Did you know urinary tract infections (UTIs) are more common in the summertime? Read on to learn more things you might not know about this infection.
Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, commonly affect women, and during the summertime, they occur with even more frequency. Why? The Urology Care Foundation points to several summertime factors that increase the risk for UTI, including swimming pools, wet bathing suits or sweaty clothing, and dehydration.
If you’re not familiar with the symptoms of a UTI or how to prevent one, you can read more about that here.
Here are three more things you may not know about UTIs.
1. UTIs can affect people differently at different life stages.
Children and adults are all susceptible to UTIs at any age. What is different among these groups though, is how a UTI may present and what symptoms they may experience. For example, in very young children, symptoms may include fever and irritability. Older children and teens, as well as adults, likely will show the more well-known signs of a UTI, like urgent, painful or frequent urination.
In addition to common UTI symptoms seen in all adults, older adults may also experience behavioral changes from a UTI. These may include restlessness, hallucination, agitation and confusion.
These are just some symptoms of UTI, which can vary from person to person, regardless of factors like age.
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Certain conditions such as pregnancy, menopause and diabetes can put you at higher risk for a UTI.
2. Research has not been conclusive about whether home remedies for UTIs are effective at curing them.
A quick internet search uncovers many options for treating a UTI at home: cranberry juice, garlic, essential oils, probiotics and more. The popularity of many of these options has led researchers to study their effectiveness, with mixed and inconclusive results in many cases.
However, there are other forms of treatment alternatives undergoing studies that could be promising for the future of UTI treatments. These include immunotherapies and vaccines that prevent UTIs, as well as biologic treatments which work to restore the ability of the body’s immune system to fight off infection.
“Always see a primary care provider if you have fever, acute (new) back pain, nausea or vomiting,” said Crystal Narcisse, M.D., internal medicine physician and pediatrician with Norton Community Medical Associates – Hurstbourne. “This may indicate that the infection is not just in the bladder or urethra but involves the kidneys, which is called pyelonephritis. Pyelonephritis may require IV antibiotics and additional testing to be properly treated.”
3. Some people get recurring UTIs and should see a specialist to determine why and whether treatment can help.
Some women may experience recurrent UTIs or bladder infections (a type of UTI). When these infections happen frequently, such as two or more times in a six-month period, your primary care provider may recommend that you see a specialist, such as a urologist or urogynecologist, to determine the underlying cause and whether treatment can help.
Some possible causes of frequent UTIs may include kidney or bladder stones, bacteria entering the urethra during sexual intercourse, hormonal changes during menopause, abnormalities in shape or function of the urinary tract, or a predisposed risk for developing UTIs.
According to Dr. Narcisse, there are also things women can do to help prevent UTIs.
“In women, it is a good idea to urinate after sexual intercourse,” Dr. Narcisse said. “Reviewing proper hygiene techniques may also be beneficial. For example, women and girls should wipe from front to back in order to keep stool from the away from the urinary tract.”