Urinary Tract Infections in Women: Causes and Treatments

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are extremely common in women due to the urethra being located so close to the anus. When you defecate, bacteria (usually E. Coli) can leave the large intestine and travel to the urethra. If the bacteria enter the urethra, the urethra, bladder, and kidneys can get infected and inflamed. Here is a brief overview of how to tell if you have a UTI infection and what can be done to treat it. Learn the signs and options for treatment from urogynecologist New York.

How to tell if you have a UTI

The most notable sign that you have contracted a UTI is that you will feel a burning sensation every time you go to urinate. The urine will usually have a strange smell and it will look cloudy and/or bloody. You may also think you need to urinate a lot, but when you go, nothing comes out. The pain will grow in severity as the infection gets worse. If the infection reaches your kidneys, you’ll start to feel pain on your lower back.  Many women also feel chills like they have the flu once the infection reaches the kidneys.

Treatment Options

The most common method to treat a UTI is by using antibiotics. The antibiotics will kill the bacteria that caused the infection. You should also drink a lot of water to flush out the bacteria from your kidney, bladder, and urethra. If you are feeling discomfort and pain, you can use a heating pad to relieve the discomfort and, if the pain is really bad, you should contact your urogynecologist so they can prescribe you some pain medication.

Some women are predisposed to have repeated UTIs.  In these cases, an urogynecologist may put you on an antibiotic regimen.  In this case, you will usually take a low-dose antibiotic every day or after you have had intercourse. Intercourse can move the bacteria from the anus to the urethra.

Avoiding UTIs in the Future

There are some things you can do to avoid getting UTIs in the future like being attentive to how you clean yourself after you go to the bathroom. You want to wipe from the front of your body toward the back after urinating or defecating. Wiping in this way will move the E. Coli found in the anus after defecating away from the urethra. You should also get into the habit of taking showers instead of baths. Showering makes sure bacteria gets rinsed away from your body instead of floating around your urethra in a bathtub. You should also shower before having sex to remove any bacteria that might be around your anal area. Instead of wearing G-string underwear, you should wear cotton underwear that absorbs the bacteria.

If you have a UTI or are having repeated UTIs and you are not sure what to do, give us a call today. We can determine what is causing the UTI and develop a treatment plan to help you avoid getting them in the future.