You go to the bathroom and feel a burning sensation when you urinate. UTIs are incredibly common.
In fact, the risk of a woman contracting one in her lifetime ranges from 40 percent to more than 50 percent. UTIs are inconvenient and uncomfortable for sure. A UTI can result in kidney damage if left untreated.
Wondering where that burning comes from? A urinary tract infection happens when bacteria grow in the kidneys, bladder or urethra. The urethra is the tube that connects the bladder to the opening between the clitoris and the vagina so urine can exit the body.
Once the bacteria settle in, they wreak havoc and can cause a laundry list of UTI symptoms that include:. Diagnosing one just requires a simple urinalysis. You urinate into a cup, and your doctor examines the urine for signs of infection.
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The standard course of treatment is three to five days of antibiotics. If your infections keep coming back, your doctor will probably order a urine culture, a specific test for UTIs. A culture identifies the bacteria causing your infection so your doctor can choose the most effective antibiotic to treat it.
UTIs are unpleasant enough that most women will try anything to avoid getting one. Fashokun discusses some simple lifestyle changes that might help you prevent UTIs.
These steps help reduce the chance of bacteria entering the urinary tract, which is the main cause of UTIs. Though cranberry is a popular home remedy, the scientific jury is still out on it, Fashokun says: Fashokun says if you want to try it, take cranberry tablets rather than sugary cranberry juice.