Symptoms include a strong urge to urinate that cannot be delayed, followed by a sharp pain or burning sensation in the urethra when the urine is released. The urge to urinate recurs quickly and soreness may occur in the lower abdomen, back, or sides. This cycle may repeat itself frequently. When bacteria enter the ureters and spread to the kidneys, symptoms such as back pain, chills, fever, nausea, and vomiting may also occur. The number of bacteria and white blood cells in a urine sample is the basis for diagnosing UTIs. Your urine is examined under a microscope and cultured in a substance that promotes the growth of bacteria. A pelvic exam also may be necessary.
Antibiotics are the usual treatment for UTIs. It’s important that all antibiotics be taken as prescribed, and not be discontinued before the full course of antibiotic treatment is complete—even if symptoms disappear soon after beginning the treatment. The present infection may still recur. An additional urine test may be ordered about a week after completing treatment to be sure the infection is cured. Always wipe from front to back after a bowel movement or urination, and wash the skin around and between the rectum and vagina daily. Washing before and after sexual intercourse also may decrease a woman’s risk of UTI. Emptying the bladder as soon as the urge to urinate occurs also may help decrease the risk of a UTI.
Urinating before and after sex can flush out any bacteria that may enter the urethra during sexual intercourse. Vitamin C makes the urine acidic and helps to reduce the number of potentially harmful bacteria in the urinary tract system. Wear only panties with a cotton crotch, which allows moisture to escape. Other materials can trap moisture and create a potential breeding ground for bacteria. Cranberry juice is often said to reduce the frequency of bladder infections, though it should not be considered an actual treatment. If you experience frequent UTIs, changing to sexual positions that cause less friction on the urethra may help.
Just remember: Although UTIs are painful, they usually are easy to treat once properly diagnosed and only last a few days. When treated promptly and properly, UTIs are rarely serious. A man sits in a doctor’s office. Is It Safe to Self-Treat a Bladder Infection? Can you spread them like an STD? Get Rid of It for Good! What Are the Causes of an Itchy Urethra in Men?
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Good stuff is on its way! Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community. If your kitty is going to the litter box more than usual and seems down or depressed, it’s not likely she raided your fridge and watched a chick flick — she may have a bladder infection. Female cats have higher risks for bladder infections than male cats. Take her to the vet for a once a year urine test to be safe. Common symptoms your kitty may display if she has developed a urinary tract infection include difficulty going to the bathroom, spending extra time in the litter box and going to the litter box much more often than usual.
Sometimes blood in the urine may be present or the urine may have an unusually strong odor. Because urinary tract infections can be painful, your cat may also display behavior changes including depression, lethargy and decreased appetite. While male and female cats can both develop bladder infections, female cats do have a higher risk factor for these infections, according to veterinarian Eric Barchas’s website. If your cat is overweight or has an existing medical condition, such as diabetes, dental disease or a condition which may affect her immune system, she could also have a higher risk for developing bladder infections. Some cats though still develop urinary tract infections even though they do not fall into any of these high risk categories. So even though your cat is healthy and in good shape, it is still possible for her to develop a bladder infection at some point in her life. Keep in mind that it is common for your pets to disguise any pain that they are feeling for as long as possible. By the time symptoms of a bladder infection in female cats are noticeable, the infection can be severe and painful. Advanced bladder infections may eventually affect the kidneys too. This is why it is so important to take your cat to the vet as soon as she is showing any urinary tract infection symptoms, so she can begin treatment and feel better right away.