Many people today have a variety of urinary problems that can cause symptoms that include not only discomfort but also pain. Urinary problems can occur at any age – it is not only an affliction that affects older people. How can you tell if your symptoms are nothing to be concerned about or something you need to see a physician about? UTI symptoms vary but can be quite similar, so it is best to start with the symptoms themselves.
How Can You Tell if You Have a UTI?
Urinary tract infections cause a lot of discomfort, pain, and other unpleasant symptoms. These include the following symptoms:
- An ‘unfinished’ or prickly feeling when urinating;
- Passing only a little bit of urine;
- Lower pelvic area pain;
- A frequent urge to urinate;
- A stinging or burning sensation while urinating; and
- Urine that has an odour or an abnormal colour.
UTI problems can not only be painful and uncomfortable, but can make people feel awkward in social situations or even embarrassed. They can affect the way you live your life, since the symptoms are usually there 24 hours per day.
Causes of a UTI, and When to See a Doctor
There are many causes of a UTI, also called cystitis, which happens when certain kinds of bacteria get into the urinary tract and multiply. This usually causes the urinary tract to become inflamed, which results in much pain and discomfort. Because their anatomy is different from that of a man’s, women are more likely than men to suffer from cystitis.
Having a urinary tract infection is not fun, and only a physician can diagnose whether your pain is caused by a UTI or some other affliction. In addition to the above symptoms, there are symptoms that are especially painful and should definitely be looked at by a doctor, such as when there is any amount of blood in the urine, when you’re feeling sick, when you have fever or nausea and vomiting, or when there is a pain in your lower back. The latter can be the result of a kidney infection, which is often a result of a UTI, so it is especially important in this case that a physician is called.
There are certain things you can do to reduce the possibility of getting a UTI, including:
- Wearing underwear made of cotton
- Urinating whenever it is necessary
- Drinking plenty of water each day
- After you urinate, wipe yourself from front to back
- Avoid spermicides
- Before and after sexual activity, urinate and wash yourself
What to do When You Get a UTI
Only a physician can diagnose a UTI. UTIs can be treated with over-the-counter medications, which are excellent in reducing the symptoms. However, sometimes the UTI is so severe that an antibiotic is needed. Regardless of the severity of your symptoms, it is highly recommended that you see a doctor, since only a doctor can tell you how to best treat the UTI and therefore, how to more quickly relieve your symptoms.