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UTI  (Urinary Tract Infection)

Home Care Kit™

Background Information:

 Urinary tract infections are caused when bacteria stick to the walls of the bladder, kidney or the opening of the urethra and then multiply.  The majority of the people who get urinary tract infections (UTI) are women who are healthy.  Approximately 20% of women will develop a UTI at some point in their lifetime.  The reason may be that a woman’s urethra is short.  Therefore, bacteria can get a quick access to the bladder.  Also, the urethral opening is near the vagina and anus where sources of bacteria are easily accessible.  Urinary tract infections are usually bacterial or viral which can be divided into two categories.  The first category is that UTI occurs in the lower urinary tract.  These infections are usually either cystitis (bladder) or urethritis (usually associated with a sexually transmitted disease).  The second category is that UTI occurs in the upper portion of the urinary tract (pyelonephritis).  These infections are often more complicated than those of the lower urinary tract, and may require more advanced methods in diagnosis and more aggressive treatment. 

Under normal conditions, the urine is sterile.  It contains fluids, salts, and waste products, but it is usually free of bacteria, viruses, and fungi.  The bacteria that is most frequently causing UTI is Escherichia coli (E. coli), which are naturally found in the colon, stomach, around the anus, and in the stool.  Infections happen when these bacteria are spread from the rectum or vagina to the urethra and then to the bladder or kidneys.  People usually know they have a UTI infection because they can feel the symptoms of a UTI.  These symptoms are:  

 

  • A painful burning sensation during urination
  • The frequent urge to urinate with little urine passing
  • Lower back, abdominal, or side pain
  • Cloudy, dark, bloody, or unusual-smelling urine
  • Chills and fever

Once the symptoms are present, the diagnosis can be confirmed by testing the presence of nitrates in urine.  Nitrates in urine often indicate a urinary tract infection.  The early detection can help alleviate the symptoms early before it becomes too painful and see a physician to prescribe a course of antibiotics.  For simple infections, the course of therapy is 3 days.  For more serious infections, a course of therapy is 7 days or longer to kill the bacteria that are causing the urinary tract infection.  Sometimes about one out of every five women who get a UTI will get another one.  There are some women who get three or more UTIs a year.  However, men hardly get repeat infections.  People who have diabetes or a problem that makes it difficult to urinate may get repeat infections.  For the early detection purposes, Woman's Wellbeing™ came up with a UTI Home Screening Test Kit™ that detects about 90% of infections occurring in women who get recurrent UTI’s and sexually active women.

 

PEOPLE WHO ARE AT RISK FOR A URINARY TRACT INFECTION

  • Abnormality of the urinary tract that obstructs the flow of urine (e.g. a kidney stone)
  • Enlarged prostate gland that slow the flow of urine
  • Incontinence or paralysis
  • Catheters or tubes placed in the bladder
  • Diabetes or any disorder that suppresses or changes the immune system
  • Women who use a diaphragm
  • People who are sexually active
  • Partners who use a condom with spermicidal foam or unlubricated condoms
  • Allergic to scented soaps, oils, bath and shower products
  • Women during or after menopause
  • Pregnancy cause changes in hormones & shifts the position of the urinary tract which make it easier for bacteria to travel up the ureters to the kidneys

 

 

WAYS TO LOWER THE RISK OF A URINARY TRACT INFECTION

·        Drink 8-10 glasses of water each day

·        Avoid foods & beverages that may contribute to UTI (e.g. caffeine, carbonated beverages, alcohol, spicy or highly acidic foods, tomatoes, & citrus products)

·        Drink cranberry juice or take cranberry concentrate capsules daily

  • Cleanse the genital area before & after sexual intercourse

·        Urinate before & after intercourse. Use a non-petroleum based lubricant to protect genital irritation

·        Urinate regularly; do not suppress the urge

·        Wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria around the anus from entering the vagina or urethra

·        Take showers instead of tub baths

·        Avoid bubble bath products, douches, scented soaps, & toilet papers containing chemical irritants & perfumes

·        Avoid scented detergents, bleaches, & fabric softeners

·        Wear cotton underwear & avoid tight fitting clothing

·        Change tampons & sanitary napkins frequently

·        Change out of damp swimsuits or exercise clothing in a timely manner

·        Change birth control method (if using a diaphragm or spermicide or unlubricated condoms)

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