Symptoms of UTI In Women
Are you a woman wondering if you might have a urinary tract infection? Look no further! I’m going to give you all the details you need.
It is important for women to know the warning signs of UTIs, how to prevent them, and how to treat them. Why?
Because urinary tract infections are largely a female-only condition. Though some men will get them – and often they are older men – these painful infections mostly only affect women.
In fact, 60% of women will have at least 1 UTI in their lifetime. And many of those women will have more throughout their lives – maybe even chronic urinary tract infections.
The likelihood is a major bummer for all women. So the best way to combat those odds is to be knowledgeable. Know the symptoms, know the treatment options, and know the prevention strategies.
Why Do Women Get So Many UTIs?
Before we get into the symptoms of a UTI in women, let’s talk about why women get them so frequently.
- Women’s urethras are very small compared to a man’s urethra. This means the bacteria can more easily enter the bladder.
- Women’s vaginas are right next to their urethras. This means any bacteria in the genital region is already very close to your urinary tract.
- UTIs are more common in pregnancy
- UTIs are more common during menopause
Though it would be incorrect to entirely call UTIs a “woman’s infection” – it is reasonable to believe that most people dealing with this painful infection are female. That’s why it is important for women to know all the potential symptoms.
Urination Symptoms of a UTI in Women
Some of the first and most notable symptoms a woman will recognize when she has a UTI will have to do with urination. You can expect:
- An intense urge to urinate: often feels desperate, like you may accidently go in your pants
- A frequent urge to urinate: you may have just gone to the bathroom when the urge hits again
- A painful burning sensation when you urinate
- Dark or cloudy urine
- Pink, red, or brown urine (this means there may be blood)
- Foul-smelling or strong-smelling urine
Other Symptoms of a UTI in Women
But your UTI symptoms can affect more than just your urinary tract. You can also expect:
- Back pain, pressure, or general discomfort
- Abdominal pain, pressure, or general discomfort
- Pelvic pressure
Symptoms of a UTI in the Kidneys
Bladder infections are not normally dangerous – just annoying and uncomfortable. But kidney infections can be harmful. Once the infection has come to your bladder, it is possible for it to travel on up to your kidneys.
So you need to stay super alert to the potential kidney infections symptoms.
If any of the UTI symptoms above get any worse or if you start experiencing any of these symptoms below, you should go to your doctor right away.
- High fever and/or chills
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Pain in your upper back
- Pain in your side (your flank area)
Antibiotics (and sometimes IV antibiotics) will be necessary at this point.
Or Is It Actually a Yeast Infection?
When women start feeling any sort of discomfort down there, they often wonder if it is a UTI or a yeast infection. How can you be sure?
There are many similar symptoms like a painful burn while urinating, but a yeast infection has some distinct symptoms:
- Itching in and around your vaginal opening
- Thick white discharge (often compared to cottage cheese)
Yeast infections can normally be treated with over-the-counter creams. But if you are not entirely sure which you have, always err on the side of caution. Head to your doctor for a firm diagnosis.
What Can A Woman Do About Her UTI?
So if you have the symptoms of a UTI – what do you do now?
You will probably want to visit your doctor. He or she will be able to confirm whether or not you have a UTI (verses another problem like a yeast infection, sexually transmitted infection, or bacterial Vaginosis).
Then they will go over your treatment options. Mostly likely, they will just tell you about the first treatment I will mention below – antibiotics. But you should also keep these more natural options in mind too.
The most common way to treat a UTI is taking a round of antibiotics. These act fast and are normally very effective. You can expect to feel better in a couple days.
But there are some downsides. Antibiotic resistance is a real problem – especially for those with chronic bladder infections (also called recurrent UTIs), Simply put: the antibiotics stop being effective at killing off the infection.
So you should only take antibiotics when you absolutely need to.
Remember that a kidney infection definitely needs antibiotics, so do not try any home remedies if you believe the infection has spread.
