While Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are common, they can be prevented with some simple steps. The treatment is also quite straightforward and swift, giving quick relief to painful and discomforting symptoms.
What will your doctor recommend?
UTIs are commonly due to bacterial infections. Your doctor would start you on an antibiotic. The length and choice of medication would depend on symptoms, culture and sensitivity test results.
A Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) can occur in otherwise healthy, normal individuals with no pre-existing conditions. A short course of antibiotic is effective. Taking the full-course is important to prevent the emergence of resistant strains, as well as to completely cure the current infection. A confirmatory urine analysis following the course is recommended.
Complicated UTIs are seen in people with pre-existing conditions – e.g. post-transplantation, or structural abnormalities, such as kidney stones or prostate enlargement. These infections require the underlying condition to be corrected if possible, or a more aggressive regimen otherwise.
UTIs during Pregnancy cause more severe complications both to the mother, as well as the baby. These infections, even if asymptomatic, require an antibiotic course. As several medications are banned for use during pregnancy, this would require a consultation with your doctor.
In case of recurrent UTIs, i.e., more than 2 episodes within a 6-month interval, an additional set of recommendations include:
-Taking low doses of antibiotic daily for 6 months initially or longer.
-Taking a single dose of an antibiotic after sexual intercourse.
-Taking a short course—2 or 3 days—of an antibiotic when symptoms appear.
-Vaginal estrogen therapy, if postmenopausal, following doctors’ instructions.
How can UTIs be prevented?
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, to flush out harmful bacteria.
- Empty your bladder often and when the urge arises. For women, cleaning from back-to-front is recommended to prevent bowel bacteria from entering the urinary tract.
- Wear loose clothing and natural fibers to allow the area around the urethra to remain dry. Moisture promotes bacterial growth.
- Women on birth control leading to UTIs can opt for less troublesome alternatives or options that provide more lubrication.