A urinary tract infection (UTI) can be extremely painful and annoying. UTIs are an infection in any part of your urinary system, including your kidneys, bladder and urethra. Most infections involve the lower urinary tract — the bladder and the urethra. If the infection spreads to the kidneys, then you have a serious problem. UTIs can affect both men and women, but women are at a greater risk of developing a UTI than men.
Women can experience UTIs for a variety of reasons. Reasons include – genetic predisposition, anatomical issues, new sexual partner, diabetes, pregnancy, multiple sclerosis, and anything that affects urine flow, such as kidney stones, water intake, self-catheterization, sugar intake or pelvic floor dysfunction.
Keep reading to learn about UTI prevention and treatment.
Doctors typically treat urinary tract infections with antibiotics, but there are some steps to avoid getting a UTI at all.
- Drink plenty of water, and relieve yourself often. The more water you drink, the more you will have to go to the bathroom. Going to the bathroom helps to flush bacteria out of the bladder and urinary tract before it can set in.
- Wipe from front to back. There is more bacteria near your anus, so wiping from front to back will help keep bacteria away from your vagina and urethra.
- Wash before sex and be sure to urinate afterwards. Before having intercourse it is good practice to wash yourself to help keep bacteria away from the urethra. Urinating after intercourse flushes any bacteria that entered the urinary tract back out.
- Avoid irritating feminine products. Skip douches, deodorant sprays, scented powders, and other potentially irritating feminine products.
- Change your birth control. A diaphragm, spermicide, or spermicide-lubricated condom can make you more likely to get a UTI because they all can contribute to bacterial growth.
- Eat foods rich in vitamins. Foods that are rich in vitamin A and vitamin C, like cranberries and citrus, have great cleaning properties. Cucumbers are a great source of these vitamins, and promote urinary bladder health.
Other prevention methods include wearing cotton underwear, taking showers instead of baths, and avoiding tight clothes that can trap bacteria near the urethra.
Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Information
Individuals with UTI symptoms that occur frequently might be due to pelvic floor dysfunction. Burning, stinging, presence of pain in urethra and bladder region may be due to increased pelvic floor tone causing spasticity of organs. These patients usually have a hard time initiating urinary stream (peeing) and don’t empty the bladder fully. Some of these patients may suffer from constipation that causes the toxins to leech into bladder and cause infection to lower back, hips and lower abdomen may cause bladder retention.
Treatment for a UTI
Your quality of life is affected if you have to deal with a UTI. Our physical therapists are trained in pelvic floor dysfunction and are able to greatly improve your life. Each of our patients is unique and we will put together a specific treatment plan for you. Our typical physical therapy approach includes training pelvic floor musculature, manipulative techniques, local heat, breathing and relaxation techniques, postural education, muscle coordination reeducation, and behavioral therapy.
We will encourage you to set up a drinking and voiding schedule to ensure consistency.
In addition to treatment, we will educate you on techniques to improve efficiency of emptying your bladder, create better bowel habits, and promote full relaxation of the pelvic-floor when voiding. These tactics can lead to a decreased incidence and recurrence of UTIs.
Be sure to read our blog for for more interesting articles about pelvic floor treatments. There are a number of ways to treat a urinary tract infection. Contact our offices to learn how we can help treat a UTI.