It is an unpleasant but simple fact of life. At some point, most women will experience painful urination.
Simple irritation or yeast infection can cause pain. It can also be due to contracting a sexually transmitted disease.
But painful urination is most often caused by a urinary tract infection (AND YOU). Statistics show that 50-60% of women will have at least one UTI in their lifetime.
Infections of any kind must be taken seriously. If not treated properly, a UTI can lead to deeper kidney infections or even septicemia, an emergency condition where infection overwhelms your system and can cause permanent damage to vital organs. In extreme cases, a UTI can be fatal.
“If you start running a fever, have pelvic pain, back pain, or increased pain when urinating, those are big indicators that you need to be seen by a healthcare provider. Don’t wait Go away now, “he said Melinda Cooling down, OSF HealthCare Vice President of Advanced Practice.
Good hygiene helps prevent urinary infections
Bacteria enter the bladder through the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine out of the body. Because women have a shorter urethra than men, they are much more likely to get a UTI.
These bacteria can reach their destination in a number of ways, all of which underscore the importance of practicing good hygiene.
“The most common bacteria associated with female urinary tract infections are related to E. coli, which can be found in feces, ”said Melinda. “That is why it is especially important to wipe from front to back after using the bathroom. It is also important to urinate immediately after having sexual activity.
“Women who bathe a lot also increase their risk, because when they are sitting in the bathtub, bacteria can enter the urinary tract. It also doesn’t necessarily have to be dirty water. Prolonged immersion increases the risk as it causes urethral irritation. “
Preventive lifestyle habits
You can also reduce your risk of a UTI by changing some lifestyle habits. Be careful what you drink and avoid high-risk sexual behaviors.
“Avoid caffeine and carbonation,” Melinda said. “Women who drink a lot of soft drinks increase their risk. It doesn’t mean you have to give them up, but use moderation. A cup or two of coffee or a soda would be fine. But if you like to drink large soda several times a day, you should stop.
“Drink lots of water. Usually, you should drink six to eight glasses, a couple of liters. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty. If you start to feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrating. You shouldn’t have that feeling.”
And one more habit:
“Don’t hold your urine. Don’t wait until you feel like you have to go. Set a time to go every few hours to empty your bladder. “
Other symptoms of a urinary infection
Painful urination is not the only indication of a UTI. In addition to painful urination, watch for blood in the urine, foul-smelling urine, low back pain, and fever.
Older women, in particular, should be on the lookout for these other symptoms.
“As we get older, we feel less jittery in general,” Melinda said. “A young woman will more often feel a burning or the urge to leave. Older women lose some of that, so they can get sick more quickly. “
Sometimes a low-grade infection can resolve quickly. Drinking more water will help flush your kidneys and bladder.
“That may be an appropriate self-treatment in the early stage of an infection,” Melinda said. “But if you start to have a fever or have that pain in your side, you should see your healthcare provider.”