5 Things Women Need to Know About UTIs & How to Treat Them

50% of women will have UTI at least once in their lifetimes. That is, according to the US department of health. 20% of young women who get UTI will see it recur. UTIs are among the top causes of clinic visitations world over, Australia included. They are painful, inconvenient and mostly misunderstood by women.

What is Urinary Tract Infection?

This is an infection that affects the urinary tract when there is a higher than usual build-up of bacteria or viruses. UTIs are mostly seen in the bladder, although they can also be seen in the ureters, urethra and severe cases, the kidney.

UTI symptoms in women include;
  • Frequent urges to go to the loo and pressure in the lower abdomen
  • A burning feeling when urinating
  • Abnormal colouring of urine, to look milky or reddish
  • Fever and shakes
  • Constant fatigue

Blood in the urine (emergency) It is good to educate yourself about UTIs so that you can avoid common but risky myths, know how to prevent UTIs and what to do if you get it. Here are some things you need to know about UTIs;

  • Not only sex can bring on UTIs

There is a common confusion between Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and UTIs. While STIs are transmitted through sexual intercourse, UTIs can develop on their own. But UTIs can also result from sex because bacteria from the outer genitalia and the anus are carried into the vagina and come into contact with the urethra. For many premenopausal women, this is usually the leading cause of developing UTIs. But UTIs can also come from other factors including;

  • Incorrect use of hygiene products like not changing the pad or tampon as required
  • Birth control hormone imbalance which can lead to increased growth of bacteria
  • Diarrhea – Watery stool can spread to the genitals, carrying bacteria with it
  • Holding on too long encourages bacteria to grow in the bladder
  • Dehydration leads to infrequent passing of urine, which promotes the growth of bacteria
  • Kidney stones blocking the urinary tract and promoting bacteria growth

  • Post-menopausal women are more likely to get UTIs

  • Menopause comes with hormonal changes which also cause dryness in the vagina. This dryer environment is more suitable for bacterial growth

    • Women are at more risk of getting UTIs than men

    Men also get UTIs, but at a lower rate than women. The US National Kidney Institute says that women are at 10x more risk than men in getting UTIs. This is because the shorter female urethra makes it easier for bacteria to travel the urinary tract

    • UTIs can lead to severe kidney disease

    Delay in getting treated for a UTI can lead to more severe health problems, especially kidney problems. The infection can travel up the urinary tract to the kidneys, leading to a life-threatening emergency. It is recommended that you see a doctor immediately if you suspect you have a UTI.

    • UTIs can be treated with home remedies

    You can do Urinary Tract Infection women treatment with home remedies such as;

    • Eating foods with probiotics like yoghurt encourages the growth of ‘good’ bacteria in which inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria. Foods rich in Vitamin C make the urine more acidic that also inhibits the growth of bacteria ,
    • Drinking adequate water, the recommended 6-8 glasses of water. This helps maintain a healthy pH which reduces the growth of bacteria
    • Heat treatment – Placing a heat source on the pubic area can help soothe the pain
    But it is always recommended to see a doctor and adopt home remedies as secondary treatment methods. Here at 13Cure, we offer medical treatment for all kinds of UTIs.

    Preventing UTIs

    Women can lower their risks of getting UTIs by;

    • Observing hygiene by washing the genital area with clean water at least once daily
    • Passing urine when the need arises instead of holding
    • Changing sanitary towels and tampons as required
    • Avoiding dirty toilets
    • Avoiding very tight-fitting panties
    Educating yourself on UTIs can help you stay clear of this common ailment, and knowing how to deal with it if it develops. Do you have any questions on UTIs? Feel free to contact us for an appointment.

    Name: Dr. Muhammad Mohsin, General Practitioner

    University Degree: MBBS, AMC

    Bio: Dr. Muhammad Mohsin completed his studies from Univerisity of Health Sciences, Lahore Pakistan in 2008. He came to Australia in 2012 and has worked as a resident and GP in various hospitals and medical centres across Australia. He has a particular interest in men's health, travels medicine, chronic disease management, and general family medicine.