Urinary tract infection (UTI): Treatment and prevention

Urinary tract infection

An infection that can happen anywhere along the urinary tract is known as urinary tract infection. It results in burning during urination, odor in urine, strong need to urinate often, cramping in lower abdomen. UTI mainly affects bladders, kidneys, urethritis, urethra. This is mainly a urine infection caused by a bacteria that enters urethra and then the bladder. Women tare more susceptible to this because their urethra is short and closer to anus than in men.


The doctor will advice medication depending upon the severity of the infection.

  1. For mild infections, oral antibiotics can be recommended to avoid the risk of infection spreading to kidneys.

  2. In case of women, for simple bladder infection, antibiotics should be taken for minimum 3 days or 7-14 days for men. Moreover this may be increased for complicated infections as in case of diabetes, pregnancy or kidney infection for which antibiotics may be advised for 10-15 days.

  3. While under medication, one may feel better before a-said tenure of antibiotics but it is advisable to complete all the antibiotics as the infection may re-occur.

Some of the commonly used medicines to cure urinary tract infections available with local chemists are:

  1. Trimethoprim

  2. Sulfamethoxazole

  3. Amoxicillin

  4. Augmentin

  5. Doxycycline

  6. Fluoroquinolones

In some woman, recurrent bladder infections may be seen, for which doctor may suggest following measures:

  1. Taking a single dose of an antibiotic after sexual contact may prevent these infections, which occur after sexual activity.

  2. Having a 3-day course of antibiotics at home to use for infections diagnosed based on their symptoms may work for some women. Some women may also try taking a single, daily dose of an antibiotic to prevent infections.

Prevention of UTI

Day to day living habits may help prevent some UTI specially those related to hygiene.

1. Bathing and hygiene

During mensuration, use sanitary pads instead of tampons which will help reduce chances of urinary infections. Also note great hygiene needs to be maintain at the time of periods as wetness can cause trouble so better to change pads every time you urinate.

a. Never to use any sprays or products that contain alcohol in genital areas.

b. Take showers instead of baths. Avoid bath oils.

c. Cleanliness is of major help specially after sexual activity. Keep genital areas and anal areas clean.

d. Urinate before and after sexual activity.Also maintain good cleanliness in toilets.

2. Clothing

Although, clothing has less role in UTI but care should be taken to wear cotton underwear and pantyhose. Also the under garments should be changed once in a day. Avoid wearing tight-fitting pants.

3. Diet

Diet plays an important role in preventing urinary infections specially liquid diet and fibers. Drink plenty of water at least 10-12 glasses in a day. Do not use drinks which have high content of caffeine or alcohol as these cause irritation in bladder. Cranberry juice helps reduction in urinary infections, but do not use in case of family history of kidney stones.

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