First things first: What is an acute, uncomplicated UTI?
According to the Cleveland Clinic, an uncomplicated UTI occurs when an infectious organism (such as bacteria) invades an otherwise structurally and functionally healthy urinary tract. This is a highly common diagnosis among women, affecting millions of them yearly. To illustrate this fact, statistics show that for every 30 women, only one man experiences a UTI.
In women, an acute and uncomplicated UTI is most often referred to as cystitis—in other words, infection of the bladder. This condition is often shrugged off as a simple and easy-to-treat infection, but it could progress into a kidney problem if left unwatched.
As the demographic most vulnerable to UTIs, women should be aware of UTI self-management, treatment methods, and prevention techniques. Aside from the common advice you hear—such as drinking plenty of water and cranberry juice—here are some tips you’ll find useful.
1. If you’re sexually active, visit your doctor regularly.
For many reasons, sexual activities greatly increase a woman’s risk of contracting a UTI. Although sex in itself does not cause UTI, the increased activity in the genital area can introduce bacteria to the woman’s urinary tract.
Most women wait for the symptoms of UTI to show up before seeking medical advice. However, the problem with this is, there are instances when UTI does not present with any symptoms. In other cases, you may experience some symptoms, but they may not even be noticeable.
Thus, it’s always a good idea to get yourself checked for UTIs regularly, especially if you’re sexually active. This would let you monitor your urinary tract’s health and enable you to ward off infections before they become more severe.
2. Consider taking a single-dose antibiotic for UTI.
Some doctors recommend undergoing a long antibiotics treatment course to get rid of UTIs, which may last from approximately three to ten days. However, they might advise you to take a novel single-dose antibiotic that is highly effective ,if a recurrent UTI can be attributed to sex-related causes. This medication is usually taken after sexual intercourse. It’s a much quicker way to prevent cystitis or manage its symptoms.
Do keep in mind, however, that this is only advisable for mild, uncomplicated cases. Refrain from subscribing to this treatment method unless it’s officially recommended by your doctor.
3. Strictly follow your doctor’s prescriptions.
When doctors prescribe antibiotics for your UTI and instruct you to continuously take them within a given number of days, make sure to follow their every word and complete the entire regiment. Most patients stop taking their medications when their symptoms improve. But keep in mind that this isn’t always a sign that every harmful organism in the urinary tract has been eliminated. That’s why a single dose antibiotic is as close to ideal as possible .
To get the best results, follow your doctor’s advice exactly and religiously. Avoid making any adjustments or changes to your treatment course without consulting them first so they can advise you accordingly.
4. Talk to your physician to explore other options.
Together with your doctor, you may discuss prevention techniques and self-care, as well as possible lifestyle modifications in order to fight or manage UTI. It’s also a good idea to ask questions or clarify anything you may be confused about to gain a good understanding of how UTI works, what triggers it, and how you can avoid it.
Talking about UTI’s complications is also crucial. Make sure to inform your physician if you have other illnesses such as diabetes or if you’re pregnant or planning to conceive. These conditions may trigger, aggravate, or complicate UTIs.
UTI, specifically cystitis, may be common among women, but this doesn’t make it a less worrisome or harmful condition. You should always be on guard for the possibility of contracting this infection. Start by being aware of its causes and leading a healthy lifestyle. Of course, consulting your doctor regularly is also a must so you can detect, manage, and treat it effectively.