Around 50–60% of women will experience a UTI in their lifetime. That’s a lot of people! Don’t feel embarrassed if you think you may have a urinary tract infection. Here’s some of our tips for receiving urinary tract infection treatment from women’s care specialists in Florida.
What’s a Urinary Tract Infection?
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in any part of your urinary system. It could be in your kidneys, ureters, bladder or urethra, but most infections involve the lower urinary tract— the bladder and the urethra. UTIs are commonly thought of as a medical issue that only women get, but that’s not the case.
While men can develop UTIs too, women are at greater risk of getting these infections because of where the urethra is located on the female body. The short distance from the urethra to the anus makes it easier for bacteria from the anus to make its way into the urethral opening. An infection of the bladder (cystitis) is a type of UTI that is usually caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli), a type of bacteria commonly found in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
The urethra is also close to the vagina, so sexual intercourse can lead to infections of the urethra (urethritis). Sexually transmitted infections, such as herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia and mycoplasma, can cause this type of UTI. These common infections are easy to treat with simple antibiotic therapy in Florida. However, getting urinary tract infection treatment is crucial as you can develop serious complications if a UTI spreads to your kidneys.
What Are the Symptoms?
UTIs don’t always cause signs and symptoms, but the most common signs include:
- A strong, persistent urge to urinate
- A burning sensation when urinating
- Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
- Urine that appears cloudy
- Urine that appears red, bright pink or cola-colored (this indicates blood in the urine)
- Strong-smelling urine
- Pelvic pain, in women — especially in the center of the pelvis and around the area of the pubic bone
Even if you are an older woman, you can still get these infections. Because older adults can develop many different medical conditions, UTIs are often mistaken for other issues.
There are several types of urinary tract infections. Each type of UTI may result in more-specific signs and symptoms, depending on which part of your urinary tract is infected. This is why it’s important to see a doctor if you get UTIs on a regular basis, as they will be able to determine any underlying issues that may be causing your UTIs.
Antibiotic Therapy | Women’s Care Florida
Antibiotics are prescription medications that kill bacteria and fight infections. Antibiotic therapy is the typical urinary tract infection treatment. Your healthcare provider will pick a drug that best treats the particular bacteria that’s causing your infection. Some commonly used antibiotics can include:
- Sulfonamides (sulfa drugs)
- Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim®)
- Quinolones (such as ciprofloxacin [Cipro®])
Make sure to follow your healthcare provider’s exact directions for taking the medicine. Don’t stop taking your antibiotic medications even if your symptoms go away and you start feeling better. If you don’t run the full course of antibiotics, the infection can return.
If you have a history of frequent urinary tract infections, you may be given a prescription for antibiotics that you would take at the first onset of symptoms. Other patients may be given antibiotics to take every day, every other day, or after sexual intercourse to prevent UTIs. Talk to your healthcare provider, such as your OB/GYN, about the best treatment option for you if you have a history of frequent UTIs.