D-mannose is an all-natural substance that has been shown again and again to support the urinary tract and help treat UTIs.
D-mannose combats E coli, which happens to be the #1 bacteria responsible for UTIs. It sticks on to the E coli and then your urine flushes both of them away.
If you have tried the D-mannose and still experience the negative symptoms of a UTI for women, you should make an appointment with your doctor.
3. Hibiscus Extract
Here is another all-natural alternative for UTI treatment: hibiscus. Yes, the delicious tea your order at your nearby coffee shop has antibacterial qualities. But you will need a higher dose than a few sips of tea.
This potent herbal extract combats the bacteria responsible for UTIs – like E coli and staph. Studies have shown it inhibits these bacteria with little to no side effects.
Probiotics can help with the UTI itself, and they can also help with the negative side effects of antibiotics.
- Since antibiotics kill both the bad bacteria and the good bacteria, pair the probiotics (AKA: good, healthy, helpful bacteria) with this treatment. Just take them a few hours a part.
- If you are going the D-mannose/hibiscus extract route, add in a probiotic for extra support.
5. Relieve the pain
Finally, you can take some steps to relieve the symptoms until the infection goes away. I always take over-the-counter pain relievers through the worst of it. A heating pad can feel really soothing too.
It’s also a good idea to avoid any sorts of inflammatory foods like spicy food, citrus, or alcohol to prevent any extra discomfort.
How Women Can Prevent UTIs In The First Place
Knowing your treatment options is good, but knowing how to prevent one from ever coming again is even better.
1. Go to the bathroom every single time you have sex
Urinary tract infections are not sexually transmitted infections. They are not contagious. However, sex is still one of the most common ways a woman can get a UTI. How does that work?
Your genital region – your whole body, in fact – has bacteria on it. So does your partner’s. The movement in sex can easily spread that bacteria around.
As we already know the vaginal opening is right underneath the urethra. So the bacteria from your genital region – or your partner’s genital region – can easily be rubbed up into your urethra. And then you could end up with a UTI.
The simple fix for this is going to the bathroom after sex. Your urine can flush out any bacteria that has entered the urethra before it becomes a problem.
2. Do not use spermicides or diaphragms
Birth control is extremely important for your safety, but you have to choose what you use wisely.
There is a big connection between spermicide and UTIs. So avoid all spermicide jellies. Then switch out spermicide-coated condoms for regular condoms.
Diaphragms can be irritating to the vaginal walls and cause inflammation.
If you are nervous about losing this extra layer of protection, talk to your doctor about other birth control methods.
3. Wipe front to back
Women – this one is easy. Just wipe from front to back every single time you use the toilet. Any bacteria leftover from fecal matter could easily enter the urethra if you do the opposite.
4. Drink plenty of water
The more you drink, the more you use the bathroom. And the more you use the bathroom, the more chances you have for your urine to flush out any bacteria that has entered your urinary tract.
What Else Increases Your UTI Risk?
We already know that being a woman puts you at risk of developing UTIs, but here are a few more risk factors women should keep in mind:
- Kidney stones: These prevent full emptying of your bladder. If you are predisposed to kidney stones try a natural supplement like Chanca Piedra to get rid of them. Also limit sodium and animal products.
- Urinary catheters: If you need a catheter for any reason, talk to your doctor about options to prevent a UTI
- Diabetes: This condition actually raises your rates of UTIs in general. Managing your diabetes can be an important step in preventing UTIs.
Your UTI Symptoms
None of the UTI symptoms in women are fun. It’s painful, it’s annoying, and it’s really uncomfortable.
But fortunately there are plenty of ways to prevent and treat UTIs. Visit your doctor, start your treatment plan, and watch out for any signs of a kidney infection.
If you find yourself getting one UTI after another, consider trying Eu Natural’s Harmony Urinary Tract and Bladder Cleanse.
It combines the power of D-mannose with Hibiscus extract to help keep your bladder happy and UTI-free.