Female Urinary Infections
Urinary infections develop in men and women. But, according to the Mayo Clinic, women have a higher risk of developing urinary infections due to the makeup of their body. Females have a shorter urethra, so it’s easier for bacteria to enter and spread in the urinary tract. Urinary infections are painful and, if left unresolved, complications such as kidney infection can occur. Fortunately, there are ways for you to resolve and prevent these infections.
Symptoms of a Urinary Infection
Mild symptoms are common with urinary infections. But as the infection worsens or spreads, symptoms such as burning or painful urination and frequent urination are likely to occur. Depending on the severity of your condition, you may see traces of blood in your urine.
Causes of an Infection
Bacteria are the primary cause of urinary infections, and there are several ways for bacteria to enter the urinary tract. In women, bacteria from the rectum can make their way into the urethra after a bowel movement. Engaging in sexual activity also increases the risk of developing a urinary infection in women. Other common causes of urinary infections include infrequent urination and frequent use of harsh feminine hygiene products.
Fight an Infection With Antibiotics
After diagnosing you with a urinary infection, your physician likely will prescribe an antibiotic to fight the infection. Most antibiotics provide relief within three to seven days. However, it’s imperative that you follow your doctor’s instructions and take the medication as directed to avoid a recurrence.
Along with antibiotics, you can incorporate home remedies to speed your recovery. Drink at least eight glasses of water a day to flush bacteria from your urinary tract and heal faster. Cranberry juice and supplements help increase your urine’s acidic level, which stops the growth of bacteria. Because urinary infections occasionally cause back pain and pelvic pain, take pain relievers to remedy discomfort. And if you experience pelvic pressure, take a hot bath or apply a warm compress to the lower abdomen.
Urinary infections respond well to treatment and are seldom serious. But if ignored or left untreated, bacteria can spread and cause a kidney infection, which is a serious condition with life-threatening consequences. Symptoms of a kidney infection mimic a urinary infection. But in addition to typical symptoms such as painful and frequent urination, you’ll likely develop a fever, side pain, abdominal pain, vomiting and chills. Kidney infections require immediate medical attention.