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Tips for Avoiding UTIs

If you have a urinary tract infection (UTI), you might be dealing with uncomfortable or painful symptoms. UTIs are defined as an infection in any part of your urinary system, including your bladder and urethra. Without treatment, UTIs can cause lasting damage to your kidneys.

At Monrovia Internal Medicine & Primary Care in Duarte, California, founder Ulin Sargeant, MD, MPH, can diagnose and treat your UTI. But it’s best to skip the annoying and painful symptoms and avoid getting a UTI in the first place. Here’s what Dr. Sargeant wants you to know about UTI prevention.

Who can get a UTI?

A urinary tract infection can affect people of any age and gender. Women have a higher risk of getting a UTI than men because the distance between the anus and the urethra, the opening to the bladder, are biologically closer in proximity.

If you have a UTI, you could experience symptoms including a persistent urge to urinate, burning sensations during urination, small, frequent urinations, or urine that appears red, bright pink, brown, or cloudy. Women may also suffer from pelvic pain due to a UTI.

Your exact symptoms give Dr. Sargeant important information about the area of your urinary tract that’s affected by infection, and this guides your treatment. Dr. Sargeant can effectively treat UTIs with antibiotic medications. But you can take steps to prevent UTIs, as well.

Risk factors for developing UTIs

UTIs often relate to sexual activity, although you don’t need to be sexually active to develop a UTI. Having sex with a new partner also increases women’s risk of getting a UTI, as do certain types of birth control, like diaphragms and spermicidal agents.

You’re at an increased risk of UTIs if you have urinary tract abnormalities, use a catheter, or are suffering from a condition that causes a blockage in your urinary tract, like an enlarged prostate or a kidney stone. If you have a suppressed immune system due to a disease like diabetes, you may also be more prone to getting UTIs.

Preventing UTIs

If you get recurrent UTIs — especially if you’ve had two or more within six months or four within a year — you could see lasting damage to your urinary tract, including urethral narrowing in men. Left untreated, UTIs can result in permanent kidney damage. If you’re pregnant, a UTI can also increase your risk of delivering prematurely.

To prevent UTIs, and to avoid both uncomfortable symptoms and the risk of lasting damage, you can:

For women dealing with UTIs, making a change in the feminine products and birth control method you use can also be helpful in preventing irritating the genital area and reducing chances for bacterial growth.

If you need treatment for a UTI or want more tips on how to avoid UTIs going forward, get in touch with Dr. Sargeant at Monrovia Internal Medicine & Primary Care today. You can call the office to make your appointment or schedule one using our online booking tool anytime.

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