Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common condition which can lead to bladder pain for those who have it. However, it can easily be treated with the right kind of medication, provided that you consult a medical professional as symptoms arise.
Having UTI can be quite uncomfortable since it causes you to frequently feel the urge to urinate. You might also be quite sore around your abdominal area and feel a sharp, burning pain (dysuria) when you urinate. Consult your doctor if you notice sudden changes in your urine’s appearance (cloudy, sometimes tinged with blood) and odor (unusual strong smell).
Who are at risk?
Women, in general, are more at risk of contracting UTI. This is because the anatomy of their reproductive system makes it easier for bacteria to travel from the urethra to the bladder area. Other factors which may affect your risk level include:
- Having previous cases of UTI
- Having several children
- Urinary incontinence
- Kidney stones
UTI and menopause
This type of infection can occur throughout a woman’s lifetime. Younger women often get UTI from sexual intercourse while middle-aged women can acquire it as their body transitions to the menopausal stage. Going through menopause may cause you to get UTI due to the decrease in your estrogen production, resulting to changes in your tissues around the urethra. Other physical changes like pelvic organ prolapse and trouble emptying the bladder can also increase your risk level.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, having more than two instances of UTI in a year might mean that you have a recurring infection. This may be caused by a variety of factors like having UTI at an early age, using certain birth control methods (spermicides), and even having a new sexual partner.
UTI is mostly caused by bacteria and can be treated with antibiotics. Symptoms usually go away after a day or two as long as you take your prescribed medications. Keep in mind that you should finish your prescription even if you already feel better to prevent further infection.
Prevention, after care
Some people are more prone to suffering from UTI but that doesn’t mean that it cannot be prevented. Here are some practical tips on how you can avoid infection:
- Practice good hygiene
- Keep hydrated
- Always wipe from front to back
- Avoid using powder, douches, and other sprays around your genital area
- Empty your bladder before and after sex
- Wear cotton underwear
- Empty your bladder as soon as you feel the urge
- Drink unsweetened cranberry juice