- Author Slava Fuzayloff
- Published July 5, 2012
- Word count 519
Although it affects both genders, it’s a problem most men never worry about, but that most women know intimately. No, we’re not referring to shopping-itis, we’re referring to the urinary tract infection. With over ten million urinary tract infection medical office visits a year in the United States, one could say it’s a problem that is less than rare. Thankfully treatment is available and easy to receive for the vast majority of sufferers.
The urinary tract infection is also responsible for a few more startling statistics. According to the National Kidney Association, there are over one and a half million hospitalizations and over a billion dollars in healthcare costs directly related to the urinary tract infection. That’s a lot more women than cranberry juice alone can cure! Treatment is wide and varied—and although there are strong benefits to drinking cranberry (or any acidic fruit) juice to help heal or to stave off a urinary tract infection, unfortunately this all-natural route will need to be backed up in many cases with a pharmaceutical component to treatment.
First, what is a urinary tract infection? Simply stated, it is an infection caused by bacteria from the large intestines, and sometimes found in the stool, that gets introduced to your urethra and potentially your kidneys and bladder. Because women have significantly shorter urethras (and other anatomical differences with men), they seem to suffer through the majority of infections. Sexual intercourse makes it much easier for the germs to find their way inside a woman’s urethra. Thankfully treatment is easy and affordable for most of these cases.
What are the symptoms both men and women should be aware of that may indicate a urinary tract infection?
• A pain or burning during urination
• A feeling of having to urinate often
• A tender or heavy stomach area
• Cloudy or foul smelling urine
• Pain on one side of the back underneath the ribs
• Fever, chills and nausea
How is a urinary tract infection diagnosed and what type of treatment is available? As would be expected diagnosis of a urinary tract infection is done via a simple urine test. This test will check for the specific germs that cause such infections.
If the urine test comes back positive for a urinary tract infection, chances are that one of several different antibiotics may be prescribed. A full course of which, should adequately heal the infection. This medicine is available at any doctor’s office or walk-in clinic in the five boroughs and can be had for a relatively inexpensive price. This treatment is covered by all types of medical insurance and finding a walk-in clinic to accept your specific coverage should be an easy thing to do.
Is there any way to prevent becoming infected by a urinary tract infection? There are several simple things most women can do to keep their chances much lower than the general populace. They are as follows:
• Drink a lot of water each and every day
• Urinate whenever necessary. In other words: don’t hold it!
• If possible, urinate directly after intercourse. This will help immeasurably.