Myths And Truths About Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are one of the most common infections in women.
A UTI can occur anywhere along the urinary tract, including in the kidneys and along the tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder. More commonly, though, infections involve the lower urinary tract: the bladder and the urethra tube that empties urine .
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Its Easy To Get The Care You Need
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If you feel burning when you urinate, you may quickly recognize the problem as a urinary tract infection, or UTI. But when youre older, a UTI can be more difficult to diagnose. It may even cause confusion and other symptoms of dementia. At the same time, an older adult with Alzheimers disease or dementia may miss the signs of infection, or be unable to tell you about them.
UTIs are a common bladder condition, usually caused by bacteria. They occur more often in women, and become more frequent as we age. Most infections are not serious and can be cured quickly. But some UTIs can lead to severe, even life-threatening, problems, making it critical to catch them early.
If an older adult is disoriented for no clear reason, ask a health care provider to test for a UTI.
Having Sex With A Uti May Introduce An Additional Set Of Concerns
Joni Sweet is a freelance writer and editor who specializes in travel, health, and wellness. Her work has been published by Health, SELF, Healthline, National Geographic, Forbes, Lonely Planet, Thrillist, and dozens of other publications. When shes not traveling the world, she can be found practicing yoga, riding her bike, and looking for the best vegetarian food in the Hudson Valley.
Urinary tract infections occur when unwelcome bacteria enter and infect the urinary system, which includes the urethra, bladder, and kidneys. Per the Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library, UTIs are a widespread occurrence. They cause pelvic pain and a strong, constant urge to pee .
Given the uncomfortable symptoms of a UTI, some people may wonder whether it is safeor even enjoyableto have vaginal sex while treating an infection. Although it is not necessarily unsafe to have sex with a UTI, it may irritate your symptoms.
Timing is everything. Some healthcare providers suggest you may want to hold off until your symptoms subside and you complete a full course of antibiotics before having sex. Here’s what you need to know before making that decision.
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What If I Lose Interest In Sex
Your interest in sex may change when you have kidney disease or kidney failure. At first, you may have less interest in sex. This can happen because you need a lot of energy to cope with the physical and emotional changes brought on by your illness. In time, your interest may return to normal.
Some patients may find it more difficult to have or keep an erection. This is very common with kidney failure. It can result from the side effects of medicine, having a buildup of toxic wastes in the blood that may not be fully removed by dialysis, or other things. Many of these problems can be treated. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or get help from a healthcare professional.
Emotions can also affect sexual functioning. This includes stress, depression, nerves, fear of disability or death, marriage problems, and much more. For some people, having kidney disease may cause physical changes that can make them feel less attractive. This can also affect sexual interest. Couples who find that their sex lives are changing should talk to their doctor or social worker. Many of these problems can be treated.
Will My Sexuality Improve After A Kidney Transplant
Many people who experienced sexual problems while on dialysis will find improvement after a kidney transplant. Your new kidney will help you feel better and have more energy. This will help to make your sexual life more enjoyable. In fact, for most people, sexual functioning should return to normal.
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Heres Why Utis Are Common After Sex
Many of us are familiar with the feeling of a urinary tract infection . It can be uncomfortable, annoying, and painful, and often recurs time and time again. Many are also familiar with the unfortunate experience of getting a UTI after having sex. This can easily interfere with your sex life, especially if it becomes a chronic problem.
Heres what you need to know about UTIs and why theyre fairly common after intercourse.
What Is A Kidney Infection
Kidney infection is when a virus or bacteria affects one or both kidneys. Most kidney infections begin with a urinary tract infection . However, they can also occur if bacteria enter your bloodstream during surgery and travels to one or both of your kidneys.
While kidney infections are rare, they still result in around 100,000 emergency room visits¹ annually in the USA.
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Alternative And Complementary Therapies
There are no effective alternative or complementary methods or therapies for curing a kidney infection.
But there may be ways you can increase your comfort while being treated with antibiotics, such as placing a heating pad on your abdomen, back, or side to ease any pain in those areas.
Drinking plenty of fluids can also help flush the bacteria causing the infection from your system.
And getting plenty of rest will help in your recovery from the infection.
Early Uti Signs To Look Out For
There is a running theme in early UTI symptoms, and that is, as you might expect urine. The first symptoms of urinary tract infections all revolve around urine, either the frequency of urination, the experience of urinating, or the urine itself.
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When To Call A Healthcare Provider
Urinary tract infections require treatment with antibiotics. Even if a UTI is relatively mild, your healthcare provider will likely recommend a one- to three-day course of antibiotics.
