If you're keen to understand Urinary Tract Infections better - you're in the right place.
We'll explore what causes UTIs and their symptoms in women, effective medications for women in South Africa (including over-the-counter medications for UTIs), and share tips for preventing them.
Common UTI symptoms in females
It's important to catch a UTI early for effective treatment. Here are some typical UTI infection symptoms that women may experience:
- Pain or Burning During Urination: This is a common indicator caused by irritating bacteria.
- Frequent Urges to Urinate: Feeling a strong need to urinate even when your bladder isn't full.
- Incomplete Emptying: Difficulty in completely emptying the bladder, leading to a constant urge.
- Cloudy or Bloody Urine: Changes in urine appearance due to infection.
- Strong Odor: An unpleasant smell associated with bacterial activity.
- Pelvic Pressure or Pain: Discomfort in the pelvic region that can vary in intensity and may indicate kidney or bladder issues.
Back Pain: UTIs can sometimes cause back pain as a symptom. When the infection spreads to the kidneys, it can lead to a condition called pyelonephritis, which often results in back pain.
UTI bleeding: How it happens
UTI (Urinary Tract Infection) bleeding occurs when bacteria enter the urinary tract and cause an infection. The infection can irritate the delicate lining of the bladder and urinary tract, leading to inflammation and sometimes even small blood vessels in the area to rupture. This can result in blood mixing with urine, which is then passed out of the body.
The blood in the urine can give it a pink, red, or brownish color, and it may be accompanied by symptoms like pain or a burning sensation during urination, frequent urination, and a strong urge to urinate. UTI bleeding is a sign that your body is fighting off an infection, and it's important to seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Is there a cure for UTIs?
Absolutely! Urinary tract infections can be cured and effectively treated with proper care. The primary solution is antibiotics, which are chosen based on the specific bacteria causing the infection and the severity of symptoms. For most uncomplicated UTIs, a short three to seven-day course of antibiotics is typically sufficient.
Getting Over-the-Counter Medication for UTIs
In South Africa, you can find over-the-counter (OTC) medications to help relieve the symptoms of a UTI, but it's important to note that antibiotics, which are typically needed to treat the infection itself, usually require a prescription from a healthcare professional.
Over-the-counter pain relievers like Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen can help manage these symptoms. However, always consult your doctor before taking any medication, especially if you are pregnant or have underlying health conditions. Another option some people consider is Citro-Soda.
Does citro soda help urinary tract infections?
A nonprescription drug called Citro-Soda contains sodium bicarbonate and citric acid. Citro-Soda works by making urine more alkaline and raising its pH level. The rationale behind its use for UTIs is that more alkaline urine may produce a setting less hospitable to bacterial growth. Healthcare experts continue to disagree on whether or not this strategy is effective for treating UTIs.
It's crucial to remember that Citro-Soda for bladder infections shouldn't be used in place of antibiotics when treating UTIs. As they directly target and eradicate the bacteria causing the infection, antibiotics are the main and evidence-based treatment for UTIs.
For those seeking to safeguard their urinary health and proactively ward off the discomfort and potential risks associated with urinary tract infections (UTIs), UTI prevention is the key:
- Keep Hydrated: Drinking enough water each day lowers the risk of infection by aiding in the removal of bacteria from the urinary tract. Aim to consume 8 to 10 glasses of water daily.
- Use Good Hygiene: Prevention of UTIs also requires good personal hygiene. To prevent spreading germs from the anus to the urethra, always wipe from front to back after using the restroom.
- After sexual activity, urinate to help flush out any bacteria which may have gone into the urethra, which lowers the risk of infection.
- Don't Use Antibiotics Unnecessarily: Using antibiotics excessively can cause antibiotic resistance and can upset the balance of healthy bacteria in the urinary tract. Take antibiotics only as directed by a medical professional to treat an infection that has been identified.
- Regular Checkups: Make an appointment for routine checkups with your doctor, especially if you have a history of recurrent urinary tract infections or other problems.
When Over-the-Counter UTI Medication Falls Short: What's Next?
Prescription antibiotics are more effective than over-the-counter medication for UTIs because they are specifically tailored to target the bacteria causing the infection.
This targeted approach ensures a higher success rate in eliminating the infection, reducing the risk of antibiotic resistance, and preventing the UTI from worsening or recurring.
How to get prescription medication:
If you need medical help and would prefer not to make an appointment and see a doctor in person, getting treatment for UTIs online through telehealth services can be a practical and effective option. Here's how it works:
|1. Book Assessment|
|Click here to pay and book for your assessment.|
|2. Share Your Symptoms|
|Our clinical team will assess your information and compare the data to local and international sources to find the best treatment for your needs|
|3. Get Treated Today|
|Your prescription will be sent to you via email, and it can be used at any South African pharmacy for purchasing your medication|
How does a kidney infection from a UTI occur?
A UTI kidney infection happens when bacteria from a urinary tract infection (UTI) spread up into the kidneys. Typically, the urinary tract, including the bladder and urethra, has protective mechanisms to prevent bacterial invasion. However, if these defenses fail or if a UTI is left untreated, bacteria can ascend into the kidneys. This can lead to a more severe condition called pyelonephritis, where the kidneys become infected and inflamed.