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.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Mar 5, 2021

3 Recipes for Lent from New Orleans’ Top Chefs

The Lenten season continues through April 3. This year, New Orleans’ top chefs share some Lent-friendly recipes for at-home dining.

Adventure Redefined: Volvo Overseas Delivery

Custom order your Volvo through the Overseas Delivery Program and receive round-trip airfare, hotel accommodations, and a personalized delivery at the Volvo Factory Delivery Experience in Gothenburg, Sweden. Your experience begins in Sweden with insurance and registration included, enabling you to drive your new Volvo throughout Scandinavia and Europe. Create the adventure of a lifetime with the program named Best Overseas Delivery four years running, and return home with the ultimate souvenir.

January/February 2021
Mar 5, 2021

Indulge in the Seductive Splendor Bora Bora

I had just taken off my sandals, stepping onto the white-sand beach for a late-morning walk to a secluded spot I heard about from a front desk clerk, when I glanced down and saw the time on my phone. It had just turned 11 a.m., which meant it was only 7 am back home, the perfect time to call and say good morning to by husband before he left for work. Not quite ready to head back to my room, I decided I’d test the WiFi signal and made the call as I continued walking toward the shoreline.

January/February 2021
Mar 4, 2021

Set Your Sights on San Antonio’s Art, Culture and Green Spaces

San Antonio celebrated 300 years of progress in May 2018. With a clear vision following that anniversary year, the Texan city set its sights firmly on 300 more. While commemorating this milestone, the city underwent a major overhaul to prepare for the next phase in its history.

Adventure Redefined: Volvo Overseas Delivery Program

Are you looking for a truly unique travel experience and considering a new vehicle? The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program is the perfect solution to create your own refined adventure of a lifetime. You can custom order your new Volvo, tailored to fit your needs and desires. They will fly you to Sweden to pick up your Volvo so you can drive and explore Scandinavia and Europe on your terms for up to two weeks.

Daily
Mar 4, 2021

SoJo Spa Club: Tranquility with an Urban View

When you think of a relaxing spa day, mountains, rivers and view of gorgeous landscapes pop in your head; a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of any city’s booming music and honking taxis. SoJo Spa Club and Hotel gives you the relaxing feeling of being away while still staying close to the busy center of Manhattan.

eFlyer Deals
Mar 3, 2021

Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel’s Reopening Offers

Dance the night away with Grand Hotel’s Ballroom Dance offer, available May 16–18. Dancers of all skill levels will experience a diverse range of ballroom dance styles, alongside daily breakfast and dinner, a welcome reception and complimentary golf green fees.

eFlyer Lead
Mar 3, 2021

4 Travel Experiences for Women’s History Month

March marks Women’s History Month, and there are a number of ways to celebrate through travel. Here are just a few ideas to honor women in history.