Most Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) start in the lower portion of the urinary tract. Bacteria enter through the urethra and spread upward to the bladder causing infection. Occasionally, bacteria that have infected the bladder travel into the kidneys, causing a kidney infection. Women are more prone to UTIs than men. Causes include bacteria that enter the urethra during sexual relations, bacteria from the bowel that live on the skin near the rectum or in the vagina, and waiting too long to urinate.
KNOW THE SYMPTOMS OF UTIs
- strong urge to urinate
- frequent need to urinate
- urine is tinged with blood
- fever, chills and vomiting
- a sharp pain or burning during urination
- soreness in your lower abdomen, back or sides
- when you urinate only a small amount of urine comes out
HOW TO PREVENT UTIs
- Avoid long periods without urinating.
- Empty your bladder every three hours during the day.
- Drink a minimum of eight glasses of water each day.
- Shower instead of taking a bath. If you must take a bath, avoid bubble baths or other bath additives.
- Avoid feminine hygiene products.
- If you are prone to UTIs, avoid using a vaginal diaphragm.
- Empty your bladder after intercourse.
- After a bowel movement, gently clean the area around the anus, wiping from front to back. Never repeat with the same tissue.
- Use soft, white, unscented bathroom tissue.
- After urination, wipe from front to back.