A urinary tract infection (UTI) is no joke. The painful and challenging symptoms associated with a UTI can get in the way of your daily life. And they sometimes become serious enough to require hospitalisation.
UTIs are very common. Almost 50% of women will have at least one UTI during their life. And women are at least 8 times more likely to get a UTI than men (with just 5% of men experiencing a UTI during their lifetime).
The good news is that there are ways to treat, manage and prevent UTIs – and we’re here to help you do just that.
A UTI happens when bacteria (or germs) infect any part of your urinary system. This includes your:
The bladder and urethra are the most common sites of infection. If left untreated, UTIs can lead to kidney infection which can be very serious and even life threatening.
Men and women can experience slightly different UTI symptoms. You can find out more about how men experience UTI here.
The signs of a UTI in your bladder or urethra (lower tract UTI) can be different to those in your kidneys or ureters (upper tract UTI).
Women who get a lower tract UTI may:
Women who get an upper tract UTI may experience:
Upper tract UTIs can be more serious than lower tract UTIs.
If you are pregnant and start displaying symptoms of a UTI, see a doctor right away. UTIs during pregnancy can cause high blood pressure and premature delivery. UTIs during pregnancy are also more likely to spread to the kidneys.
Bacteria are the usual culprits of UTI, and they can enter the urinary system in a number of ways. Primarily, it is the bacteria that naturally occur around the vagina and anus that cause UTI in women. The risk of bacteria causing a UTI is higher for several reasons.
Women sometimes wonder if they should avoid sexual intercourse during a UTI. It’s probably best since the sensitivity caused by the UTI may make sex too painful to enjoy, and may even make the UTI worse.
Antibiotic treatment is the typical medical therapy for UTI. The type of antibiotic that your doctor prescribes will depend on:
Follow your doctor’s direction on when, how, and for how long you need to take your antibiotics for UTI. If you don’t take them as directed, they may not be as effective.
If you think you might be experiencing symptoms of a UTI, talk to an InstantScripts Doctor. As experts in women’s health, we will provide discrete care and appropriately prescribe antibiotics to help you get rid of your UTI.
Many UTIs are short-lived and treatable. But some women experience repeated episodes of UTI, even with treatment. Sometimes, the bacteria causing the UTI are resistant to antibiotics. Other times, it is the natural shape and position of the urethra and bladder that increases the risk of getting a UTI.
You could have recurrent UTI if you have:
You should check with a doctor about treatments for recurrent UTI.
It is possible to make some lifestyle adjustments to help prevent UTIs. Women may find these tips particularly helpful:
Women can also lower their risk of contracting a UTI by: