Urinary Tract Infections in Women Urinary

Tract Infections are one of those unpleasant issues we women deal with every so often. If you're a woman, and you've never had one, count your blessings. While unpleasant, there are many things we can do not only to avoid getting one but to cope with the symptoms when we do get one.

Let's start with how to avoid a Urinary Tract Infection, also known as a UTI. Urinary Tract Infections are caused by bacteria entering the urinary tract. Bacteria can get into the urinary tract if a woman wipes from the back to front when using the toilet, thus moving fecal matter toward the genital region. It can also occur due to the friction and movement that occurs during sexual intercourse. Thus two critical things for a woman to always remember are to urinate after intercourse and to wipe always from front to back. Change your panties at the very least once a day to keep your urinary area clean.

Now, what if you get a Urinary Tract Infection...how do you know you have one? The most common symptoms are a feeling of urgency, of needing to urinate all the time and a burning sensation when urinating. You may also feel achy and have chills and general exhaustion. Another, a less common symptom is a strange ammonia-like smell to your urine. Or urine smells like eggs, your urine may look cloudy, and if the infection has progressed, you may even see blood in your urine.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you should get in to see your doctor right away. Your doctor will ask you to urinate in a sterile cup, and the lab will put a special chemically treated dipstick into the urine to test for nitrites and leukocytes. They may also do a culture to check for bacterial growth. If you, indeed, do have a UTI, your doctor will put you on antibiotics...which can lead to a whole other set of issues. But, we'll get to that in a moment. First, let's discuss things you can do to help with the uncomfortable symptoms until the antibiotics start working.

There are products on the market that you can take to help numb the urethra so that you won't feel the burning sensation when you urinate. Be careful though, not only do these products turn your urine neon orange (so wear a pantiliner at all times as this stuff stains) but if you wear contact lenses, it will also tint your contact lenses...so wear your glasses for a few days!! You may also want to keep a cup of cold water near the toilet to pour over your sensitive parts while urinating - this helps with the burning feeling. Be sure to drink as much water as you can tolerate when you have a UTI. I was once told, "If you can jump up and down and not hear sloshing in your tummy, you're not drinking enough." Cranberry juice is also supposed to be good, but you would have to drink gallons and gallons of it to make a difference. You can get pills in the health-food stores that work just as well as drinking several gallons of juice.

Now, when on antibiotics, as a woman, you open yourself up to a whole new issue - yeast infections. So, while treating your UTI, be sure only to wear cotton panties. If you can, wear no panties to bed at night. Make sure your pubic hair is completely dry before getting dressed - use a blow-dryer, if necessary, as any bit of moisture can be a breeding ground for yeast. And be sure to eat lots of yogurts - this will not only help protect you from a yeast infection but will also help your tummy as antibiotics can be pretty hard on the digestive tract. If you are not a fan of yogurt, you can get acidophilus pills at the drug store, and they'll work just the same as eating yogurt.

The best way to treat a Urinary Tract Infection is not to get one. So, be sure always to make sure your hygiene is up to par.

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