What is a UTI?
A UTI is an infection in the urinary tract (Urinary Tract Infection). There are different types of UTIs which are defined by where the infection occurs.
UTIs are a common occurrence, particularly for women because your internal reproductive system makes you more prone to infection. Sometimes UTIs don’t have symptoms but symptoms can include a frequent need to urinate, cloudy urine, bloody urine, and pain in the pelvis, among other symptoms. It’s important to mention that treating a UTI at home can have its own risks — our Viva Eve specialists can easily diagnose and treat a UTI with antibiotics and it is recommended that you see your specialist before trying to treat your infection on your own.
If the UTI isn’t too severe, it can go away on its own. The issue is that more severe UTIs that aren’t taken seriously can have consequences. The urinary system also regulates your blood pressure and if the UTI is in your kidneys it can cause a fever and chills or other more serious side effects and symptoms. If you want to learn about how to get rid of a UTI, call Viva Eve to schedule your appointment today.
How to prevent a UTI
While at-home remedies may not be suggested for when it comes to how to get rid of a UTI, there are a few ways you can take steps to prevent a UTI from occuring by using good, healthy habits. Some people are more prone to develop UTIs and are generally at a higher risk. If you have had a UTI before then it increases your chances of having them again. These simple suggestions are guidelines on how to prevent a UTI from reoccuring or developing.
Peeing before and after sex
This is one you have likely heard of as a good rule of hygiene, but it is also how to prevent a UTI from occuring from sex. This has to do with how easily bacteria can spread during something as intimate and personal as sex. In addition to this, you can ask your partner to clean their hands or themselves beforehand, especially if coming back from the gym, travel, or being outdoors. You can also gently wash the outside of the vagina (the vulva) before sex to reduce any bacteria.
Avoid vaginal cleaning products
Your vagina is self cleaning, its own highly evolved ecosystem. While gently washing the vulva before sex can help reduce the spread of bacteria, using irritating products can affect the pH balance of the vagina which can contribute to UTIs. Scented vaginal washes, deodorants, and douches can actually agitate the vagina and contribute to UTIs. If you want to keep your vulva clean, practice wiping front to back after using the restroom to avoid contamination or infection. Talk to your Viva Eve specialist if you are concerned about using vaginal cleaning products and want to understand how to prevent a UTI. If you find you are using cleaning products to cover an irregular odor, you may be covering and worsening a symptom of a UTI.
Drinking plenty of water helps keep your urinary tract flushed of any bacteria that might be lingering. Simply staying hydrated can help prevent different types of UTIs like urethritis because urinating keeps the urethra clean and healthy as well as the bladder.
Cranberry Juice for UTIs
You may have heard about how to get rid of a UTI with cranberry juice and wondered if it’s just a wives tale. While there is some evidence to support cranberries, or cranberry juice, to help remove bacteria in the urinary tract, the best treatment is still antibiotics. While there is still no certain evidence that cranberry juice helps to treat or prevent UTIs, you can add drinking cranberry juice into your weekly routine as a preventative measure. While the evidence isn’t conclusive, it doesn’t harm anything to drink cranberry juice to help prevent a UTI in addition to drinking plenty of water daily. However, sugary drinks like gatorade and energy drinks should be avoided since these can increase the chances of developing a UTI.
Don’t hold it
If you are going to be out in the city or traveling all day, plan for places to use the restroom. Especially if you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day in an effort to prevent UTIs; not relieving yourself when your body says its time is counterproductive. If you have a long commute, use the bathroom before you leave your home and when you arrive at work. Not using the restroom causes the bacteria in your bladder to build up and can cause infection.
Include Probiotics in your diet
Adding basic probiotics into your diet is another easy suggestion on how to prevent a UTI. Eating yogurt in the morning or for an afternoon snack, adding sauerkraut to a dinner, or replacing your favorite sugary beverage for a kombucha can be simple ways to bring probiotics into your diet. Probiotics are live, good bacteria that live in the body and are helpful for gut health. They basically help keep your digestive system balanced and can be a great aid in preventing urinary tract infection and can also be helpful with vaginal yeast infections.
Different types of UTIs
The type of UTI is dependent on where the infection occurs. Below are some different types of UTIs that you may experience.
Vaginitis is a bacterial infection of the vagina and can go alongside a UTI. While it isn’t considered one of the different types of UTIs, the symptoms can be similar and it is possible to have both at the same time. Some symptoms include vaginal discharge with change in color or odor. There can also be itchyness, pain, or redness around the vagina or pain during sex or when peeing. A lab test can help determine if you are experiencing vaginitis, a UTI, or both.
Cystitis is a urinary tract infection of the bladder and causes the bladder to become inflamed. You may notice blood in your urine or find yourself going to the bathroom more frequently but without much relief.
Urethritis is a urinary tract infection of the urethra. Urethritis can be caused by STIs, though it can also occur from bacteria from the anus or stool. Pain, discharge, and frequent urination all occur from this particular infection.
How to get rid of a UTI
Usually, the first method of treatment your Viva Eve Specialist will suggest is going on antibiotics. Before prescribing a medication, your doctor will want to perform a few tests to determine the location of the UTI. A diagnosis may happen from a urine sample that is sent to a lab. The type of antibiotics prescribed are dependent on what kind of bacteria is discovered in the lab. If you are experiencing pain from a UTI, your doctor may also give a prescription for a pain medicine to manage your pain until the UTI is cleared up. If you have a frequent history of UTIs your specialist might take the next steps to help you treat and better prevent UTIs from returning by encouraging new habits, using lower doses of antibiotics after sex, or using antibiotics over a longer period of time; these are a few possibilities on how to get rid of a UTI that lingers or keeps returning. Your specialist may also provide or recommend an at home kit to periodically test for UTIs so they are caught and treated earlier.
Be sure to reach out to a Viva Eve specialist today if you think you may have any symptoms of a UTI so we can help you get back to your life sooner.