A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a bacterial infection that can occur in both men and women. However, they’re more common in women, with a ratio of about 8 to 1.
Women have a shorter urethra than men, allowing bacteria to find their way into the urinary tract and build up more easily. The chance of getting a UTI increases as you age and can also develop with frequent sexual activity.
Rachel Spieldoch, MD at McDowell Mountain Gynecology in Scottsdale, Arizona, has the expertise and experience to understand why you get urinary tract infections and how to treat them.
We encourage you to reach out to us if you think you may be suffering from a UTI. In the meantime, read on to learn more about UTIs — including why you may get them frequently.
Symptoms of a UTI
You can have a UTI without any symptoms, but common signs include:
- Need to urinate frequently
- Strong urge to urinate
- Burning or tingling sensation while urinating or just after
- Strong odor in your urine
- Cloudy or signs of blood in your urine
If you experience any of these conditions, our team can give you an accurate diagnosis and the right treatment for you.
Causes of frequent UTIs
Common reasons why you might get frequent UTIs include:
Females should wipe from front to back to decrease the risk of fecal matter getting into the urethra. You also want to wipe thoroughly, ensuring the area is clean and dry before pulling up your underwear.
Practicing good hygiene before, during, and after sex can help you avoid a UTI. You should empty your bladder before and after sexual activity to keep your urethra flushed. Keeping all parts of your body clean, such as your genitalia and fingers, can also help you avoid a UTI.
Certain health conditions
If you’ve had previous surgeries on your urinary tract, you could be more susceptible to infection due to scar tissue. Also, if you have an autoimmune disease, your suppressed immune system could easily invite the development of a UTI.
How to avoid UTIs
If you’re prone to getting UTIs, you should:
- Drink a good amount of water throughout the day
- Go to the bathroom when you feel the urge instead of holding it in
- Wear breathable, cotton underwear
- Don’t use scented products near your genitalia
- Practice safe sex
For treatment, we can prescribe antibiotics, both short-term and long-term. The first week of treatment can eliminate your symptoms. Continued use of medication can help prevent UTIs from recurring.
We also recommend natural remedies, including drinking cranberry juice, getting in plenty of water, and using a heating pad on your bladder.
To learn more about how to eliminate UTIs from your life, contact our team today by calling the location nearest you or booking your appointment online. If you have questions before your scheduled visit, feel free to send us a message.