The first time I went through the hell that is having a full-on urinary tract infection, I had no idea what was happening, why it was happening or, most importantly, how to make it go away. After 21 years of mostly pain-free urination, it suddenly felt as if my lady bits were on fire every time I peed — which I soon learned was because I had developed a UTI, which I had contracted through sexual activity. I had just become sexually active, and as ridiculous as this sounds, it felt like my own body was slut-shaming me — until my antibiotics finished their job (which took about three days), peeing was miserably difficult, and I hurt all over.
Because of that experience, I’ve made a point to learn all I can about how to avoid contracting UTIs, because they really are painful enough to interfere with your daily life and they can cause your kidneys to become infected, too.
If you’ve ever had a UTI, then you don’t need me to tell you how hellish they can be. But you may not know that there are actually several easy and effective ways to prevent yourself from getting a UTI in the future. Here are six tips to get you started.
1. Drink Plenty Of Water & Cranberry Juice
Drinking lots of water is a great way to dilute your urine, and diluting your urine guarantees that you’ll urinate more frequently and flush out any bacteria that might be hiding in your urinary tract. So if you’re not already drinking lots of water, you really should start.
As for cranberry juice, well, the evidence that it helps prevent urinary tract infections isn’t exactly conclusive, and despite what the urban legends may claim, it definitely can’t cure a UTI. But cranberries do contain a natural antiseptic called hippuronic acid, which can prevent too much bacteria from sticking to the lining of your bladder. And staying well-hydrated with an all natural, low sugar, vitamin C-rich cranberry juice can only aid you in your overall mission to stay healthy, which can help you avoid UTIs.
2. Make Sure To Pee Shortly After You Finish Having Sex
We all know sex can get pretty dirty, no matter what you’re doing — all that sweat and skin-to-skin contact can spread bacteria. So to avoid letting any bacteria work its way up your urethra and into your bladder, you really should be peeing right after sex. If the sex ends and you don’t have to go, drink a full glass of water so you can make yourself go — because you really need to flush out any bacteria that your sex adventures might have bestowed upon you.
I know jumping out of bed to pee the second sex ends could potentially mess with your post-sex cuddles, and post-sex cuddles are the best — but you can always hop back in bed and get your snuggle on after you use the bathroom. Trust me, cuddles are not worth the horror that is dealing with a UTI.
3. Always Wipe From Front To Back
You probably already know to do this, but just in case you don’t, know that wiping from front to back is crucial to preventing UTIs. Wiping from back to front pushes all the bacteria from your anus right into your vagina and your urethra, then up into your bladder from there. Wiping wrong is basically a bacteria-riddled recipe for developing a urinary tract infection, so be sure to wipe correctly.
4. Stick To Unscented Feminine Hygiene Products
Though they may smell nice, scented soaps, sprays, powders, tampons and pads can irritate your urethra and up your chances of developing a UTI. So be kind to your urinary tract, and try to avoid putting anything scented down there — there’s nothing wrong with the natural scent of your vagina. If you’re anxious about your smell, just make sure to practice good vaginal hygiene, and you’ll be in the clear.
5. Don’t Wait Too Long To Pee
You need to flush the bacteria out of your bladder and urethra as often as possible, and holding your urine is no way to do that. I know stopping to use the bathroom can be super annoying when you’re really busy (I for sure hold it way too long when I’m writing), but it only takes a couple of minutes and it could keep you from having to deal with the pain, expense and recovery time that a UTI will require.
So take the time to pull over at that gas station, miss a little bit of that movie, and always use the bathroom before you go to bed. It may seem annoying to have to work around your bladder’s schedule, but you will never regret not developing a UTI, I can assure you.
6. Take Showers Instead Of Baths
There’s nothing quite like taking a long, relaxing, bubble bath at the end of a stressful day (especially a stressful, chilly winter day). But opting for a shower instead of a bath is one guaranteed way to help your urinary tract.
Soaking in the bathtub makes it too easy for the bacteria and harsh chemicals from your bubble bath to get inside of your urethra — so it’s really best to avoid baths altogether, especially if you get UTIs frequently. That said, if you’re anything like me, there’s no way you’re going to be able to cut out baths completely — but at the very least you should avoid using too many bath oils, salts or bubbles when you bathe. Try using a natural, unscented soap for the bath instead.
There’s no way to 100 percent ensure that you never get a UTI again, of course — but these tips will definitely help you keep your urinary tract happy.
Original Source: http://www.bustle.com/articles/117356-6-ways-to-prevent-urinary-tract-infections
Original Source: http://www.kashmirmonitor.in/news-new-device-to-improve-urinary-infections-treatment-90876.aspx
Urinary tract infections could be treated more quickly and efficiently using a DNA sequencing device the size of a USB stick, says a study.
“We found that this device, which is the size of a USB stick, could detect the bacteria in heavily infected urine – and provide its DNA sequence in just 12 hours. This is a quarter of the time needed for conventional microbiology,” said one of the researchers Justin O’Grady from University of East Anglia in England.
