UTI are very common in little girls, and sexually active women. The symptoms of cystitis or a bladder infection are:
- frequency - you have to urinate very often
- urgency - you feel you have to urinate this minute
- incomplete urination - you feel as if you haven't entirely emptied your bladder
- dysuria - pain while urinating or at the end
- hematuria - blood in the urine
The symptoms of pyelonephritis, or a kidney infection may or may not be the above. You may have:
- fever and chills
- lower backache
- pain from side to groin
(In children the symptoms may include diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting; in fact they may be the only symptoms.)
When you come to the clinic with UTI symptoms, the practioner will ask you about your symptoms. She may do some or all of the following tests: (i). temperature, (ii). urinalysis, (iii). urine culture, (iv). pelvic exam, (v). check for tenderness on your back
The practioner may also start you on antibiotics. It is important to correctly take all of the antibiotics. Do not take if you are allergic. The most common antibiotics given are: Gantrisin - a sulfa drug and ampillin - a form of penicillin.
If you are having a lot of discomfort with urinating, the practioner will give you Pyridium, a pill to be taken three times a day. Pyridium is a urinary tract analgesic, which means it helps to relieve your symptoms until the antibiotics are affective. Pyridium makes your urine reddish-orange.
You will be instructed to do the following:
- Take the antibiotic correctly.
- Return to the clinic for a urine culture one week after you finish the antibiotics to be sure the infection is gone.
- Drink lots of water or liquids (6-8 cups per day). It helps to keep your bladder flushed out so bacteria can't grow.
- Wipe your vulva from front to back.
- Use cotton or cotton-crotched underpants.
- Urinate following intercourse to clean the urethra (the tube that goes from the bladder to the outside) of bacteria.
To prevent future infections - continue #3 through #6 permanently.
If your infection does not clear, we will refer you to a urologist for more tests and follow-up. UTI are important to take care of as they can develop into serious health problems.Preventing Bladder Infections
- Wipe front to back when using the bathroom
- Urinate before and after sexual activity, this helps relieve pressure and reduces likelihood of bacteria buildup.
- Keep vaginal area clean and dry.
- Avoid holding urine for long periods of time.
- Wear cotton underwear and pantyhose with cotton crotch panels.
- Avoid perfumed soap, sprays, powder, bubble bath and colored toilet paper.
- Change tampons and sanitary napkins frequently.
- During intercourse be sure the vagina is well lubricated (water-based lubricants may be helpful - avoid petroleum-based products like vaseline, as these clog pores and can make you more susceptible to infection).
- When drinking alcoholic beverages, increase your water intake.
- Avoid sexual positions that cause irritation or pain.
- Drink plenty of fluids - 2-3 glasses of water every hour at first sign of symptoms. Avoid irritants like alcohol, caffeine, carbonated beverages, tomato or citrus juices as they create a more hospitable environment for bacteria. Drink alkaline fluids such as barley water or tea, cranberry juice, nettle or uva ursa tea.
- Rest and avoid intercourse.
Use a hot water bottle or heating pad on lower abdomen to reduce pain.
Click here for more Self-Help Home Remedies for bladder infections.