Have you ever had a burning sensation when you pee? Maybe you have experienced soreness or lower back cramps. These symptoms could be the result of a urinary tract infection (UTI). Since it is estimated that 60% of women and 12% of men will have at least one UTI in their lifetime, there is no need to feel ashamed. Here is what a UTI is, and the best way to treat and prevent it.
What is a UTI?
The urinary tract is the body’s waste disposal system. Wastes are pulled from the blood and processed through the kidneys where they are filtered through the ureters to the bladder and out of the body through the urethra in the form of urine. A urinary tract infection can occur at any point in the urinary tract. Although urine is a waste product, bacteria do not exist in normal healthy urine. However, a urinary tract infection is the result of bacteria making its way up the urethra.
When bacteria inhabit the urinary tract, they can irritate the urethra and cause it to become inflamed. Often, the infection moves up the urethra and inhabits the bladder. If a UTI goes untreated, the bacteria can make their way into the kidneys. When your UTI becomes a kidney infection, it can become serious quite quickly as it can easily enter the bloodstream and become life-threatening. While this is rare, it is still possible, and one of the reasons that it is so important to seek treatment early.
Symptoms of a UTI
There are several symptoms of a UTI. These symptoms will vary depending on where in the urinary tract the infection occurs, and the more intense the symptoms, the more serious your infection may be. General symptoms of a UTI include:
- Burning sensation when you pee
- Pain or cramping in the lower back
- Feeling pressure in your lower belly
- Fever and/or chills
- Urge to pee more frequently
- Cloudy urine, smells bad, or is tinged with blood appearing pinkish or dark like cola
If symptoms are ignored, and a urinary tract infection is allowed to get worse, the infection can ultimately reach the kidneys. When a UTI becomes a kidney infection, it is considered to be a serious infection that may require hospitalization.
How Do You Get a UTI?
It isn’t difficult to contract a UTI. While urine itself doesn’t carry bacteria, there are quite a bit of bacteria that live in the areas surrounding the urethra such as the vagina, genital, and anal areas. This bacteria can easily enter the urethra and travel to the bladder causing an infection in the urethra and bladder. Bacteria can easily travel during sexual activity, usually from bacteria living on your partner’s genitals, fingers, anus, or even sex toys getting pushed into your urethra. It does not have to be sex-related either. UTIs can be caused by anything that might bring bacteria or other organisms near your urethra.
Some people are at higher risk of getting a UTI than others. You are more likely to suffer from a UTI if:
- You have had a UTI previously.
- You are diabetic.
- You use a diaphragm or spermicides.
- You are overweight.
- You have other conditions that obstruct the urinary tract, such as kidney stones.
- You have lower immunity due to other conditions.
How Do You Treat a UTI?
The most common treatment for a UTI is also the most important. The primary way that urinary tract infections are treated is through a prescription for antibiotics. If your UTI is extremely mild, drinking a lot of water can flush the bacteria out through the urethra. If your symptoms of a UTI last longer than two days, it is best to see a doctor and get a prescription for antibiotics. Antibiotics will usually resolve a UTI and prevent the bacteria from spreading further up the urinary tract. If you do have to get antibiotics, you must take the entire prescription as prescribed by your doctor.
How Can You Prevent a UTI?
There are several things that you can do to prevent a UTI:
- Drink lots of water. When you drink a lot of water, you pee more frequently. This is because water dilutes your urine. The more frequently you pee, the less chance that bacteria will remain in your urinary tract. It is often possible to flush out the bacteria before it can cause an infection.
- Empty your bladder and gently clean the area before you have sex. If you wash up before you have sex, you can eliminate bacteria that naturally occurs in the genital area.
- Empty your bladder as soon as possible following intercourse. You should also take a moment and drink a full glass of water to help flush out the bacteria that naturally is transmitted during sexual intercourse.
- Avoid holding your pee. If you hold your pee for longer than three to four hours at a time, bacterial growth is more likely. Always completely empty your bladder when you pee.
- Wipe from front to back. It is especially important when you go to the bathroom to wipe from front to back after you pee or have a bowel movement. This helps prevent the bacteria in your anal region from being transferred to the vagina and the urethra.
- Change your birth control. If you have been using a diaphragm or a condom, you could be at higher risk of getting a UTI because these two forms of birth control are known to contribute to the growth of bacteria in the urethra and vaginal region.
- Feminine products can be irritating and should be avoided. Some over-the-counter feminine products such as deodorant sprays, wipes, powders, or douches can actually irritate the genital area instead of helping it. When the vaginal area is irritated by these products, there is a good chance the urethra will be irritated as well.
- Drink cranberry juice, take cranberry supplements, or eat cranberries. Although scientifically unproven, this natural home remedy has worked for women for many years.
- Take antibiotics. For those who tend to have a lot of UTIs, especially older adults, a preventative course of antibiotics can reduce the incidents of UTIs.
- Take probiotics. Probiotics can help control your pH levels. When you have a UTI, your urine usually has a lower acid level than normal. Probiotics can raise the alkalinity and acidity to healthier levels that bacteria won’t want to live in.
How Can Binto Help?
Binto supplements have several ingredients that can help you fight off the possibility of getting a UTI. For example, the supplements are high in vitamin C just like cranberries, and elevating your vitamin C intake can help you fight off infection. Probiotics are known to bring your body to a state where there is better pH balance. To avoid a UTI, you want to keep the level of acidity in your urine at a higher level because UTIs usually involve urine of lower acidity. Binto supplements are also proven to increase your immune system. This is especially important for those women who have a deficiency in their immune systems. Raising your immunity can prevent you from being susceptible to UTIs. Taking the right daily Binto supplement for your body can help you fight off other potential infections as well as increase your energy and overall feeling of wellbeing.