Everyone remembers their first UTI. It's definitely uncomfortable, and sometimes even alarming if you don't know the symptoms. If you recognize the symptoms, make sure to take the necessary steps to treat your infection with your health care professional and know how to prevent future UTIs from happening.
What should you do if you get a UTI?
First of all, don’t be alarmed if you do unexpectedly get a UTI. They’re quite common, especially for women, and it is easily treatable with a round of antibiotics. Because symptoms can be frustrating and unanticipated, it’s important to know when to consult a healthcare professional to seek treatment and make sure that your infection does not get any worse.
If you do get a UTI, the main things to remember are to check in with your doctor who can prescribe the right treatment for your UTI. Then, start planning for prevention! (Psst, we can help you with that.)
Recognize the symptoms of a urinary tract infection.
An UTI is an infection in any part of the urinary system, which includes the kidney, bladder, and urinary tract. Most infections affect the lower tract system, although more severe UTIs typically involve the kidney or the bladder. Symptoms of UTIs can vary in the type of infection you have; some typical symptoms of an infection include:
- Constant urge to pee, even if you can’t (or don’t have to)
- Cloudy or bloody urine
- Painful to urinate, or there is no relief from peeing
- Your pee smells strong, or even bad. This is caused by excess ammonia in our urine, which is usually a sign of an infection
- Pressure in your bladder or pelvic area
If you experience multiple symptoms, it’s best to go see a doctor as soon as you can. To relieve severe symptoms, your doctor may prescribe you general antibiotics to take before the lab results for your infection come back.
Go to your doctor.
A doctor can tell you the kind of infection you have and how to treat it. There are several types of bacteria that can cause a UTI. To be able to tell exactly what kind of strain of bacteria is causing your infection, your doctor will take a urine sample that will provide a culture. The culture will provide information about the kind of treatment needed to treat the infection, so it’s important to seek a healthcare professional for a prescription.
Don’t worry; most UTIs are simple infections that can be treated easily with a round of antibiotics. But if you have kidney or bladder health issues, talk to your doctor for an adjusted prescription or alternative method to treat your infection.
Try to think about what caused your UTI.
If it is your first time getting a UTI, it might be harder to think about what the trigger could be. Typically an infection will occur in the bladder because of sex; women are especially at risk for this because they have a shorter urethra for bacteria to travel through. Some common things that can cause an infection include:
- Sexual intercourse, one of the most common causes of UTIs; your risk for UTIs increase with sexual activity
- Holding your pee, or not emptying your bladder completely
- Improper genital hygiene
Knowing the cause of your infection will help you know how to better prevent it from happening again. If you are post-menopausal or pregnant, you may be at higher risk for getting a UTI. Take these factors into consideration if you do get a UTI.
Think about prevention!
The best way to be prepared for a UTI is to prevent it. Once you know what could have triggered your infection, you can make sure that future UTIs don’t happen again. Recurrent UTIs could potentially cause more severe health issues like kidney or bladder problems, so be proactive with knowing how to prevent future UTIs.
There are many dietary and supplement suggestions that can boost your foundational UTI prevention plan and help prevent infections. It’s important to have enough antioxidants and vitamins like d-mannose to help your body fight off infections. Other basic recommendations to best prevent an infection from occurring include:
- Hydrate! Drink enough water throughout the day
- Pee often to flush bacteria out of the bladder and urinary tract before it can set in. If you’re well-hydrated, it will be tough to go too long without urinating.
- Wash well and wipe from front to back. Bacteria are less likely to make it to the urethra.
- Urinate before and after sex.
Want to give yourself an extra defense to prevent UTIs? Take Uqora, an enjoyable, pink lemonade drink that prevents future infections in your way!