What To Do When You Feel A Uti Coming On – Valinda Riggins Nwadike, MD, MPH – Medically reviewed by editorial team – Updated on February 8, 2022
A bladder infection is often caused by a bacterial infection in the bladder. For people with weakened immune systems, yeast can also cause bladder infections.
What To Do When You Feel A Uti Coming On
Most cases of bladder infections are acute, meaning they occur suddenly. Other cases may be chronic, meaning they recur over a long period of time. Early treatment is key to preventing the spread of infection.
How To Know If You Have A Urinary Tract Infection
A bladder infection is a type of urinary tract infection (UTI). It refers to an infection anywhere in the urinary tract, such as:
The upper urinary tract includes the kidneys and ureters. The kidneys filter the blood to remove waste, making urine. The urethra carries urine to the lower canal.
The lower urinary tract includes the bladder and urethra. Your bladder acts as a reservoir and stores urine until you are ready to release it. Urine leaves the body through the urethra.
References in this article to “male” and “female” or “male” and “female” refer to gender assigned at birth, not sex.
Uti (urinary Tract Infection)
Bacteria that enter the urethra and travel to the bladder can cause an infection. Normally, the body flushes out the bacteria during urination.
Bacteria can sometimes attach to the walls of your bladder and multiply rapidly. This overwhelms the body’s ability to destroy them, leading to bladder infections.
Most bladder infections are caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli). This type of bacteria naturally lives in the large intestine.
Infections can occur when bacteria from your stool get on your skin and enter your urinary tract. In women, the urethra is shorter and not far from the external opening of the anus, so bacteria can easily move from one system of the body to another.
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Bladder infection symptoms vary depending on the severity. You will immediately notice changes in urination. Some common symptoms include:
When bladder infections spread, they can cause middle back pain. This pain is associated with kidney infection. Unlike musculoskeletal back pain, this pain will be constant regardless of your position or activity.
You will generally feel quite ill. Kidney infections are more serious than bladder infections and require urgent treatment.
This is because women have smaller urethras, which makes it easier for bacteria to reach the bladder. The female urethra is located closer to the anus than the male urethra. This means that bacteria have a shorter distance to travel.
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During pregnancy, changes in the urinary tract increase the risk of infection. Changes in the immune system increase the risk during pregnancy.
As men age, the prostate can become larger. This can block the flow of urine and increase the chance of developing a UTI. UTIs increase in men with age.
Bladder infections are not very common in men under the age of 65. However, young men who are uncircumcised or have anal intercourse may be at greater risk.
A doctor can diagnose your bladder infection by doing a urinalysis. This is a test done on a sample of urine that shows the presence of:
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Your doctor may also perform a urine culture, which is a test to determine the cause of a bacterial infection in the urine.
Once they know the type of bacteria, they will test it for antibiotic sensitivity to determine which antibiotic will best treat the infection.
You can connect with a primary care doctor or urologist in your area using the FindCare tool.
Bladder infections are treated with prescription drugs to kill the bacteria, usually antibiotics and pain and inflammation relievers.
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The most common drug used to relieve pain and irritation associated with bladder infections is called phenazopyridine (Piridium).
In addition to antibiotics, there are steps you can take at home to treat your bladder infection:
If you experience recurrent bladder infections, your doctor may recommend prophylactic treatment. It contains antibiotics taken in small daily doses to prevent or manage future bladder infections.
If you experience recurring bladder infections, your doctor may give you a prescription for daily antibiotics to prevent infections or to take when you experience symptoms of a bladder infection.
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Most bladder infections clear up within 48 hours of receiving appropriate antibiotics. It is important to finish all prescribed antibiotics, even if you feel well.
Some bladder infections can worsen and spread to the kidneys because of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, delayed or inadequate treatment, or other health problems.
If you have recurring UTIs, it is important to contact your doctor. You may need some tests to make sure your urinary system is otherwise healthy.
If you don’t already have a primary care doctor, you can browse doctors in your area through the FindCare tool.
What You Need To Know About Urinary Tract Infections (utis)
Chronic bladder infections require a combination of treatment and preventive measures. Some cases may require long-term daily antibiotics.
Being proactive about bladder infections can help reduce their occurrence as well as the pain and possible complications that come with them.
The sooner you get treatment, the less likely the infection will spread and the sooner you’ll feel better.
There are strict procurement guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and medical societies. We avoid using third party references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy Urinary tract infections are a common nuisance UTIs are more common in women but can also occur more frequently in men. Sexually active women between the ages of 25 and 35 are the most common victims of UTIs.
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Studies indicate that 35 percent of women under the age of 40 have experienced this type of infection (x). Due to the increase in the number of sexually active women at younger ages, these infections may be on the rise. In fact, a recent study suggests that more than half of all women will experience a urinary tract infection at some point (x).
Escherichia coli or E. coli is the primary cause in most cases. Up to 95 percent of actually reported incidents (x) e. coli is responsible. The remaining cases are mainly due to Staphylococcus saprophyticus.
There are two clinically different types of urinary tract infection – an upper UTI is called pyelonephritis, while a lower UTI is called cyst (x). Characteristic symptoms of urinary tract infection are dysuria, frequent and urgent urination and pelvic pain. In more severe cases, there may be fever and blood in the urine. Although there is no sure way to diagnose a urinary tract infection, urinalysis is the traditional way to indicate its likelihood (x). If leukocyte esterase or nitrite is present in the intermediate urine, it is probably the culprit of the symptoms (x).
Uropathogens that cause urinary tract infections can enter the urinary tract in several ways (x). Personal contact with others (especially through sexual contact) as well as ingestion of food can promote the spread of these pathogens.
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The most common symptom of a urinary tract infection is frequent urination. Sometimes you may have to go again within minutes of leaving. In addition to the frequency, an urgency to go is almost always present. You may not feel the need to go one minute and suddenly feel the need to pee. Often there is little or no time to go to the bathroom.
In addition to increased frequency, pain or burning during urination is a common symptom. Often described as a burning sensation, this symptom, also called dysuria, is present in about 30 percent of cases (x). Since this symptom can occur with other diseases, it is important to diagnose this symptom correctly and in the context of other symptoms.
Although slightly more unusual, you may experience symptoms of cloudy urine or urine containing blood (x). Protein or crystal residue in the urinary tract can cause this. What’s more, a cloudy appearance can be the result of residue in the urinary tract. It can be a serious symptom of other diseases. Your doctor will determine if this is a sign of a urinary tract infection or another illness.
There may be pain or tenderness in the pelvic, rectal or abdominal areas (x). It can range from mild discomfort to a dull ache. Generally, there may be pain in a neighboring area and this is a common complaint when UTI occurs in the clinical setting.
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A urinary tract infection can have a persistent fever. Especially common in an upper UTI, this symptom usually occurs in cases of pyelonephritis (x).
Nausea is also common in upper UTIs. This can cause vomiting, which should be reported to your doctor immediately (x).
Although many cases of urinary tract infections present themselves in clinical settings with no known cause, there are some common factors that are often implicated. The following are commonly associated behaviors or conditions that may be responsible for a UTI. Any or all of these may be present in your situation, so your doctor will want to take a recent medical history to determine the cause.
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