Have you ever needed to pee and at the same time had a severe burning sensation?
If you find yourself going to the toilet often during the day and night, and most of these visits are painful, you most likely have a urinary tract infection (UTI).
Now, мany questions are running through your head.
Do you need to visit the doctor’s office, or will the UTI go away on its own?
How quickly do antibiotics work for UTIs?
What are the signs your UTI is going away?
Find these answers in the following article.
What is a UTI?
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection of any part of the urinary tract. Any part of your urinary system can have an infection caused by bacteria.
Women are more likely than men to get a UTI because their urethras are shorter, which makes it easier for bacteria to get into the urinary tract.
Urinary tract infections can be further divided into those that are complicated and uncomplicated.
When a woman’s urinary tract is normal in how it looks and how it works, cystitis (inflammation of the bladder) and pyelonephritis (inflammation of the kidney) are considered “uncomplicated” urinary tract infections.
Urinary tract infections that occur in men, older people, pregnant women, people with an indwelling catheter, or an abnormality in their anatomy or function are considered “complicated infections.”
E. coli is the main cause of uncomplicated cystitis. Almost half of all women will have cystitis at least once in their lives. By the age of 24, nearly one-third of women will probably experience at least one episode of cystitis.
Risk factors include having multiple sexual partners, using spermicides, having a mother who has had UTIs, and using birth control pills instead of preservatives.
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Symptoms of a UTI
Sometimes people with UTIs won’t even know it. This is when asymptomatic bacteriuria is present or when bacteria is in the urine but doesn’t give symptoms.
In most cases, bacteria in the urinary tract cause the following symptoms:
- Frequent urination in small amounts of urine
- Different color urine
- Hematuria (blood in the urine)
- Dysuria (burning sensation when peeing)
- Pain in the lower part of the abdomen
- Smelly and cloudy urine
- A persistent need to urinate
- Loss of control of your bladder
If the infection goes to the kidney, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Pain in the upper back and sides
How long does a UTI last?
How long a urinary tract infection lasts depends on several factors.
First, it depends on the type of bacteria causing the infection. Then it depends on the location where the infection is located. It mostly depends on the immune system of the patient.
If treated properly, an acute infection will usually last for several days. Sometimes it can last for months, and then it is considered a chronic infection.
Signs your UTI is going away
UTIs can produce excruciating symptoms. The symptoms of an uncomplicated infection, such as frequent urine, urgency, painful urination, and dull soreness in the lower abdomen, may also be severe.
After drinking a lot of fluids and receiving appropriate therapy, the infection is expected to go away.
You’ll notice when the infection clears up.
- Urinating won’t hurt, and you won’t have to frequently go to the bathroom after your UTI starts to heal.
- It will be easier for you to maintain control over the process of urinating.
- If there is a serious illness with fever and discomfort in the groin, it will go away as the infection begins to clear.
Even if you no longer have any symptoms, which is to be expected after taking an antibiotic medication for two to three days, it is important to finish the whole course of treatment once it has begun.
A follow-up urine culture may be performed by your doctor at your next appointment to verify that there are no bacteria present in the urine sample.
In cases of complicated infections, it is essential to carry out this procedure.
The recommendation of urologists is that controlled urine tests and urine cultures are not necessary for individuals with uncomplicated infection, particularly those who are asymptomatic.
Can a UTI go away on its own?
People who get UTIs often know that they don’t always need to take antibiotics. Some people even know how to deal with the infection if they address it promptly.
So, at the first sign of infection, they will increase their fluid intake by drinking water and using cranberry tea or tea of Uva ursi. In many of these cases, the infection will promptly clear itself.
However, some people are able to avoid the infection before it ever causes symptoms by using certain preventative measures described in the text below.
If your symptoms persist for more than 2-3 days, or if they worsen, get medical attention to avoid a complicated urinary infection.
How quickly do antibiotics work for UTIs?
If you have a urinary tract infection and have symptoms, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. There are plenty of antibiotics available on the market and approved by the American Urological Association and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). One example is Cipro for UTIs.
Antibiotics should be administered for up to 7 days for an uncomplicated acute infection, according to the guidelines.
Although it is possible that the symptoms may go away during the first two to three days of treatment, it is essential to finish the course of treatment as directed by your physician.
You may get a prescription for an antibiotic that is administered in a single dose (e.g., fosfomycin) and that is sufficient to relieve your symptoms.
There are situations when you will be prescribed cephalosporines, and the treatment will only last for three days.
When treating a complicated infection such as one that affects the kidneys with symptoms of fevers, chills, and back pain, the treatment period might last for up to 14 days.
Tablet medication is not always sufficient, and in some cases, the doctor may suggest intravenous treatment instead.
Always be sure to visit your physician and complete the treatment by following their advice. The duration of therapy will vary depending on the kind of bacteria that caused the infection, the nature of the infection itself, your immunity, and whether or not this is a new infection or a recurring one.
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When should UTI symptoms be completely gone?
The duration of urinary tract symptoms is determined by whether the infection is complicated or uncomplicated. It is also determined by the type of therapy.
If you have an uncomplicated infection (e.g., you are a woman and have cystitis), your healthcare provider treats you with antibiotics.
Usually, symptoms will be gone entirely after three-five days upon the first dose of antibiotics. And even though it’s tempting to stop taking your medicine as soon as you feel better, it’s very important to continue with your antibiotics treatment for as long as the doctor says.
If you have a complicated infection (you are a male, you have kidney stones, you are pregnant or a woman in menopause, you have an indwelling catheter), the symptoms may be more severe. In such scenarios, your doctor will suggest a longer-lasting therapy.
