Urinary Tract Infection or "UTI"

Urinary tract infections are ones that occur in any organs that make up the urinary tract. The kidneys filter waste products from the blood and make urine. Ureters connect the kidney to the bladder, which holds urine and it is passed through the urethra.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Constant urge to urinate
  • Urinating more often than usual
  • feeling like your bladder is still full after you pass urine
  • Burning or pain when you pass urine
  • Cloudy urine or blood in the urine

Causes and Risk Factors

  • UTI's result when bacteria enters any part of the urinary tract. Bacteria is the most common cause
  • Risk is greater for:
    • Sexually active females
    • Males and Females who have had a UTI in the past
    • Anyone with a condition that doesn't allow urine to pass freely. Kidney stones and multiple sclerosis are two examples

Prevention

  • Drink plenty of water and other fluids daily. Cranberry juice can prevent bladder infections.
  • Empty your bladder as soon as you feel the urge
  • If you are prone to UTI's don't take bubble baths
  • If you are female, wipe from front to back after using the toilet. This helps keep bacteria away from the opening of the urethra
  • If you use a diaphragm, clean it after each use. Have your health care provider check it periodically to make sure it still fits right

Treatment/Self Care

  • An antibiotic to treat the specific infection and pain relievers are the usual treatment. If you get UTI's often, your health care provider may order certain medical test to diagnose the cause
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water and other liquids daily
  • Drink Cranberry juice. Take Cranberry tablets
  • Avoid alcohol, spicy food, and caffeine. These can irritate the bladder
  • Check for a fever twice a day, in the morning and again in the evening
  • Take over the counter medicine for pain. Take Azo, Uristat, or Cystec, which relieves pain and spasms that come with a bladder infection (these meds will turn your urine dark orange)
  • Go to the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge and empty your bladder completely and regularly

Questions to Ask Yourself