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For those who’ve experienced a UTI, or urinary tract infection, we know the condition is quite common and painful. In fact, the Urology Care Foundation states that about 10 in 25 women and 3 in 25 men (yes, it’s not just a woman’s issue) will have symptoms of at least one UTI during their lifetime. So, whether you’re experiencing it for the first or fourth time, here’s what you need to know about handling the infection and how to prevent a UTI in the first place.
1. A UTI is caused by bacteria that make their way into the urethra. Because of female anatomy, the condition is more common in women since their urethras are shorter, making it easier for bacteria to enter the bladder.
2. Indicators of UTI include: Constant urge to use the bathroom, a painful burning sensation every time you go, urine looks cloudy and has a strong odor and lower back pain. While anyone experiencing symptoms of UTI should consult a physician, pregnant women should seek immediate care as the infection can cause pre-term labor.
3. A physician can run a rapid, in-office urinalysis lab to confirm the condition and write a prescription. Even though over-the-counter medications are available to relieve symptoms, antibiotics are your best bet to completely cure the infection. Remember – the entire course of antibiotics should be completed to help block further infection.
4. To prevent the condition, good bathroom hygiene is a must. That means properly wiping front to back after bowel movements and regularly washing genitals. Additionally, not drinking enough fluids leads to infrequent urination and urinating is essential in clearing away UTI-causing germs.
5. Without proper diagnosis or treatment, a UTI can develop into something more serious – like sepsis or even spread into other areas like the kidneys.