It's time we talk about UTIs or Urinary Tract Infections

UTIs are the second most common infection, next to the cold. It’s time we start talking about them. UTI means Urinary Tract Infection. A UTI is where bacteria, usually e-coli gets in your urinary tract making it inflamed causing an infection.

Most females will get a UTI in the lifetime- 50 to 60% actually- but that doesn’t mean that men don’t get them. For men, the chances get higher as they get older because their prostates get larger. But with women, our urethras are shorter making it easier for bacteria like e-coli to get in. This happens particularly after sex. However UTIs also happen during pregnancy. Again in men, UTIs can occur because as they get older, their prostate gets larger.

It's time we talk about UTIs or Urinary Tract Infections


UTIs can also be caused when your bladder can’t empty completely for whatever reason. When urine has been in your bladder, for too long it causes an infection. This includes: a blockage or stone in the ureters, kidneys, or bladder. As well a narrowed tube or kink in the urinary tract or problems with pelvic muscles or nerves. Of course these causes are more rare than getting a UTI from sex, and would be coming from a larger health problem.

UTI Symptoms

Urinary tract infections don't always cause signs and symptoms, but when they do they may include:

A strong, persistent urge to urinate
A burning sensation when urinating
Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
Urine that appears cloudy

Back aches
Urine that appears red, bright pink or cola-colored — a sign of blood in the urine. Occasionally you may have blood in your urine due to the UTI
Strong-smelling urine
Pelvic pain, especially in women — this namely occurs in the center of the pelvis and around the area of the pubic bone

Yes, UTIs cause a burning sensation when you pee. It's important to know this does not mean that UTIs are STDs! I've only had one UTI and the pain was so bad, that I would bite down on a wash cloth to keep myself from screaming. Yes, the symptoms are the same. However they are caused in different ways and require different treatments. Also UTIs are not at all contagious while STDs are.

It's time we talk about UTIs or Urinary Tract Infections

^^These are over the counter drugs available for UTIs. It is important that you know that these drugs will only ease symptoms and not treat the problem. You need antibiotics for an infection! Very rarely can UTIs be treated at home. And don't even get me started on essential oils.

UTI Risk factors

Urinary tract infections are common in women, and many women experience at least one infection during their lifetimes. Risk factors specific to women for UTIs include:

Female anatomy. A woman has a shorter urethra than a man does, which shortens the distance that bacteria must travel to reach the bladder.
Sexual activity. Sexually active women tend to have more UTIs than do women who aren't sexually active. Having a new sexual partner also increases your risk.
Certain types of birth control. Women who use diaphragms for birth control may be at higher risk, as well as women who use spermicidal agents.
Menopause. After menopause, a decline in circulating estrogen causes changes in the urinary tract that make you more vulnerable to infection.

Other risk factors, that would include men are:

Urinary tract abnormalities. Babies born with urinary tract abnormalities that don't allow urine to leave the body normally or cause urine to back up in the urethra have an increased risk of UTIs.
Blockages in the urinary tract. Kidney stones or an enlarged prostate can trap urine in the bladder and increase the risk of UTIs.
A suppressed immune system. Diabetes and other diseases that impair the immune system — the body's defense against germs — can increase the risk of UTIs.
Catheter use. People who can't urinate on their own and use a tube (catheter) to urinate have an increased risk of UTIs. This may include people who are hospitalized, people with neurological problems that make it difficult to control their ability to urinate, and people who are paralyzed.
A recent urinary procedure. Urinary surgery or an exam of your urinary tract that involves medical instruments can both increase your risk of developing a urinary tract infection.

Further complications of a UTI may include:

Recurrent infections, especially in women who experience two or more UTIs in a six-month period or four or more within a year. If you have recurrent UTIs, you will likely be placed on preventative medication.
Permanent kidney damage from an acute or chronic kidney infection (pyelonephritis) due to a UTI going untreated.
Increased risk in pregnant women of delivering low birth weight, premature infants, or other complications for their baby.
Urethral narrowing (stricture) in men from recurrent urethritis, previously seen with gonococcal urethritis.
Sepsis, a potentially life-threatening complication that can come from any infection, especially if the infection works its way up your urinary tract to your kidneys.