If a UTI is causing dyspareunia, it is typically due to frequent or recurrent UTIs that require more extensive treatment. In some cases, a daily, low-dose antibiotic may be prescribed for six months or longer. In postmenopausal women, estrogen replacement therapy may be advised.
If a kidney infection develops, you need to seek prompt medical attention. If left untreated, pyelonephritis can lead to kidney failure and .
How To Prevent Utis In Seniors
Older adults can help prevent UTIs by drinking plenty of fluids to flush the bacteria from their systems, Forciea says. She recommends older adults drink four to six 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Forciea further notes that drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry tablets also can make urine less inviting for bacteria.
Use these strategies to help prevent UTIs in elderly women:
- Urinating promptly after the urge arises
- Wiping front to back
- Emptying the bladder shortly after sex
- Taking showers instead of baths
If your loved one has frequent UTIs or other challenges that require help with daily tasks, consider talking to one of our Senior Living Advisors about home care or senior living options that can improve their quality of life.
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How Can Kidney Stones Cause Constipation Or Diarrhea
Kidney stones are health problems or diseases that occur in one of your kidneys or even both. Kidneys themselves are included in the urinating system. So, if there are symptoms and other related diseases, it must happen in the same area as well.
On the other hand, constipation and diarrhea and maybe bloating are diseases that happen in the area of the digestive system. The problem may start from the gastric to the intestine.
Some matters are known as the main cause of diarrhea and constipation. All of them are mostly related to the foods you consume.
So, since the area and the conduct are different the higher the possibility that those diseases are not related to each other.
In certain situations, some people experience symptoms of diarrhea accompanied by sulfur burps, usually accompanied by an odor that resembles rotten eggs.
How To Avoid Uti During Sex
To avoid UTI during sex, consider the following points:
- Use lubricants to avoid any urethral friction during sex
- Avoid using a spermicide or diaphragm to prevent pregnancies. These might be an add-on to your issue
- Drink loads of water. Avoid drinks that irritate your bladder
- Use protections like condoms during intercourse
- Avoid douching, using powders or sprays
- Clean sex toys before using them
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Sex Should Not Cause A Uti
Before we dive into the mechanics of E. coli transmission, Id like to make an important segway.
If you are healthy, sex should not be the reason that you have recurrent UTIs!
If sex causes a UTI, you should find out why. Look for an underlying condition that weakened your immune system enough in the first place to trigger a UTI.
Again: sex is not a cause for UTI. Sex is simply a risk factor for UTIs.
If you keep getting UTIs after sex, it is really important to address the underlying cause of your UTIs. For many women, sex may trigger a UTI if there is an imbalance in their vaginal flora.
How To Treat A Uti
Healthcare providers typically prescribe antibiotics to treat UTIs. Theyll also recommend you drink plenty of fluids to help flush out your urinary tract.
Some people swear by home remedies like cranberry juice to cure a UTI and many mild UTIs go away on their own within a week but your most reliable bet is to seek out a medical professional.
For simple infections, treatment can be prescribed through telehealth, but if the infection becomes more advanced or severe, you may need to see a provider in person. No home remedy has been proven to be as effective as antibiotics for clearing up a UTI.
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Nursing Home Negligence Uti
Not every urinary tract infection in a nursing home is avoidable. A nursing home is liable only where negligence leads to a UTI and serious injury.
Most often, a UTI lawsuit is the result of negligent behavior, not abuse.
- Neglect is the failure of the nursing home, including all employees and service providers, to provide services to a resident that are necessary to avoid physical harm, pain, mental anguish, or emotional distress. 42 U.S.C. 483.5.
- Abuse is the willful infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation, or punishment with resulting physical harm, pain or mental anguish. Willful means the individual must have acted deliberately. 42 U.S.C. 483.5.
Nursing home negligence that leads to a UTI may allow the residents family to sue the nursing home.
What Is Honeymoon Cystitis
Honeymoon cystitis is a type of urinary tract infection. Cystitis is the medical term for an infection in the bladder that can cause pressure and cramping in the lower abdomen and burning urination, as well as difficulty urinating and no fever. Usually, the lining of the urethra and bladder becomes inflamed and irritated.
This can make someone more susceptible to an infection, as irritated tissues help create an environment where bacteria can linger and thrive. The term was coined because couples can have frequent sex in a short span of time during their honeymoon or women had their first intercourse in their life or after longer abstinence.
