Chances are if you are a woman reading this, you’ve suffered from a urine tract infection (“UTI”) at some point in your life. Whether it has crept up on you or was caused by sex or other irritation, the constant urge to urinate, the pain and discomfort in the lower abdomen and seeing blood in the urine is enough to make anyone pretty miserable.
Mayo Clinic defines a UTI as “an infection of any part of your urinary system (kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra)”. More than half of all women are expected to suffer from a UTI at least once in their lifetimes and for some women, it can be a recurring, painful battle.
Women are more prone to these bacterial infections as we have a shorter urinary tract compared to men so bacteria and toxins can cause trouble easily. An infection can start off in the bladder (cystitis) and move up to the kidneys & ureter (uretheritis).
What are the most common symptoms of a UTI?
UTI infection symptoms include the constant urge to pee, a burning sensation when peeing, passing small (to no) amounts of urine, cloudy urine (sometimes rosey coloured with blood) and pelvic pain.
Older people with UTIs can present with confusion whilst in young children, it often manifests as fever and/or wetting themselves.
Why they occur
When to contact a doctor
If you experience or are experiencing UTI symptoms, contact an on demand family doctor/GP on oDoc to obtain immediate medical advice and treatment.
How are UTIs treated
Your doctor would generally prescribe you a course of antibiotics to treat the infection. It is vital that you continue to take the antibiotics even after your symptoms subside so as to not build antibiotic resistance to the drug.
Your doctor may request a urine test to ascertain the type of bacteria and match treatment. You can conduct the test from the comfort of your own home via oDoc’s oLabs mobile lab service.
How to prevent a UTI
Anyone who’s experienced a UTI probably never wants to experience one again!
Follow these preventative steps to keep UTIs at bay:
Whilst we may never be able to fully protect ourselves from contracting a UTI, following these simple steps can significantly reduce our chances. If you do develop one or are currently suffering from one, speak to a Sri Lanka Medical Council registered GP or family doctor on oDoc and obtain medical advice, treatment and ultimately, relief!