It's time we talk about UTIs or Urinary Tract Infections

Prevention
You can take these steps to reduce your risk of urinary tract infections:

Drink plenty of liquids, especially water. Drinking water helps dilute your urine and ensures that you'll urinate more frequently — allowing bacteria to be flushed from your urinary tract before an infection can begin.
Drink cranberry juice. Although studies are inconclusive that cranberry juice prevents UTIs, it is likely not harmful.
Wipe from front to back. Doing so after urinating and after a bowel movement helps prevent bacteria in the anal region from spreading to the vagina and urethra.
Empty your bladder soon after intercourse. Also, drink a full glass of water to help flush bacteria. Ladies, you don't have to sprint to the bathroom straight after sex. I would say no more than a half hour after sex though. Trust me ladies, this is important than you think.
Avoid potentially irritating feminine products. Using deodorant sprays or other feminine products, such as douches and powders, in the genital area can irritate the urethra.
Consider changing your birth control method. Diaphragms, or unlubricated or spermicide-treated condoms, can all contribute to bacterial growth.

Keep your genital area dry by wearing cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothes. Avoid tight jeans and nylon underwear -- they can trap moisture, creating the perfect environment for bacteria growth.

And of course, being educated on UTIs.

When I had my UTI, due to me working in healthcare, I knew something was wrong. I get patients for UTIs all the time so I recognized it. I made the decision to go to the urgent care the next day. I told the Physicians Assistant my symptoms and about how my back started to really hurt just that morning. She told me that she was going to have me take a urine test. She also said that she didn't want to wait for the test results to come back, before putting me on antibiotics. She as gently as she could, explained to me that my aching back showed that the infection was its way to my kidneys hence why she didn't want to wait. My back started to really hurt over night, that's how fast the infection was moving.

I can assure you that UTIs are nothing embarrassing. As a healthcare worker, I've seen far grosser things. Plus, this is what urgent cares are for. After two days of taking my antibiotics I started to feel better.


6|5
1621
1truekhaleesi is a GirlsAskGuys Editor
Who are Editors?

Most Helpful Girls

  • 4d

    Oh my Lord UTI's suck so much dick. I'm really thankful I didn't get one while I was pregnant. I usually get at least one or two infections a year. Worst one I peed straight up blood, that was fun. My mom says she thinks I passed a kidney stone but I don't think so. Last one I had was right before I found out I was pregnant and I just had my baby. Just curious, is there any greater risk of getting one after birth? I had an episiotomy.

    1|0
    0|0
    • 4d

      Some postpartum infections actually begin during labor. With the craziness of giving birth, and having a newborn baby they don't become apparent for days – or even weeks – after delivery. Especially after you've just given birth, the symptoms of UTIs could be mistaken for something else.

  • 6d

    This is the third time in a 12-month period that I have a UTI. It's so, so annoying especially because I always took the medicine correctly and I tried to be as clean as possible (I do everything you listed) This time I got a stronger medication, since I was told the ones I used to take before were pretty generic.. I hope I can finally end this.

    1|0
    0|0
    • 6d

      Thank you for posting this. It's nice to spread awareness.

    • Show All
    • 5d

      Try taking a D-Mannose supplement!
      I've had a recurring UTI for a solid 2 months and that was the one thing that finally helped me

    • 4d

      Does your partner have a long penis? I think that can make you more likely to get a UTI because the bacteria is pushed further up your vagina.

Most Helpful Guys

  • 5d

    I recently had the flu and see many of my symptoms - such as in the description, especially the smell of urine. One plus in a month everything went without consequences. Nothing hurts and does not smell. Thanks for the detailed article.

    1|0
    0|0
  • 3d

    Women in some professions such as nursing are higher risk, because of infrequent toilet breaks.

    3|0
    0|0

Recommended myTakes

Join the discussion

What Girls & Guys Said

1419
  • 6d

    Most common bacteria to cause a UTI are bacteria from feces.

