Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are critical pains within the butt or, extra anatomically talking, the urethra. They’re outlined by the Mayo Clinic as bacterial infections wherever within the urinary system– nonetheless, they’re mostly current within the urethra at first. And in keeping with Aleece Fosnight, PA-C, a specialist in urinary well being, sexual well being, and ladies’s well being, and the medical advisor to Aeroflow Urology, it is best to deal with UTIs earlier than they unfold increased up within the urinary system to the bladder or kidneys. Whereas this kind of an infection is fairly widespread, there are a variety of UTI myths on the market that may make it complicated to determine whether or not you are coping with UTI or one thing else, after which find out how to go about getting remedy.
If you’re experiencing signs like burning, belly ache, and constant urgency to pee, Fosnight says it is best to contact a health-care supplier to get a prognosis, and antibiotics, if mandatory. As a result of UTI myths are so pervasive, and may even delay you getting the remedy you want, Fosnight breaks down a few of the commonest falsehoods in relation to urinary well being.
The 5 commonest UTI myths
1. That painful urination, odor, urgency, and frequency are the one signs of a UTI
“These signs usually happen in somebody with a wholesome immune system. Our immune system begins to dwindle round age 30, so our response to an an infection all the time dwindles, and we do not elicit the identical symptom response,” says Fosnight. For people over the age of 65, psychological confusion could be the solely symptom that is current, she provides.
2. That folks with penises do not get UTIs
It is generally assumed that individuals with penises cannot get UTIs. The reality is that anybody can get a urinary tract an infection, no matter gender or anatomy. Nonetheless, folks with vulvas are extra vulnerable to UTIs merely due to their anatomy—the urethra is shorter in folks with vulvas, which provides micro organism simpler entry into the urinary tract. Additionally, of observe, folks going by menopause (usually ladies between the ages of 45 and 55 and trans people on hormone substitute therapy-induced menopause) may be much more vulnerable to UTIs than the common vulva-haver. It is because menopause will increase dryness and lubrication within the vulva and alters the vaginal microbiome.
For folks with penises, there are a few issues that may up your danger for a UTI. One is an enlarged prostate, as it will possibly trigger the bladder to retain urine which might result in an an infection. And, folks with penises who’ve anal intercourse with no barrier methodology of safety can contract a UTI from that publicity to UTI-causing micro organism, says Fosnight.
3. Cranberry dietary supplements or juice will deal with a UTI
Many individuals prefer to attempt extra “pure” treatments to deal with an an infection somewhat than go on antibiotics. Cranberry has lengthy been used as a way for treating a UTI and may be seen in Japanese drugs practices, and there’s some science to help that it will possibly assist. In cranberries, there’s a substance known as proanthocyanidins which are thought to guard the bladder lining from the micro organism of a UTI sticking to the partitions, in keeping with Fosnight. If the micro organism can not follow the partitions, the micro organism will merely be flushed out with urine whenever you empty your bladder. The issue, says Fosnight, is that if your UTI is pronounced sufficient to provide the widespread signs—you doubtless must see a supplier for antibiotics.
Most infections are caught too late to start out cranberry remedy, and though the cranberry will assist lower the bacterial load within the bladder, more often than not, it is not going to fully deal with the an infection. There’s additionally some misinformation about find out how to use cranberry successfully—you want to take round 400 mg of cranberry extract twice each day or eight to 10 ounces of pure unsweetened cranberry juice three to 4 occasions a day to assist flush out the micro organism. Sadly, many individuals will drink cranberry juice that’s sweetened, which may truly make the signs worse. “Sometimes, I encourage people with frequent UTIs to make use of cranberry as a preventative measure,” somewhat than a remedy, Fosnight says.
4. UTIs are sexually transmitted
This one is a little bit complicated as a result of UTIs can occur on account of penetrative sexual exercise, however they aren’t technically sexually transmitted infections. Sexual exercise can introduce micro organism close to the opening of the urethra as a result of intercourse. Nonetheless, they aren’t a sort of an infection that may be transmitted from one particular person to the following.
5. Constipation has nothing to do with UTIs
Being constipated causes elevated strain on the belly cavity and subsequently locations extra strain on the bladder, inflicting problem with emptying the bladder fully, Fosnight says. Even a little bit additional urine left behind within the bladder is a chance for micro organism to hang around and trigger an an infection. “We see this in youthful kiddos however it will possibly additionally happen at any age,” says Fosnight.
Whereas this is not a whole checklist of UTI myths, crucial piece of recommendation is to see a health-care supplier if you happen to’re experiencing any signs of a urinary tract an infection, says Fosnight. They may be capable to work out what is going on on and get you some aid as quickly as doable.