Wednesday, June 17, 2015

UTIs: Myths, Facts, and Preventative Measures

     I was several months pregnant and home alone with two toddlers when my husband went on an overnight field trip to the Everglades with our oldest son. I was looking forward to having a little peace and quiet that evening, so shortly after tucking my daughters into bed, I curled up on the sofa with a good book and a bowl of popcorn.

     I had barely finished the first chapter when I felt a sudden urge to go to the bathroom. I'd had a large glass of water with my dinner, so I thought nothing of the urgency to pee. But ten minutes later, the pressure on my bladder returned… and then again…and again. Each time I tried to pee, I felt an uncomfortable pinching sensation that increased with each visit to the restroom.

     Two hours and ten bathroom trips later, I was doubled over in pain on the couch. Panic set in because I had no clue what was going on with my irritable bladder.

     Unable to reach my husband by phone, I did the next best thing and called my mother once the pain became unbearable. She calmly explained that I had what her generation called the "honeymoon disease"---a urinary tract infection. Fortunately, my sister was nearby, and after a quick call to my OB/GYN to explain the situation, she was able to deliver the antibiotics I desperately needed to clear the infection. Had I been informed earlier about UTIs and preventative measures, I might not have had to suffer the discomfort and fear that I did that evening.

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     Last month I wrote a blog post on the symptoms and factors that contribute to urinary tract infections in women like me who are peri-menopausal or menopausal (you can read it HERE). Today, I'm sharing part two in my sponsored series for the Uristat campaign to educate women on the myths of UTIs, which includes preventative measures that can be taken to avoid recurring infections.

     Many women entering the menopausal years expect to experience the usual symptoms that their peers complain about----hot flashes, irregular periods, night sweats, mood swings etc. but few are aware of another common side effect---urinary tract infections. These are more prevalent in middle-aged women due to a decrease in estrogen production, which leads to changes in the urinary tract, making it more susceptible to infections. With 53% of women over the age of 55 experience recurring UTIs (at least three over a twelve month period), it's important to understand that there are ways to prevent the recurrences, and relief from the painful symptoms should an infection occur. 

MYTHS AND FACTS ABOUT UTIs:

MYTH: Only sexually-active women in their 20's get UTIs.

FACT: Urinary tract infections can occur at any age, especially in women who are peri-menopausal or menopausal. They're caused by a lack of estrogen and a drop in "good bacteria" levels.

MYTH: UTIs only occur in women.

FACT: Men can also contract a urinary tract infection, although it far less common in males. Roughly 12% of men will experience a UTI in their lifetime compared to 40%-50% of women. 

MYTH: UTIs are nothing to worry about.


FACT: A urinary tract infection may subside on its own without preventative treatment, but it's also true that the infection is capable of spreading to the kidneys and causing irreparable damage. If you are experiencing discomfort, it's best to consult your physician for treatment. 

MYTH: UTIs are caused by poor hygiene.

FACT: Getting a urinary tract infection does not mean that you have poor hygiene. You can be completely clean and still get a UTI. There are several causes and risk factors involved, which include sexual activity, certain birth control methods, pregnancy, menopause, urinary tract abnormalities or complications in the urinary tract, an impaired immune system, catheterization or previous UTIs.

MYTH: Pregnancy and UTIs are unrelated.

FACT: There are several changes that occur in a woman's body during pregnancy, which are conducive to UTIs, such as an increased amount of progesterone. A higher level of this hormone relaxes the muscles in the uterus and bladder. The decrease in muscle tone, coupled with the pressure that the growing uterus puts on the bladder, can slow the flow of urine and put a pregnant woman at a greater risk of urinary tract infections. 

TIPS FOR PREVENTING UTIs:

* Drink plenty of liquids, especially water. Frequent urination is necessary to flush as much bacteria out of the system as possible.

* Always wipe front to back. Bacteria from the anal region does not belong around the vagina and urethra. 

* Avoid douches, vaginal deodorant sprays and powders. These products can irritate the urethra and cause a UTI. Certain types of birth control such as diaphragms and spermicidal agents can also increase the risk of infection. 

* Urinate after sex to prevent bacteria from moving into the urethra. Drink water if necessary to trigger the urge to urinate. 

* Wear cotton underwear to keep dry. Bacteria thrives in warm, moist areas on the body. Undergarments made from nylon, polyester, or spandex restrict the airflow to the genitals, whereas cotton is porous and keeps the area drier. 

* Go to the bathroom whenever you feel the need to urinate. Holding in urine is never good and makes it easier for bacteria to multiply in the urinary tract.


     There's no need to suffer through the discomfort of a UTI while waiting for a doctor's appointment or for an antibiotic to kick in. The good news is that there is now an over-the-counter medicine that will help reduce the uncomfortable symptoms of the infection. From the makers of MONISTAT comes URISTAT Pain Relief Tablets, which are specifically designed for fast, temporary relief of pain, burning and frequent urinating associated with a urinary tract infection. Each tablet contains phenazopyridine HCI, which is the #1 doctor recommended OTC ingredient for relief from UTI pain. URISTAT Pain Relief Tablets can be taken as soon as the the symptoms are detected, and while being treated with antibiotics.

     To determine whether or not a UTI is present before meeting with a physician, URISTAT has available a convenient Relief Pak that includes a test strip for detecting white blood cells and Nitrate in the urine, which can indicate the presence of a UTI. Each URISTAT Relief Pak comes with one test strip and twelve URISTAT Pain Relief Tablets.

