Urinary Tract Infections

What are UTIs?

A urinary tract infection (UTI) typically occurs when bacteria gets into the bladder through the urethra, multiplies and develops into an infection in the urinary tract. UTIs are also called “bladder infections.” 

Symptoms of a UTI can include painful urination, more frequent urination and/or a strong urge to urinate. If you see blood in your urine, call your health care provider right away.

Treating UTIs

Your doctor can prescribe antibiotics to treat UTIs. The type, dose and length of the antibiotic treatment depend on the type of bacteria causing the infection and your medical history. 

Treatment is usually quick and most symptoms go away in one or two days. Be sure to take all the medication even if your symptoms go away before you finish the prescription.

Is it a UTI or something else?

UTI symptoms can overlap with other conditions such as common vaginal infections and sexually transmitted infections. You can usually tell the difference because a vaginal infection typically will also include a vaginal discharge, burning or itching. Talk to your doctor.

Preventing UTIs

  • Wipe from front to back after a bowel movement and after urinating.
  • Empty your bladder before and after sex.
  • Avoid using douches, powder and deodorant sprays.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to flush bacteria out of your urinary system.
  • Empty your bladder at least every three hours.
  • Take cranberry pills. This helps some women.
  • Use probiotics.
  • Talk to your doctor about prescribing vaginal estrogen cream to increase the number of friendly bacteria and decrease the number of infection-causing bacteria if you are postmenopausal.
  • Control your blood sugars if you are diabetic.

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