Urinary tract infection is more common in women than in men, because the urethra is shorter and closer to the anus than it is in men. Bacteria have a shorter distance to travel and can reach the bladder more easily in women. Most UTIs are caused due to bacteria sticking to the wall of the bladder where they can cause infection. So, flushing out the bacteria is very important in preventing urinary tract infection.
The most common symptoms of urinary tract infection are burning sensation, pain while urination, urge to use washroom more often, lower abdominal pain and fever. You may find that the symptoms are mild and pass within a few days. If in case you find your symptoms suddenly getting worse or you develop fever, then visit your doctor.
Effective ways to reduce the risk of urinary tract infection in women are as follows:
Drink water of about 2 liters a day or up to nine glasses per day. Water will flush out the bacteria from the urinary tract.
2) Maintain Personal Hygiene:
Always keep a good personal hygiene. After urinating, make sure you wipe the area from front to back with toilet paper. Keeping your genital area dry by wearing cotton panties and avoid nylon panties as they can trap moisture and sweat cultivating a favorable environment for bacterial growth. Wear loose fitting clothes in summer as the dry area will stop the bacterial growth. Always flush the public toilet before and after using it.
3) Avoid Holding Urine:**
Do not hold urine for a long time. Go to the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge to pass urine. Holding urine for a long time in the bladder will make bacteria grow in the bladder and will make you prone to the infection.
4) Cranberry Juice:
Some studies have found that drinking cranberry juice can prevent UTI, especially in women who are at risk of the infection.
5) Elude Feminine Hygiene Products:
Stay away from feminine hygiene sprays and avoid using douches, powders and scented bath products. They only increase vaginal irritation and dryness.
A urinary tract infection is diagnosed with a urine test. A urine routine and culture test is done, which can detect bacteria in urine. Your treatment will depend upon the signs and symptoms and also on the urine culture report. If urine culture shows the presence of the bacteria, then it can usually be treated at home using antibiotics. Your doctor will prescribe a course of antibiotics for about a week. Over-the-counter painkillers like Paracetamol and Ibuprofen help alleviate the pain and fever.
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