    Other things that help prevent them:

    Both partners shower before sex.

    Men wear condom for anal sex.

    Be very careful not to get germs from anal play near the vulva.

    2|0
    0|0
    • 6d

      I should’ve been more specific the e-coli comes from the feces. Those are good things to mention. I got my UTI from extremely mediocre sex with my now ex boyfriend and I’m sure those all played a role.

  • 4d

    cotton bottoms and be sure to wear loosely fitting clothing!!! I had these spandex leggings I loved. Once I ditched those the infections went away!!!
    Avoid synthetic thongs or thongs in general. Let the vagina breath!!
    Water, water, cranberry pills and water. Gentle soap. Rinse thoroughly.

    3|0
    0|0
  • 6d

    It’s proven that most women do not drink as much water as men do.

    For example I was dating one girl that got a UTI. And her doctor asked her how much water she consumed in a day and she said one standard size water bottle... the doctor looked at her and said.

    “That’s why you got the UTI. Cause you aren’t hydrating enough for your body to properly flush itself”

    3|0
    0|0
  • 5d

    It's important to note that guys should always wash their hands before touching their partner's vulva. They may vaginas are already dirty, but they still fragile.
    Nice take, I'm glad to see a very useful post. We should all be more aware and take good care of our precious kidneys.

    2|0
    0|0
  • 2d

    "It's time we talk about UTIs or Urinary Tract Infections"

    Or not.

    1|0
    3|0
    • 2d

      "Again in men, UTIs can occur because as they get older, their prostate gets larger."

      Yes, thanks. We got that the first time.

    • 2d

      Okay? I was just emphasizing that men can get a UTI. No need to be a tool.

  • 7d

    If you're getting a lot of UTI's, the first thing I would check for would be mold in your environment, do a mold test to see if there is mold that you are being exposed to. Mold will quickly form in your private areas also rather they are exposed or not if it's in the atmosphere and it will cause UTI's. Not saying that's it, but it's way more common than you could imagine.

    1|0
    3|0
  • 5d

    the only time i've ever gotten a UTI is after anal sex. why isn't that even mentioned?

    0|0
    1|1
    • 5d

      Here are my exact words and it was one of the first sentences of this take. "This happens particularly after sex."

    • Show All
    • 5d

      Again, a very random thought process. Even if you’re wearing a condom you can still get one if there’s enough bacteria on the condom.

    • 5d

      true! wash your hands before and after. i've had a condom rip.

  • 7d

    I love this. It's super informative for everyone whether you know or don't know about UTIs. I wish more people were interested

    1|0
    0|0
  • 6d

    I'm surprised why I'm not getting UTI or kidney stones yet when I get morning wood blocking my pee whole every morning making me pee concentrated urine that feels like I've been holding it for hours. Doesn't hurt but so concentrated.

    1|0
    0|0
    • 4d

      I had UTI a lot before it wasn't that serious. I just started drinking more water. Oh by the way and men are prone to kidney stones I think due to that. I'm just lucky I think.

  • 7d

    Beautifully Done, Hun... Thank God I never Had this Pleasure of No Treasure. xxoo

    2|0
    0|0
    • 7d

      ***NO UNDIES also Helps your Baby Breathe down there. xx

  • 5d

    I always get slightly offended when people tell women to wipe front to back, to help prevent UTI's. I mean, seriously? No one is wiping that direction!

    I get frequent UTI's and I'm OCD clean/best hygeine out there.

    1|0
    0|0
    • 5d

      yeah it's a bit uncomfortable to wipe that way, but it's better than transporting bacteria from your anus and getting an infection... that's not very pleasant.

  • 4d

    alkalize the body it will clean itself
    no acidic FOOD AT ALL

    0|0
    3|1
    • 4d

      That's bullshit. You need antibiotics for infection. you're welcome to try and treat infection with no acetic foods until you go septic and die a most horrible death

    • Show All
    • 4d

      sure lol you keep thinking that

    • 4d

      Fine by me. When you stop breathing I'll give you herbs instead of starting CPR and defibrillating you.

