Urinary tract infections in women are extremely common. Roughly 50% of all women will suffer from a UTI infection during the course of their lifetime. The condition is caused by bacteria getting into your urinary tract and causing it to become infected and inflamed. The condition is extremely painful and can be a scary experience; especially if you have never had to deal with a UTI infection before. Here is an overview of how a UTI infection can be treated and what you can do prevent getting another infection in the future.
The most common UTI treatment is through the use of antibiotics. You doctor will prescribe an antibiotic like ciprofloxacin, fosfomycin, levofloxacin, and a couple of others. These antibiotics are fast acting and most women will feel better in a day or two. For women in severe pain, the doctor might prescribe a mild pain killer to help you feel better until the antibiotics begin to work.
A small percentage of women don't react well enough to the medication that is prescribed to be used at home and may need to be hospitalized. If you end up being hospitalized, the antibiotic treatment will continue, but you will usually receive your dosage intravenously through an IV to deposit the antibiotics directly into your bloodstream. You may have to stay in the hospital for a couple of days until the infection clears up enough for you to go home.
There is a common belief that drinking cranberry juice can help prevent an infection, but it won't do anything for you once an infection has started. There have been studies that show that cranberry juice makes the urine more acidic than normal and the increased acid in the urine can kill bacteria when you urinate. While the studies are still inconclusive at this point, the evidence does suggest if you start having frequent UTI infections you may want to add cranberry juice to your daily diet, although it's recommended that you only have a glass or two a day, otherwise it can actually have a negative affect on your kidneys.
A major cause of a UTI infection results from how you wipe yourself after you go to the bathroom. There is a lot of bacteria in your colon, and if you wipe from your anus toward your vagina, you will be moving harmful bacteria toward your urinary tract. You should wipe from your vagina back toward your anus to prevent this from happening.
You should drink a lot of water every day. The water helps to flush your system and move the bacteria out of your urinary tract. You should also drink water and flush your system shortly after having sexual intercourse. The last thing you can do is change the type of birth control you use. If you use diaphragms and condoms, they can attract bacteria that can get into your urinary tract. You should talk to your doctor about alternative birth control methods to help keep your UTI free of harmful bacteria.