The new device called MinION detected bacteria from urine samples four times more quickly than traditional methods of culturing bacteria.
The new method can also detect antibiotic resistance – allowing patients to be treated more effectively, the researchers said.
“Swift results like these will make it possible to refine a patient’s treatment much earlier – and that is good for the patient, who gets the ‘right’ antibiotic,” O’Grady said.
“This technology is rapid and capable not only of identifying the bacteria in UTIs (urinary tract infections), but also detecting drug-resistance at the point of clinical need,” O’Grady noted.
Professor David Livermore from University of East Anglia’s Norwich Medical School explained that urinary tract infections are among the most common reasons for prescribing antibiotics.
“Antibiotics are vital, especially if bacteria has entered the bloodstream, and must be given urgently. But unfortunately it takes two days to grow the bacteria in the lab and test which antibiotics kill them,” Livermore noted.
As a result, doctors must prescribe a broad range antibiotics, targeting the bacteria most likely to be responsible, and then adjust treatment once the lab results come through, he pointed out.
“This ‘carpet-bombing’ approach represents poor antibiotic stewardship, and it is vital that we move beyond it. The way to do so lies in accelerating laboratory investigation, so that treatment can be refined earlier, benefitting the patient, who gets an effective antibiotic, and society, whose diminishing stock of antibiotics is better managed,” Livermore said.
The findings were presented at an international medical conference run jointly by the American Society for Microbiology’s Interscience Conference of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) and the International Society of Chemotherapy (ICC) at San Diego in the US.
Do you ever experience a burning sensation when urinating? Do you get the urge to urinate more frequently than usual? These could be signs of a urinary tract infection, the second most common type of infection in humans.
The urinary tract is made up of the organs of the body that produce, store and discharge urine. These organs include the kidneys, ureters, bladder and the urethra. This system can be divided into upper urinary tract comprising of the ureters and kidneys and the lower urinary tract being the bladder and the urethra.
The urinary system does several important jobs. It removes liquid waste from the blood in the form of urine. It also regulates, keeping a stable balance of salts and other substances in the blood. The system also produces a hormone that is essential in the formation of red blood cells and also an enzyme that plays a role in blood pressure. The kidneys also regulate blood pressure by adjusting the volume of blood as well as the flow in and out of them.
What causes infection? This very important system of the body, however, gets infected frequently. The lower urinary tract tends to be more prone to infections. The most common cause of urinary tract infections is bacteria within the body. The bacteria from the bowel that is found on the skin near the rectum or vagina may spread and enter the urinary tract through the urethra causing urethritis. The infection may go up to the bladder, infecting the bladder (cystitis). When it reaches the kidneys it causes a more serious infection called pyelonephritis. Germs may be introduced into the urethra by wiping from back to front after bowel movement.
Infections may be introduced also by anything that obstructs or delays the flow of urine, for example kidney stones or holding urine longer. Weakening of the bladder muscles also allows residual urine, which promotes multiplication of the germs. Sexual activities and introduction of foreign bodies into the urethra also encourages infections. Women are more prone to urinary tract infection due to their shorter urethras and the close proximity to the anus.
For men, uncircumcised individuals are at greater risk of urinary tract infection as the foreskin of the penis makes it easier for the germs to get trapped and enter the urinary system. In an elderly man, an enlarged or infected prostate increases the risk of urinary tract infection. Unprotected sex and anal sex also increase the risk of urinary tract infection.
These are the symptoms and signs of urinary tract infection: Urinating more often or waking up from sleep to urinate; urine that smells bad; the urine may be cloudy or tinged with blood; pain or burning when you urinate; very little urine produced and the urge to urinate recurs quickly; and pain or pressure in the lower abdomen. When the infection spreads up to the kidneys (pyelonephritis) this could be more serious and can cause shaking chills with a fever.
This may be associated with side pain or lower back pain that gets worse. Vomiting may also occur.
There are simple steps that help preventing urinary tract infections: Drink plenty of fluids, drinking a lot of water (six to eight glasses of water daily) leads to passing a lot of urine which has the effect of flushing the urinary tract. Always wipe from front to back after a bowel movement to avoid introducing anal bacteria. Avoid holding urine for long periods of time; urinate as soon as you feel the need.
Good hygiene is of great importance in preventing urinary tract infections. Both men and women ought to exercise good hygiene before and after sexual intercourse. Hygiene in men is significantly improved by undergoing circumcision. Medical male circumcision is offered free in government health services and covered by medical aid, so ask your health provider.
If one suspects having urinary tract infection, take lots of fluid especially water and visit the nearest clinic or doctor. The nurse/doctor will take note of your symptoms, examine you and may take a sample of your urine for analysis. Urinary tract infection may be treated with oral antibiotics and with more severe cases hospitalisation may be necessary.
• Dr Emmanuel Tom is a general medical practitioner at Wanaheda Medical Centre in Windhoek (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).