  • 6d

    I'm not sexually active.
    This applies to sexually active people.

    0|0
    6|1
  • 5d

    The single one best thing you can do when you feel a UTI coming is taking D-Mannose! It's the special type of sugar found in cranberries that makes your bladder and urinary tract resistant to the bacteria responsible for the UTI. That's why cranberries are always recommended except that taking a D-Mannose supplement directly is WAYYY more effective. You can get it at any pharmacy and probably also some drug stores. You take the recommended daily amount for 5 days and your symptoms are gone for good.
    Hope you took a note & thank you all for coming to my Ted talk.

    1|1
    0|0
    • 5d

      I have never had one, but I know girls who have and I'm going to remember this so I can tell them! I wish there was a way to bookmark specific answers, cuz I would do that with this one

    • 5d

      @Grond21 I'm already glad if this opinion can help a single person :)

    • 5d

      My brother's wife had one on their honeymoon. I felt really sorry for them, and wanted to know how to prevent that for when I get married. So thank you so much!

  • 5d

    Learned my lesson the hard way with all of that. Now I constantly drink water.

    3|0
    0|0
  • 2d

    Thanks, one thing taking pills can give this problem. READ the intrutions before taking any …...

    2|0
    0|0
  • 2d

    I can't imagine being a female and getting this, the vagina was feel its been infested with fire ants.

    1|0
    0|0
    • 1d

      It's not the vagina that feels it, it's the urethra.

  • 9h

    Also. Maintain a healthy amount of public hair. It acts as a protective shield 😄

    1|0
    0|0
  • 4d

    At first I was annoyed by this because I thought you were a one timer trying to educate but I read to the end.

    I’ve been prone to bladder infections, sadly they won’t medicate me. I’ve had about 17 now.

    To be honest the back pain isn’t what I would be concerned about. Passing blood and tissue happens before the kidney infection kicks in and it feels like razor blades. I’ve had so many now I’m numb to most of it.

    There are many signs before money’s and many people will be sensitive to the first symptoms

    1|0
    0|0
    • 1d

      I'm right there with you. I've had several bladder infections every year for the past 5 years.

    • 1d

      @Kas19 with you Hun. I started having them when I was probably 6ish? My teacher (who violently disliked me) used to limit me to two glasses of a water a day because she used me as a babysitter and didn’t want me leaving for the loo!
      They really aren’t fun.
      I strongly suggest given your age you ask for a scan of your bladder and kidneys. It can be a sign that you aren’t absorbing liquid like you should be, or something wrong with your organs (overactive for instance). It’s a simple (but uncomfortable!) test. You have to drink at least a litre and not go to the toilet for 4 hours. It’s an ultrasound so completely painless.
      Push push push the doctors for it. You need to know why

  • 5d

    Great take. Thank you for the information and for bringing this to our attention. :)

    1|0
    0|0
  • 6d

    I've gotten a UTI once and because of that I now have a urethral stricture.

    1|0
    0|0
  • 1d

    whats the question dillweed? clean yaself!

    0|0
    1|0
    • 1d

      There is no question. You must be new here dillweed. This is a mytake, you tool.

  • 3d

    Very informative, thanks

    2|0
    0|0
  • 6d

    Drink water and clean your anus.

    1|0
    0|0
  • 5d

    Thank you so much for reminding me of all this.

    1|0
    0|0
  • 6d

    This is a fantastic post!

    1|0
    0|0
  • 7d

    Great read and very educational.

    1|0
    0|0
  • 2d

    I've had them but not anymore thanks to medicine

    1|1
    0|0
  • 5d

    Nice take

    1|0
    0|0
  • 6d

    I dont want to talk about this lol

    1|0
    0|0
  • 6d

    Your post is very knowledgable

    1|0
    0|0
  • 7d

    I didn't know men could get UTI's

    1|0
    0|0
  • 7d

    Thank you a lot people dont know this stuff

    1|0
    0|0

Recommended Questions

Loading...