     URISTAT products are available in many drugstores and online retailers across the country, including Walgreens, Walmart, Kmart, Rite Aid, Kinney Drugs and drugstore.com

     For more information about UTIs ad URISTAT, please is it www.uristat.com  and download a $1 off coupon by clicking  HERE.


   


  

37 comments:

  1. I've had a massive amount of dental work this year and the medication I was on (antibiotics and such) caused me to have a uti. I know, sooo tmi! But it was awful; sooo bad. Cranberry juice (100% juice no sugar additives) was my savior. Stuff is a miracle worker.

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    1. Sorry to hear that you went though all that! Cranberry juice certainly helps but if you need something that works faster, try Uristat next time. :)

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  2. Terrific information Marcia! I am so glad there is finally a OTC medication that can relieve some of the pain caused by UTI's.

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    1. Me too!!! Wish it was around years ago when I had my first one!

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  3. Been a while since I've had one, but they are NOT fun. Good to know the facts. I tweeted it.

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing the info, Carol!

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  4. I think you know me well enough by now to understand that I would encourage women to use natural means to treat UTI's or any other type of infection which is easily prevented and/or treated using natural supplements. I am commenting because you are my friend but my life is spent teaching people how to PREVENT infection and be immune strong every single day without fear of unfriendly bacteria making your life miserable. However, I do understand that many people suffer with this and I am so sorry.

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    1. I wish I knew then what I've learned now. The first one years ago was so frightening---I really didn't understand what was happening to me and I was terrified. I still get them about twice a year----I keep cranberry juice and Uristat on the shelf at all times.

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  5. Thanks for the "public service announcement." I wish I'd read this 25 years ago when, I too, was doubled over and couldn't figure out the cause. I'd been working on a book, sitting for hours on end, and forgot to get up and MOVE once in a while. My doctor said that sitting for prolonged periods helped to bring on the UTI. Who knew?

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    1. Probably from holding in the urine for long periods at a time while you were writing. I can totally understand that dilemma!!

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  6. UTI's are near and dear to my caregiving heart. Weird, I know. But, as a caregiver I have become very aware of the quick concern a UTI can cause a disabled or elderly person. That's a blog in itself. This is great info, Marcia, because UTI's are often ignored.Good post!

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    1. I can see where that would be a very SERIOUS issue with the elderly and must be monitored at all times. Prevention is the key, but even so, they're not always 100% preventable.

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  7. Marcia this info is so important. I had a series of these last fall that simply would not go away! Took weeks of antibiotics and finally.... It was miserable. Now on an estrogen regimen that seems to be helping but yikes. What a way to find out that it was needed!

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear that you went through that! I've had so many over the last 19 years that I can tell almost immediately when a UTI is starting. I have all the necessary antibiotics in my cabinet for these occasions and will now add Uristat as well to ease the painful symptoms.

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  8. Great information, Marcia. I had no idea that deodorant sprays can cause irritation. I was told that cranberry juice helps prevent UTIs, especially for women who are prone to them. Or you can take cranberry pills.

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    1. Yep! I've used it before, too. But I think if you are in a lot of pain, Uristat is the way to go for faster relief.

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  9. There's a lot of info here. I know UTI's can some times lead to serious complications so it's good to know Urisat is OTC and can help reduce symptoms. Thanks Marcia!

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  10. UTI's are so painful for me! And they come on so quick! Luckily, I haven't had one in years. I drink lots of water now and don't drink alcohol. Thanks for the great post if I'm ever in need!
    Kimberly
    http://FiftyJewels.com

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    1. They really do come on fast! I started drinking lots of water as well, and that's a great habit to get into for all sorts if health reasons.

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  11. They are SO painful, and I am really glad I read up on them here. Thank you for sharing this information, Marcia. Those were really interesting myths and facts. Thank GOD for antibiotics!!

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  12. Good to talk about these things, Marcia. My mother got her first one on her honeymoon and it went right into a terrible kidney infection. No one warned her...

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    1. Oh my gosh, that's awful!! I think women were more ashamed than anything to discuss UTIs back then. Luckily, we know now how common they are and can get fast relief with Uristat!

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  13. Oh my. I've had so many UTI I don't even remember how many, must have been around a hundred. I actually end up with a kidney infection when I was 8, so that sucked! I can totally feel your pain. What works best is prevention- in form of cranberry extract (not juice full of sugar)- God bless Native Canadians for that!

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    1. Wow---you had your first one at eight?? How terrified you must have been!

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  14. I meant to say I -ended up- with a kidney infection….By the way, did you read the message from the other day where I nominated you for the Liebster award? Love A.

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    1. I sure did, and thank you. I left you another message on your blog site about it :)

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    2. Gosh, how stupid of me! What a fool I am sometimes! I mean, you did reply to my nomination and we did talk about it!!!For which I thank you a million times:) And then I come back and say: did you see my nomination?! Sorry for the trouble and the mix-up.I guess I was too carried away with my new page design and forgot about the whole world:) Anyhow, thank you for your last message, I did receive it, but decided not to add to our conversation because it just proves how stupid I was/am. I hope I didn't upset you too much:) I mean you're such a busy woman, and there I come with my little shizz…
      Abby

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  15. Thankfully I drink 10-12 cups of water and now that I'm older, there is no holding it... Great information Marcia xox

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  16. Such helpful information, especially for us peri-menopausal women :)! I'm so thankful for the pain relief tablets - it makes waiting for the antibiotics to kick in more bearable!

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  17. This is a very clever article. I've learned a lot and will coming back for new articles.. Goodluck mate.


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