A urinary tract infection (UTI) occurs when microorganisms, usually bacteria, enter the urinary tract. This can occur in a number of ways. Bacteria near the vagina can get into the urethra as a result of poor hygiene, such as wiping from back to front. It can also enter during sex from contact with the penis or fingers, or through inserting a diaphragm. Postmenopausal women are at an increased risk for UTIs. Their diminished levels of hormones reduce a normal defenses against the growth of harmful bacteria in the urethra.
If you experience symptoms of a possible UTI (listed below) don’t wait to seek medical intervention. Only a urinalysis or urine culture can confirm a UTI, which when left untreated can lead to more serious problems, such as a kidney infection.
Common symptoms of a UTI are:
Once a UTI diagnosis is confirmed, antibiotics are prescribed. Most of the time antibiotics are all that is required to eradicate UTIs quickly.
There are a number of preventative measures women can take to reduce the likelihood of developing a UTI. These are:
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