Urinary tract infections can occur in anyone, but they are particularly common among women. The urinary tract consists of the kidneys, the urinary bladder, and the tubes, called ureters, which connect the kidneys to the bladder, as well as the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. When bacteria enters this area of the body, infection is likely to occur. The most common urinary tract infection symptoms in women include a painful burning sensation when urinating and an urgent feeling of needing to urinate but actually producing very little urine. Antibiotics are often prescribed for urinary tract infection symptoms in women, but treatment also includes home care and prevention techniques.
The urethra is shorter in women than in men, and this is thought to be the primary reason women are more susceptible to urinary tract infections than men. Sexual intercourse can also introduce bacteria into the urinary tract. Before beginning self-treatment, is is important to obtain a proper diagnosis from a medical professional in order to confirm the infection and begin a round of antibiotics if necessary.
Painful urination is among the most common urinary tract infection symptoms in women. Some women may notice a little blood in their urine as well. Often, there will be pain in the lower back or abdominal area as well. Fever and chills sometimes accompany a urinary tract infection. Other urinary tract infection symptoms in women may include nausea or vomiting. Some of these symptoms can mimic other medical conditions, so a proper diagnosis is essential.
A simple urine test can let the doctor know if the above symptoms are indeed related to a urinary tract infection. While antibiotics are commonly prescribed, women who have frequent urinary tract infections may want to practice some self-care options at home. Drinking plenty of fluids, including water or cranberry juice, can often prevent urinary tract infections from recurring by keeping harmful bacteria flushed out of the system. Over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen may help to relieve some of the more painful urinary tract infection symptoms in women as well as reduce the amount of swelling or inflammation caused by the infection.
There are a few simple tips that may help to reduce the chances of getting a urinary tract infection. One of these tips is to always make sure to wipe from front to back after urination in order to avoid introducing bacteria from bowel movements into the urinary tract. It is also generally recommended that women urinate immediately after sex and never try to hold in the urine when the urge to go is present.