Have you ever felt like you constantly need to go to the bathroom but when you get there, nothing comes out? Or perhaps when it does come out, it burns? If you know this feeling, you have probably had a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) – a treatable condition that primarily affects women, but can affect men, too. In this article, we’ll look at what causes UTIs, how to make them go away and what to be on guard for afterwards.
What are UTIs – Urinary Tract Infections?
“Why does it burn when I pee? Why is my pee cloudy?” It’s your body telling you that something is wrong. A Urinary Tract Infection is an infection in your urinary system – your kidneys, ureter, bladder, and/or urethra. It occurs when bacteria get into your urinary tract (usually E. coli, that same bacteria which is found in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract).
The two most common subtypes of UTI are cystitis, or infection of the bladder, and urethritis, or infection of the urethra. However, if either is left untreated, it can progress to your kidneys, becoming a major issue.
The symptoms of UTI are those mentioned above – a constant urge to use the bathroom, burning while urinating, and cloudy urine, as well as pelvic pain or discolored urine (pink, red or brown, indicating blood in the urine). If you experience any of these symptoms, visit our walk in clinic in Naples, where we can take a urine sample and diagnose you properly.
How do you make UTIs go away?
Since UTIs are caused by bacteria, the best course of treatment is usually antibiotics. Although you will likely feel better after 2-3 days of the antibiotics, it is critical to continue taking them until the end of the prescription, as this will ensure that all bacteria have been killed and will not cause further problems. If you still feel pain after the antibiotics have ended or if you sense that something still isn’t quite right, make a follow-up appointment at our primary care in Naples, so that we can run further tests, analyze the results in our on-site lab, and select a different antibiotic or treatment course.
How to avoid UTIs
To avoid getting UTIs in the future, there are a few things you can do:
- Drink water. Flushing out your bladder and urethra frequently means that harmful bacteria won’t stick around long. Some recommend drinking cranberry juice. If you do, choose unsweetened for the best effects.
- Wipe from front to back. This will minimize cross-contamination from your gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
- Urinate after sexual intercourse. Since sexual intercourse is accompanied by a mixing of fluids, it’s best to flush them out shortly after it is over to reset your body.
- Avoid scented feminine products. Scents are chemicals, and these foreign chemicals can have a reaction with your body’s chemistry to an ill effect. Choose unscented options where possible.
While using antibiotics for UTI (and shortly afterwards), we also recommend cutting back on sweets and alcoholic beverages and eating additional probiotics (like yogurt or sauerkraut). Since antibiotics can disrupt your vaginal chemistry, a common occurrence after UTI is a yeast infection. As mentioned above, if you notice anything is still “off” after completing your course of antibiotics, stop in to our Naples walk in clinic or make an appointment at our primary care in Naples so you can get the proper treatment.
First Care – Naples primary care and Naples walk in clinic
First Care has been providing walk-in and primary care services in Naples since 2012. A veteran-owned clinic, First Care provides comprehensive internal and family medicine services to the southwest Florida community. If you are experiencing acute pain, feel free to stop by our Naples walk in clinic to put your mind at ease.