Information about Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
The urinary tract is made up of the kidneys, which make urine; ureters, the tubes that carry urine to the bladder where it is stored; and the urethra, a small tube that urine passes through as it exits the body. Most infections occur in the lower urinary tract, made up of the bladder and the urethra, where it is easy for bacteria to enter.
Bacteria are spread from the skin near the rectum or the vagina into the urethra. Then the bacteria travels up the urethra causing an infection in the bladder and, sometimes, other parts of the urinary tract. Sexual intercourse can also cause infections because of a woman's anatomy. During intercourse the bacteria in the vaginal area can be massaged into the urethra by the penis. Bladder infections then can occur in women who begin having more frequent sexual intercourse or change partners often. Another cause is waiting too long to urinate. The bladder muscle is stretched beyond normal capacity, and gradually weakens.
A bladder infection is the most common U.T.I. The first sign is an urgent or frequent need to urinate. You may feel a sharp pain or burning sensation in the urethra, have a slight fever or blood in your urine. Soreness may also occur in the abdomen, lower back, or sides.
Antibiotics are used to eliminate the bacteria causing your infection. If you think that you might have a urinary tract infection, then please call us at 847-255-7474 to schedule an appointment.
Practice good personal hygiene. Wash the skin around the rectum, vagina, and the area in between every day. Wipe from front to back after a bowel movement or urinating. Always drink enough fluids to help flush bacteria out of your urinary system. Empty your bladder completely whenever you feel the urge. Urinating after sex helps rid you of bacteria that may have gone into the urethra during intercourse. Try to get enough vitamin C, which makes the urine acidic and keeps the number of bacteria lower. Wear cotton lined underwear, so moisture is not trapped. Try different position during sex which causes less friction to your urethra. If you have any symptoms of a U.T.I., see your doctor right away to get treatment and get the infection under control.