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Treatment For Utis Vs Kidney Infection Treatment
UTIs, including kidney infections, can be treated with a course of antibiotics. The type of antibiotic can depend on the type of bacteria thats causing your infection as well as how severe your infection is.
The doctor will often start you on an antibiotic that works against a wide variety of UTI-causing bacteria. If a urine culture is performed, the doctor may switch your antibiotic to one thats most effective at treating the specific bacterium thats causing your infection.
Simple UTIs can be treated with short 3- to 5-day courses of antibiotics. Treatment for kidney infections generally lasts 7 to 14 days, depending on which class of antibiotic is prescribed.
You may begin to feel better after only a few days on antibiotics. However, you should still make sure that you complete your entire treatment course as prescribed. If you do not take all of your antibiotics, the stronger bacteria may not be killed, causing your infection to persist and flare up again.
If youre pregnant, your doctor may also request a repeat urine sample following a kidney infection, even if your symptoms have resolved. This allows them to check to see whether your infection has completely cleared.
If there are still bacteria present in the sample, you may need another course of antibiotics. Persistence of bacteria can potentially harm an unborn baby.
People with severe kidney infections may need to be hospitalized. In this case, you may receive antibiotics and fluids intravenously.
How Can Urinary Tract Infections Be Treated
UTIs are usually treated with a course of antibiotics. However, in order for your loved one to be prescribed the medication, you may need to collect a sample of urine to be analysed. Not surprisingly, this can be a particularly tricky activity to do for someone with dementia, particularly if they dont understand why youre doing it. There are some products that help to detect the presence of the bacteria that can cause UTIs in the urine and can be useful.
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How Long Can You Wait To Get Treated For A Uti
If you develop any symptoms of a UTI, you should let your healthcare provider know right away so you can get diagnosed and come up with a treatment plan.
In general, antibiotics are recommended to treat UTIs since we dont know which infections will get better on their own and which ones will develop into some of the serious health problems discussed above.
Some people like young women with no health problems may choose to wait 1 to 2 days to see if their symptoms clear up on their own. If you do this, have back-up antibiotics ready to take if your symptoms get worse or dont improve after 2 days.
The bottom line is that its important to let your healthcare provider know as soon as you develop any UTI symptoms and that you work together to get the best treatment.
What Causes Recurring Utis
Some people get UTI symptoms frequently. This can result from IC, a chronic condition that causes pressure and pain in the bladder region.
IC results from inflammation, which sometimes occurs due to an autoimmune response in the bladder. This means that the body is mistakenly attacking its own cells.
In some people, the symptoms of IC come and go. Because the symptoms can resemble those of other conditions, IC can be difficult to diagnose. Treatment typically involves symptom management.
IC is not the only health issue that can resemble a UTI some STIs have similar symptoms to UTIs.
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What Is A Stent
A stent is a small hollow tube that is placed into the ureter. Its flexible and approximately 10 inches in length.
When placed in the ureter, the top portion of the stent has a small curl that sits in the kidney and the opposite ends curls in the bladder.
Stents may have a string on the end that is visible outside the body. Not all stents have a visible string.
Related Conditions Of Interstitial Cystitis
A number of different health conditions are associated with interstitial cystitis, meaning theyre also present in a person with IC.
For example, people with IC are potentially 100 times more likely to have irritable bowel syndrome than the general population, and 30 times more likely to have lupus, according to the Interstitial Cystitis Association.
Conditions associated with IC include the following:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
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What Will I Experience During And After The Procedure
The doctor or nurse will attach devices to your body to monitor your heart rate and blood pressure.
You will feel a slight pinch when the nurse inserts the needle into your vein for the IV line and when they inject the local anesthetic. Most of the sensation is at the skin incision site. The doctor will numb this area using local anesthetic. You may feel pressure when the doctor inserts the catheter into the vein or artery. However, you will not feel serious discomfort.
If the procedure uses sedation, you will feel relaxed, sleepy, and comfortable. You may or may not remain awake, depending on how deeply you are sedated.
You may feel slight pressure as the catheter is inserted into the kidney and down the ureter. During placement of a ureteral stent, until the stent is positioned, you may feel pressure as the guide wire is inserted into the bladder resulting in a sensation to urinate. You may experience blood-tinged urine for several days following the procedure, which will usually clear up on its own.
You will remain in the recovery room until you are completely awake and ready to return home.
You will not feel when the contrast is excreted into the urine.
You should be able to resume your normal activities within a few days.
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