Daily Health Tips: Urinary Tract Infections.

Q: Please, I need a full advice. I went through antibiotics about 3months ago. I was thinking I had ulcer but the doctor said it was a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). It later disappeared but to my surprise, I started passing urine frequently and having pains at my right back side. Should I get the antibiotic back? Thanks Doctor

A: Okay, first off, I will answer the last question. No, don’t get the antibiotic you had used before or indeed any other antibiotic. It does sound to me like you are too free with these antibiotics. You really should not be taking antibiotics without a doctor’s prescription and indeed, no pharmacy should be selling them to you without seeing a prescription. Your question also suggests to me that you probably do not take these antibiotics for the right length of time. Stopping the antibiotic when you stop feeling symptoms does not mean that the infection is over. In fact, what you end up doing is giving the bacteria an opportunity to adapt to (and understand the antics) of the antibiotic so that if it comes back to infect you, it comes back ‘stronger.’ This is one of the causes of antibiotic resistance (antibiotics not being as useful in curing infections as they used to be).

Now to start from the beginning, I don’t know how you made your diagnosis of ulcer and how you chose the antibiotic to take and for how long. What symptoms exactly did you have? However, I would assume that the doctor who made a diagnosis of Urinary Tract Infection sent your urine sample to the lab and the antibiotics prescribed was based in the results received.  Did you take them as prescribed and for as long as you were supposed to?

Okay, let’s talk about Urinary Tract Infections. This is an infection that occurs anywhere in the urinary tract (Genius me, right :D) and includes infections of the kidneys, the ureters (the tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder),  the bladder (the reservoir or store house for the urine) and the urethra (the tube that transports the urine from the bladder to the outside).

So, who is more likely to have an infection and why? Women are more likely to have infections and this is because they have short urethrae (those tubes that transport the urine outside) and because the opening of this tube is very close to the opening of the anus. And so, if a woman urinates and has not quite mastered the art of cleaning from the front to the back, she could transfer bacteria from her anus to her urethra and this in turn travels up and infects the bladder.

Women who also use the birth control method, diaphragm are also at risk as it may cause the bladder not to empty completely when they urinate. Indeed, not urinating immediately after sexual intercourse in women may also predispose to this as the urethra may have may have become irritated, making it easier for germs to move in. People with depressed immune systems, frequent constipation and some people born with some disorders of their uro-genital system are also prone to UTIs. In men, narrowing of the urethra which may happen in men who have had straddle injuries (eg falling astride {with legs apart} on a pole…ouch!), history of STIs or prostrate problems may make a man open to UTIs.

What symptoms does a person with UTI have? They would complain of feeling they have to urgently urinate often and then when they do get to the toilet, they can only pass out very little urine, pain or burning sensation during urination, pain in the flank (just under the ribs at the back), the urine may be cloudy or reddish or coke coloured, fever with chills and rigours etc.

UTIs have to be treated because these infections could keep back tracking from the urethra to the bladder to the ureters and then to the kidneys…we don’t want that do we?! 😉

Treatment is focused on eradicating the infection…of course 😀 Usually a urine sample is taken to the lab. Part of the lab work is a culture and sensitivity test to find out the organisms causing the infection and the specific antibiotic that is active against it. Please take your prescription for the right period of time even if your symptoms disappear before you finish. Your doctor may also order other tests as he sees fit eg checking out for congenital defects etc.

Apart from the preventive tips above, be sure to drink lots of water which help dilute your urine and help flush out the bacteria. As I have written several times before, leave douches well alone, ladies and much as we may feel that a little anti-perspirant  around our genital area may help us feel and smell good especially when menstruating, these habits may lead to irritation of the urethra and we don’t want that 😀

Have a great weekend, people…and no self-medication or self-diagnosis 😀 Please see your doctor if you have a health concern.

Here’s to a healthier you!


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3 Responses to Daily Health Tips: Urinary Tract Infections.

  1. Pingback: Daily Health Tips: Urinary Tract Infections In Men | chatwithketch

  2. Pingback: Daily Health Tips: Why Do I Like Eating Sand And Ice Cubes? | chatwithketch

  3. Joseph Clarke says:

    Dr. My case is, I have itches all over my private my part , am a male…. It started with itches and later I start seeing that my boxers get stained as if I discharge, and also I have this invisible lice disturbing the hairs in my body every seconds…. I told my dr though he is far away, he ask me to take the anti biotics called zinnat, I did took one satchet , it didn’t work. I rubbed tubes cream all over my body and that invisible lice started reducing though they still come and go but not as usual. One day I woke I check my organ I saw milk like pox on the tip inside, I was scared and went to pharmacy again, the pharmacist gave me another zinnat and a capsule with blue cap, I have finish taking it, now the itches has reduced to almost the bearest minimum. But I still urinate more than normal…. And am sure because of thoughts right now, I have so a strong headache…. Please reply me , am worried.


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