Dr. Natasha Withers: Urinary Tract Infections or UTIs are fairly common especially in women. In fact, half of all women will get a UTI at some point.
UTIs occur when bacteria such as E. coli, which are usually found in your gastrointestinal tract and pelvic region, enter into your urinary system. A woman short urethra, means that bacteria don't have far to travel to infect her bladder.
Typically, UTI symptoms include a burning sensation upon urination and the need to urinate frequently and urgently. Sometimes the urine can be bloody or cloudy.
Symptomatic UTI usually needs a prescription antibiotic. The good news is that your doctor may be able to prescribe it over the phone if your symptoms sound like a routine UTI.
But if you are experiencing fever, abdominal pain, back pain, nausea or vomiting, or if the UTI is a possible relapse of a recently treated UTI, you will need to see your doctor. You might need to have a urine culture taken or be evaluated for a possible infection of your kidneys.
To prevent UTIs drink several glasses of fluid each day. Staying well hydrated may flush out the bacteria before they can cause an infection. It also helps if you would urinate shortly after intercourse.
Finally, take frequent bathroom breaks even when you are busy. Holding in your urine may give bacteria chance to make themselves at home in your body.
I am Dr. Natasha. Live well.