The human body has two strong defenses against infection: The skin, which keeps threats from getting in your body, and the immune system, which fights infection once it’s inside. And they both get a workout because there are many bacteria and viruses that can cause infections.
A common threat for women is a urinary tract infection (UTI), the second most common form of infection in the U.S., leading to 8 million hospital visits annually. UTIs affect 10 in 25 women. Fortunately, a UTI is treatable.
At their offices in Wellesley and Hudson, Massachusetts, Dr. Neeraj Kohli and his dedicated team at BostonUrogyn help women manage the symptoms of urinary tract infections.
This infection results from bacteria, fungi, or viruses that target your urinary tract (kidneys, ureter, urethra, and bladder). Bladder and urethra infections are the most common.
UTIs can be irritating and painful but aren’t generally dangerous until they affect your kidneys.
The risk factors for UTIs include kidney stones, pregnancy, diabetes, a weakened immune system, and urinary tract obstruction.
Women are at higher risk of UTIs due to having shorter urethras. Other risk factors include using certain types of birth control, having multiple sex partners, and experiencing a loss of hormones during menopause. Your risk of this infection also increases as you get older.
Typically, this infection causes symptoms that include:
A UTI can also cause painful sex, side and back pain, fatigue, vomiting, fever, and confusion. These symptoms are more common in severe infections that reach the kidneys.
You can help manage your UTI symptoms by following some commonsense tips, such as:
Reducing your consumption of foods and drinks that irritate your bladder can lessen your symptoms. These items include alcohol, citrus fruits, caffeinated drinks, and spicy foods. Drink more water to help flush out your system.
If you’re still of reproductive age, changing tampons and pads regularly during your cycle can help reduce symptoms. Avoid feminine deodorants and douching, and wash your genitals with warm water regardless of age.
Urinate right after sex, and use water-based lubricants when possible. If you have frequent UTIs, avoid spermicides.
Tight clothing can cause moisture to build up, allowing bacteria to grow. Looser clothing can help keep things drier and reduce UTI risks. Cotton undergarments can also help prevent extra moisture from gathering in your urethra.
Using a diaphragm increases your chances of a urinary tract infection significantly. Talk with your specialist about other methods of birth control that lower your UTI risk.
UTIs can be irritating and painful, but we can help you manage your symptoms and find relief. Call or click to make an appointment with Dr. Kohli and BostonUrogyn today.