About 50% of women report having a urinary tract infection (UTI) at least once in their lives, underscoring the common nature of a UTI. UTIs are painful and inconvenient, and they can lead to serious health issues if untreated. There are many signs and symptoms of UTIs, but a simple, telltale mark that you may have a UTI is if it burns when you urinate.
Why it hurts to urinate
Normal urination shouldn’t be painful, so if you’re experiencing tightness and hot sensations when you urinate, then this may be a sign you have a UTI. Another way to describe this sensation is the feeling that you can never quite empty your bladder. If you feel like you’re running to the restroom every 10 minutes, only to sit there to no avail, then you may have a UTI.
UTIs are bacterial infections
UTIs are a bacterial infection, caused by a temporary failure of your body to keep out bacteria. Both men and women can have UTIs, but women are more likely to experience them due to anatomy: A woman’s urethra is shorter than a man’s. Certain life factors can increase your risk for having a UTI, such as restricted motility, not emptying your bladder often, age, and, yes, a history of UTIs.
UTIs should be treated immediately to prevent future health issues
If identified early on, UTIs can be swiftly treated with lifestyle changes and medication management. But if ignored, an untreated UTI can spread bacterial infection to other parts of your body. Most dangerously, kidney infections are associated with untreated UTIs, which imparts significant health issues and could even lead to hospitalization.
First things first: Hydration
If you suspect that you have a UTI, the first thing to do is focus on hydration, hydration, hydration. In some situations, a UTI is your body’s way of telling you that you’re dehydrated. It never hurts to increase your water intake, and this is even more true when it comes to UTIs. By drinking copious amounts of water, you allow your body to flush out the bacteria.
Yes, this does mean that you’ll visit the restroom more often than usual, but it’s worth it to have a jump on preventing the pain associated with a UTI. If the feeling of constantly needing to urinate continues, then you may need a prescription for medications to reduce painful symptoms, or even antibiotics to clear the infection from your system. This medication series lasts 5-7 days, so the earlier you start, the faster you’re done.
At the first inkling of a UTI, don’t hesitate — seek a diagnosis and medical attention as soon as possible. Our team at OB/GYN Specialists is highly attuned to your needs, and can partner with you to create a treatment plan to resolve your UTI, including lifestyle changes to prevent future UTIs from interfering with your life. Call today to schedule an appointment.