Do you ever get that urgent, burning and yearning feeling down low? I am not referring to that feeling when you fall in love or when your desire is aroused, but when bacteria decides to make a home in your urinary tract. If so, you are not alone. Urinary tract infections (UTI) are most common in women and they strike 40-60 percent of women in their lifetime. What is worse is that 1 in 4 of these women are likely to have repeat infections (1).
A bladder infection is usually caused by E Coli or Staph and it can develop in any part of your urinary tract which includes the urethra, bladder, ureters, or kidneys (2). Women are more likely to develop a bladder infection if they are sexually active, have gone through menopause, use diaphragms or spermicide, have kidney or back problems, an abnormal urinary tract, diabetes, used a catheter, or have had a past urinary infection (2).
Think you might have fallen victim to a UTI? Common symptoms include an urgent need to urinate often without much urine passing, burning during urination, pain or pressure near the stomach, cloudy or blood-tinged urine, or a strong order. If you begin to develop symptoms more akin to pain in your lower back, fever, chills, nausea and or vomiting, then you may be battling a more serious, kidney infection (2).
Although antibiotics are the best course of action for a UTI, there are numerous ways to prevent and thwart off future attacks. These include drinking plenty of fluids, not holding your bladder for extended periods of time, urinating when you feel the urge, wiping from front to back, and peeing before and after intercourse. Trying probiotics and cranberry supplements may also help prevent reoccurring infections (3)(4).
1.Franco AV. Recurrent urinary tract infections. Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 2005;19:861–873.
- Information, H., Diseases, U., Adults, B., Facts, D., Facts, D., Center, T. and Health, N. (2017). Definition & Facts | NIDDK. [online] National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/bladder-infection-uti-in-adults/definition-facts [Accessed 1 Nov. 2017].
- Lynch, D. (2004). Cranberry for Prevention of Urinary Tract Infections. [online] Aafp.org. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/2004/1201/p2175.html [Accessed 10 Nov. 2017].
- Science, L. (2011). Probiotics Could Help Prevent Urinary Tract Infections. [online] Live Science. Available at: https://www.livescience.com/13747-good-bacteria-prevent-urinary-tract-infection.html [Accessed 10 Nov. 2017].