections can be painful.
But today's medicines can keep them from becoming a serious threat to your
health. The kidneys can also be infected and this can be a more serious problem.
Kidney infections usually require an antibiotic for a longer time and are
sometimes treated in the hospital.
The above opinionated
views and information serves to educated and informed consumer . The information
provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the
diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. .It should not replaced
professional advise and consultation. A licensed physician should be consulted
for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions