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A UTI Can Quickly Turn Serious

A UTI (or urinary tract infection) is unfortunately a very common condition for women, with approximately 50% of us developing one in our lifetime. These infections although they can become so quickly,  are not often serious, and are easily treatable.  The discomfort can be very painful nevertheless.  For some women having a UTI is a regular occurrence, for others it may be a once in a lifetime event.

Stop Urinary Tract Infections

Infections in the urinary area are generally caused either by bacteria entering the system through the urethra (often as a result of sexual intercourse), or a weakened bladder muscle not emptying urine efficiently. This can be caused by ‘holding on' to urine too long, therefore stretching the muscle more than it can handle.

The major symptoms of a urinary tract infection are usually quick to present themselves and very obvious! A woman would start to feel a persistent urge to urinate as well as a painful burning sensation after this has occurred. Most times only a small amount of cloudy, strong smelling urine is passed but the desire to do more remains, or comes back very quickly. The average adult urinates around six or more times every day.

Cranberry Juice, Girls, Cranberry Juice!

If you have a UTI you will feel the need to do this many more times than usual, day and night. The consequent sleeplessness only enhances the feeling of sickness and most people will be heading to a doctor on this second day if they haven't been already.

An infection in the urinary tract can cause pain not only in the small affected area, but in the whole lower torso. Women often describe having muscle aches in their abdomen, sides and even lower back, similar to the body aches brought on by a bad flu.

If treatment for a UTI is delayed, or the infection is particularly bad, the small amount of urine coming through may be tinged with a little (or occasionally a lot) of blood. This can be a very distressing if you have never had such an infection before, but is not uncommon.

Generally, the discomfort caused by a painful urinary tract infection is unbearable enough that treatment is sought very quickly. Getting through regular routines, looking after children or working is nearly impossible when you are feeling so unwell. Children who have a UTI will usually have the same symptoms as an adult. One common indicator is a return to night time bedwetting or reduced control during the day, especially for younger children.

Sometimes the bacteria that cause a UTI can travel to the kidneys and longer term symptoms such as nausea and fever may be present on top of those mentioned above. In this case you need to get medical help quickly. However, even if you think you may have a low level urinary infection a trip to the doctor is absolutely necessary (and usually the sufferer is desperate to get it remedied anyway). For women, infections of the vulva or vagina can display similar symptoms and a doctor is the only one to diagnose conditions properly and treat them accordingly, usually with antibiotics.

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