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The Sex Files: The Basics of UTIs

One morning, you wake up with an unbelievable urge to pee.  I know, sexy right?  The only problem is, after you get back to your room, you have to go again almost immediately.  While this sounds like an unfortunate case of breaking the seal, it is actually an early warning sign of a UTI, or Urinary Tract Infection.  According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, a UTI can happen anywhere along the urinary tract, from your bladder and kidneys to the urethra.  And you thought you only had to worry about the health of your liver on a Sunday morning…

While these infections do occur in both men and women, they are more prevalent for the lucky ladies out there. In short, bacteria or germs entering your urethra are the major cause of a UTI.  One of the most common ways this happens for women, particularly those who aren’t using condoms, is through sexual activity.  Using condoms obviously decreases the chances of bacteria or germs passing into your urethra. Another key way to avoid this nasty side effect of a great night is to make sure you use the bathroom after you’ve been sexually active.  I know the temptation to stay in bed and cuddle is overwhelming, but just imagine being unable to control your bladder, feeling a burning every time you pee, and having non-stop cramps in your bladder.  You’ll be running to the bathroom in no time.  Even if you’re not sexually active, you can still contract a UTI so it’s important to know the initial signs and treatment options.

The major symptoms of a UTI include frequent urination, burning while you pee, having a strong need to urinate often and having cloudy urine.  Now if you’re still hanging in there after that sentence, good.  You should be!  Even though this is definitely not the most appealing subject, it’s one of the most common infections that impacts young women so it’s important to be informed.

There is some good news though.  If you catch the infection early enough, you may be able to flush it out of your system.  In order to do this, you’ll need to drink about a gallon of water and cranberry juice every day until you notice the symptoms fade. I n addition, there are many great over the counter medications that help with the side effects of a UTI.  AZO Urinary Pain Relief™ Maximum Strength is an over-the-counter pain reliever specifically designed for treating the symptoms associated with a urinary tract infection (UTI) such as pain, burning, urgency and frequency.  At less than $10 a box, this is an excellent thing to have stored in your medicine cabinet.  If you don’t have it on hand, you can find it at most drugstores including CVS, conveniently located in Cleveland Circle.  In addition to the basic UTI pain reliever, AZO has a range of products that promote urinary and vaginal health including AZO Cranberry, AZO Test Strips and AZO Yeast.

If you’re still having intense symptoms after 24 hours, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with health services.  The bright side?  The nurses are actually very sweet about issues such as this and are very sensitive to your pain.  They’ll have to do a simple urine test to determine that it is a UTI and not a more serious condition.  The only effective way to get rid of a UTI is through antibiotics, so it’s important to make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.

While I’m sure this article was enough to scare you into thinking that every time you have to pee you have a UTI, it’s better to recognize the symptoms early.  And now, instead of wondering why you have to urinate like a pregnant lady, you’ll be able to understand what’s going on and begin to treat it.

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