If you have a recurrent infection, you may experience a quick return of the UTI symptoms. Here, you will have to pay attention to prophylaxis (preventive actions) in order to prevent the symptoms from occurring.
Sometimes symptoms can linger after the recommended antibiotic treatment. There are a few reasons why this could happen:
- Infection is caused by bacteria that have antibiotic resistance. Due to the frequent use of antibiotics, certain bacteria develop self-protection mechanisms and become resistant to certain antibiotics.
- You are given the wrong antibiotic. E. Coli is the most common cause of UTIs. In some cases, UTIs are caused by other bacteria, viruses, or yeast infections (Candida), so you may treat E. Coli, but this won’t work on the real cause.
- You have another infection instead of UTI (e.g., sexually transmitted disease – STD that could cause similar symptoms)
- You have other comorbidities or underlying conditions. Sometimes symptoms of bladder infection can be mistaken for symptoms caused by other issues (benign hyperplasia of the prostate, diabetes, bladder or kidney stone, bladder tumors, prostate carcinoma, etc.)
Signs your UTI is getting worse
Sometimes even an uncomplicated infection can turn into a complicated one. Urinary tract infection, if it is inadequately recognized and treated, bacteria can go through the ureters, and the infection can turn into an infection of the upper urinary tract (kidney infection).
Symptoms of an uncomplicated infection may worsen, such as:
- Frequent urination
- Urgency to urinate
- Blood in urine
- Pain in groin
- Elevated temperatures and chills
If you feel a worsening in your symptoms, go to the nearest emergency room immediately.
If not treated properly, the urinary infection can turn into a blood infection. That’s why it’s crucial to have your doctor’s checkup and follow all instructions.
If your UTI is getting worse, your doctor will recognize it and immediately will change the modality of treatment.
If home treatment is not enough, you may be admitted to the hospital, where you will be treated with lots of intravenous fluids, antibiotics, and symptomatic therapy.
- The sooner you consult your doctor and follow instructions, the faster recovery should occur.
- Be sure to take in lots of fluids.
- In order to let the urinary tract region recover, drain out the bacteria, and not potentiate symptoms, you should abstain from certain activities, like having sex and exercising, while you have UTI symptoms.
- If you’re experiencing pain or pressure in your bladder, try heating up your abdomen and pelvis by applying a bottle filled with hot water or by using a heating pad.
- Practice a careful diet! Avoid spicy food that can irritate your bladder.
- Use home remedies or try over-the-counter cranberry pills. Always consult your doctor if they can help you with your UTI.
- Coffee, alcohol, citrus, and caffeinated beverages may all irritate the bladder and should be avoided. Try to change your morning cup of coffee with a cup of tea from cranberries.
- It is essential to consume a big quantity of foods rich in vitamin C since high levels of vitamin C produce an increase in the acidity of urine. Daily intake of 100 mg of vitamin C has an important role in the reduction of urinary infections, especially during pregnancy.
- While you have an infection, you should probably skip the bath and just use the shower. Sitting in a hot bath helps the bacteria to survive.
- Empty your bladder frequently. Frequent urination can help in flushing the bacteria from your urinary tract.
- Take pain relievers (e.g., acetaminophen, ibuprofen) to help with your pain.
- Don’t use tampons during your menstrual bleeding. Change your pads frequently.
How to prevent UTIs
The most important tip for the prevention of UTIs is to stay well hydrated. Drink a lot of fluids, especially water.
A large systematic review and meta-analysis concluded that drinking more than 1L/day reduced the recurrence of UTI.
Avoid hot tubs
People who have a history of urinary tract infections (UTIs) should avoid sitting in hot tubs since doing so might aggravate the condition.
Itching may also be caused by harsh soaps used in baths and the abrasive chemicals used to maintain the cleanliness of hot tubs.
Take only brief, frequent showers and only with soaps that are pH-balanced.
Wear warm, cotton clothing
Be sure to wear warm clothing throughout the winter, particularly in the lower half of your body (legs). And wear cotton clothing, especially cotton underwear.
You need to have protective sexual intercourse to stop the transmission of STDs, especially if you have more than one partner.
Use probiotics. Taking probiotics, which are good bacteria, may help keep the urinary tract in healthy condition and free of bacteria that cause disease.
Lactobacilli are a type of probiotic that helps treat UTIs by stopping bacteria from sticking to the cells of the urinary tract.
Because lactobacilli make the urine more acidic, bacteria have a difficult time living there.
Use D-mannose. Studies and articles show the beneficial effect of D-mannose on the immune system of the urinary tract.
Wipe front to back
It is possible to prevent bacteria from your rectal area from entering your urinary system by wiping your genitals correctly.
Wipe it from front to back (from your labia and then to your anus).
Pee after sex
Urinating shortly after sexual activities may aid in the flushing of microorganisms.
Make an effort to reduce your obesity because body mass index is associated with UTIs.
If you want to get rid of the recurring urinary tract infection and have a healthier urinary tract overall, it is essential to make the lifestyle changes that were described before.
Urinary tract infections usually get better on their own. In some cases, horrible discomfort dissolves within a day or two of beginning therapy.
But sometimes, these common infections can turn into serious or even life-threatening conditions. So, you should always talk to your doctor.
At least when it’s your first time getting this kind of infection, you should be treated or learn more about prevention.
If you want to get rid of the recurring urinary tract infection and have a healthier urinary tract overall, it is essential to make the above-described lifestyle changes.