A Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is an infection that begins in your urinary system, which is composed of your kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. Any part of your urinary tract can become infected, but most infections involve the bladder and urethra.
Most UTIs are uncomfortable annoyances, but if not treated, the infection can spread to your kidneys and cause permanent damage. It is always advisable to consult a doctor if you think you have a UTI.
While it is possible for almost anyone to get a UTI, there are some people who are at greater risk.
Symptoms of a UTI can vary from person to person. Some people have no symptoms. Common symptoms of a UTI include the following:
Call your healthcare provider right away if you think you may have a UTI.3
UTIs typically occur as a result of bacteria entering your urinary system through the urethra. Oftentimes, the bacteria are gastrointestinal and originate in the anus. The bacteria may travel to and multiply in the bladder, and if the infection is not treated, it can spread to the kidneys.
There are certain factors, however, that can make you more susceptible to a UTI. These include being a woman; engaging in sexual activity; and using certain types of birth control, such as diaphragms or spermicidal agents.
Note: Urinary Tract infections don't always cause signs and symptoms. The elderly may instead exhibit confusion and/or acute incontinence.
Please refer to the instructions included with the test strips or the How to Read My Results section.
Since UTIs are treated with antimicrobials which are prescribed by your doctor, call your healthcare provider if you think you may have a UTI. Once your healthcare provider confirms that you have a UTI, you’re likely to get a prescription for antibiotics. The type and length of treatment depends upon your current infection and history of UTIs. Over-the-counter or prescription urinary pain relievers can relieve painful UTI symptoms before you’re able to see a healthcare provider or while you wait for a prescribed treatment to start working.
UTIs are not 100% preventable, but you can take some steps to decrease your chances of infection. Some of these precautions include drinking plenty of water, wiping front to back after going to the bathroom, and urinating after sex.
You can decrease your chances of developing a UTI by taking some simple steps
* Don’t use feminine hygiene products that can irritate your genital area and urethra.
Cranberries or cranberry products have often been recommended as a way to help prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs). While there are studies showing that taking cranberry juice or cranberry-containing products on a regular basis may help prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs) in women, not all the studies support this benefit. Talk with your healthcare provider about using cranberry juice or related products to prevent UTIs.
To see if you really are infected, test at home with a URISTAT™ UTI Test Strip, provided in the URISTAT® Relief PAK™. They're very easy to use and you'll have your answer in just a few minutes! After you use the test strip, contact your doctor and set up an appointment to get treated. Even if the test is negative, you still may want a doctor's opinion on what is causing your symptoms. In the meantime, you can use the URISTAT® Pain Relief Tablets, also provided in the Relief PAK™, or sold separately, to alleviate those uncomfortable UTI symptoms.