Women are no strangers to urinary tract infections (UTIs). The lifetime incidence rate is about 50%-60% among adult women. If you suspect that your number has come up and you have a UTI, you want to know what to do next.
The short answer: Come see us for confirmation and some antibiotics.
For the longer answer, our teams of internal medicine and women’s health experts here at LaSante Health Center present the following information on UTIs — how to recognize a problem and why treatment is important.
As we mentioned, UTIs are very common among women, and that’s largely due to anatomy.
First, the urethral opening in a woman is very close to the anus, which allows for cross-contamination. Second, a woman’s urethra is much shorter than a man’s, which means bacteria can make their way into your bladder far more easily and quickly.
A UTI occurs when bacteria get inside your urinary tract and create an infection. In most cases, the infection is confined to your lower urinary tract — the urethra and bladder. But if the infection spreads, it can travel to your kidneys, which becomes a far more serious problem.
Recognizing a UTI
As with any infection, it’s best to catch a UTI in its early stages so recognizing the signs of this infection is important. Most commonly, women experience:
- Pain when urinating
- Frequent urination
- Strong urges to urinate, even if you’ve just gone
- Blood in your urine
- Lower back pain
As you can see from this list, UTIs are rarely subtle, and they make themselves known.
Why treatment for UTIs is important
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms we outlined above, the odds are good that an infection has set in. And the best way to halt the infection in its tracks is with a quick course of antibiotics.
Letting any infection go untreated is risky, and this is certainly true of UTIs. As we pointed out earlier, an unchecked infection can leave your lower urinary tract and travel to your kidneys, creating a much more serious (and painful) problem that may not respond as readily to antibiotics.
Instead, a quick trip to our clinic can confirm the presence of infectious bacteria so we can get you on the road to better health right away. In fact, most women experience relief after the first day of taking antibiotics.
If you’re wondering about at-home remedies, such as cranberry supplements or drinking lots of water, be aware that these steps help prevent UTIs, but they likely won’t work so well once an infection has started.
For experienced and prompt care of your urinary tract infection, contact our clinic in Brooklyn, New York, to schedule an appointment today. We serve the Flatbush and East Flatbush, Crown Heights, Park Slope, Little Haiti, Little Caribbean, and Prospect Lefferts Gardens communities.