Monday, April 7, 2014

How to deal with Urinary Tract Infections (Cystitis)

Today I'm going to write about a topic which needs to be talked about, how to deal with a UTI.

Disclaimer: This will probably be very tmi.

First things I will say, MEN, if any men are reading this, if you think you have an UTI, GO TO YOUR DOCTOR, UTIs in men are very rare and can be dangerous so don't hang about, go get checked out.

The reason I am writing about this is because UTIs for me are one of the worst infections you can get (pain wise).

Now symptoms of a UTI include:
- Always needing to pee, like you will get off the toilet and you will need to go again.
- When you do go to the toilet, you will only pee a few drops.
- Painful pee, especially near the end, you will find while peeing you will feel pain relief until the end, when you will get a sharp pain that sort of goes inwards.
- Very irritated bladder and urinary tract. Usually you can't feel your bladder or urinary tract but when you have an infection, it is all you can notice and it is super uncomfortable, I find it feels like there is glass inside you and when you pee the glass is cutting up your insides.
- Pink or red pee. This is because the lining is so irritated it begins to bleed.

An UTI is caused by e coli getting into your urinary tract, this happens if you 1) wipe from back to front after going to the toilet 2) having intercourse and even 3) wearing small underwear such as g-strings.

Ways to prevent an UTI:
- NEVER wipe from back to front, always go front to back.
- After having sex go to the toilet, yes it may be a pain but if you are prone to getting UTIs this is a MUST, for me if I don't go to the toilet after sex, I will always get a UTI.
- Drink cranberry juice, this is not a myth, seriously do this.

Now, if you do get a UTI you can treat it (ish) without going to the doctor. When you begin to notice the symptoms, start drinking a TONNE of water and I mean like 5 litres a day and you basically pee out the bacteria. Also drink cranberry juice and take cranberry pills, these can be found at a pharmacy over the counter, sometimes even supermarkets, they work like a charm.

If after a day or two it hasn't gone away go to your doctor to get antibiotics which will clear it up very quickly, you will also more than likely get a smear to check you don't have any STIs.

If you get pain in your lower back area it is crucial that you go to your doctor ASAP or even the hospital as it could be a kidney infection. This is why UTIs can be dangerous, if you don't treat it ASAP it will travel up to your kidneys and throughout your whole body, and trust me, you don't want that.

Unfortunately there isn't much you can do about the pain, all I do is take painkillers and make a really hot hot water bottle as the burning feeling sort of distracts you from the pain of the infection.

I hope this helped some people, most women will experience a UTI sometime in their lives so having some knowledge on how to recognise and prevent them is important.