FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Urinary Tract Infections

Sep 1, 2013
2013 / September 2013

Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, affect both women and men and are the second-most common type of infection. Bacteria entering the urethra is the most common cause. Normally, bacteria in the urinary tract are quickly flushed out, but sometimes they overcome the body’s defenses and cause infection. UTIs are painful, especially if you are traveling with an untreated infection.

A UTI can happen anywhere in the urinary system, which includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. A bladder infection is called cystitis. Polynephritis is an infection of one or both kidneys. An infection of the tube that empties urine from the bladder to the outside is called urethritis. Prostatitis is an infection of the prostate gland in men.

Women tend to contract more UTIs because their urethra is shorter and closer to the anus than in men; they are more likely to get an infection after sexual activity or when using a diaphragm or spermicide for birth control. Menopause increases the risk of a UTI due to a decrease in estrogen.

Certain conditions increase the risk of UTIs: diabetes, advanced age, adults with Alzheimer’s disease or delirium, and individuals with problems emptying their bladder completely. Other risks include having a urinary catheter, bowel incontinence, an enlarged prostate, a narrowed urethra or anything that blocks the flow of urine, such as kidney stones. Remaining immobile for a long period of time, pregnancy and surgery or procedures involving the urinary tract also place you at risk.

Contact your health care provider if you experience pain or burning when you urinate, fever, tiredness or shakiness, an urge to urinate often, pressure in your lower belly, urine that smells bad or looks cloudy or reddish, nausea or back pain. Your doctor will examine you to determine whether you have a mild bladder or kidney infection or a more serious infection.

Most of the time, your doctor or nurse can diagnose an infection by analyzing a urine sample for white blood cells, red blood cells and bacteria. A urine culture can then identify the bacteria so that the correct antibiotic is ordered. Blood work can also look for infection. Your doctor will want to know whether you could be pregnant.

Antibiotics taken by mouth are usually recommended because there is a risk that the infection can spread to the kidneys. For a simple bladder infection, you will take antibiotics for three to seven days (women) or seven to 14 days (men). The urine culture may require a change in the antibiotic to one that the bacteria are not resistant to.

Finish all of the antibiotics, even if you feel better. Otherwise, the infection could return and be harder to treat. Commonly used antibiotics include Bactrim, Amoxicillin, Nitofurantoin, Ampicillin, Cipro and Levaquin. A medication such as Pyridium can relieve the burning and urgency. Contact your provider after completing the antibiotics to make sure the infection is gone. If it does not improve or you have problems with your treatment, call your provider.

If you have a UTI, drink plenty of fluids to keep the urine clear or pale yellow. Avoid caffeine, tea, carbonated beverages and alcohol; they tend to irritate the bladder. Only take over-the-counter pain medicines as directed by your provider. Some women have recurrent bladder infections. Your doctor may suggest consulting a urologist to rule out problems with your urinary tract system that may lead to recurrent UTIs or make a UTI harder to treat. If you are prone to recurrent UTIs and you are about to travel, talk to your doctor about having an antibiotic with you in case you develop symptoms.

Possible UTI complications include sepsis, a life-threatening blood infection. This risk is greater among the young, the very old and those whose bodies cannot fight infections or who have kidney damage or scarring or kidney infection.

Treatment for a UTI is directed at the underlying cause when possible. If no source of infection is found, lifestyle modifications, plus vaginal estrogen replacement for some women, are all you may need. Cranberry juice or cranberry tablets may prevent UTIs, though the research is not definitive.

A urinary tract infection is uncomfortable, but treatment is usually successful. Symptoms of a bladder infection usually disappear within 24 to 48 hours after treatment begins. For kidney infections, it may take a week or more. Sometimes a procedure or surgery is needed to repair blockage of the flow of urine. If you have repeated UTIs, you may need a low-dose antibiotic for several months.

Reduce Your Risk

  • Drink plenty of water (two to four quarts daily).
  • Urinate frequently. Avoid holding urine for long periods.
  • Wipe from front to back after urination or a bowel movement.
  • Use toilet tissue only once.
  • Take showers rather than baths; avoid bath oils.
  • Gently wash the skin around your vagina and anus daily with mild soap and water.
  • Empty your bladder before and after intercourse.
  • Clean your genital and anal areas before and after intercourse.
  • Use condoms to help prevent UTIs caused by sexually transmitted bacteria.
  • Women should use sanitary pads instead of tampons; change them with each bathroom use.
  • Do not douche or use deodorant sprays or scented feminine products in the genital area.
  • Avoid tight-fitting pants.
  • Wear cotton underwear and pantyhose and change both at least once a day.

The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Feature
Nov 11, 2019

Israel Tourism’s Huge 2019

Israel is experiencing a record-breaking year for tourism, and is adding the infrastructure to prove it.

To New Heights

United Airlines announces a number of new routes.

November 2019
Nov 11, 2019

Blissfully Adrift

FOR THOSE OF US PASSIONATE about wellness pursuits and who feel most at peace close to the sea, there’s nothing quite like the synergy offered by a floating spa integrated into the setting of a luxurious cruise ship. I’m sailing through the Mediterranean from Rome to Barcelona, discovering along the way that the Crystal Life Spa & Beauty Salon on board the Crystal Serenity provides not only the element of high-end indulgence but also the cruise line’s signature commitment to attention and service.

November 2019
Nov 11, 2019

Tropical Hot Spot

CONSIDERING THAT JUST A LITTLE more than a century ago — 1910, to be exact — Miami’s population was only about 5,400 people, it’s easy to see why this South Florida hot spot has long been considered a boomtown. And the evolution continues to impress as the city gears up to welcome an array of new services, amenities and experiences.

The Island of the Knights

Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.

November 2019
Nov 11, 2019

Convene in Colombo

SOMETIMES CALLED THE PEARL OF THE INDIAN OCEAN, lovely Sri Lanka has much to recommend it.

Feature
Nov 10, 2019

Ethiopian Airlines Adds Brussels–Addis Ababa Daily Flight

Ethiopian Airlines added a daily non-stop between Brussels (BRU) and Addis Ababa (ADD). The carrier previously made stopovers in Vienna (VIE) three days a week, increasing the journey time from seven hours to nine.

TAP Air Portugal Adds 15 Flights Each Week From U.S., Canada

TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020,  a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.

News
Nov 10, 2019

British Airways Plans to Offset Carbon Emissions from All U.K. Flights

Last month, British Airways announced plans to offset carbon emissions from all its flights within the United Kingdom. The initiative begins next year and carbon emissions are offset via the United Nations’ carbon offsetting scheme, which invests in carbon reduction projects around the world, such as reforestation and rainforest protection.