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Collegiette Health: Information on Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) from an OB/GYN

Hey ladies, are you familiar with something called a urinary tract infection, or better known as a UTI? I’m sure all of you have heard of UTIs or even have had one at some point in your life; but a urinary tract infection is basically an inflammation that can occur in the kidney, ureter or bladder due to bacteria entering the urethra. Unfortunately, many young women do not contract a urinary tract infection until college when they are away from their family and primary physician and do not exactly know who or where to turn to!

If you are not sure how to handle a UTI, then read along because I had the opportunity to talk to an OB/GYN in my home town, Dr. Sam Newell! In this article, I have provided helpful infromation from Dr. Sam Newell about how young women in college can deal with urinary tract infections. 

Some important signs and symptoms of a urinary tract infection are:

            -Burning sensation when urinating
            -Having the urge to urinate frequently
            -Not urinating very much when you do have to go
            -Being hesistant about urinating
            -Strong odor

 Let’s face it, UTIs are a huge nuisance that do not exactly make a woman feel sexy or comfortable in their own skin. Asking about treating a UTI can be kind of embarrassing but it is very important you treat it! The best place to ask about treatment is the student health center on campus because believe it or not, UTIs can be treated easily. The health center will probably take a urine sample and help determine what course of antibiotics you need to be put on. ANTIBIOTICS are the best and most efficient way of treating a urinary tract infection. Home remedies do not necessarily guarantee that the bacteria causing the UTI will be gone. Some women have repeated infections that can cause future problems with the urinary tract and kidneys. For those who need it, there are even long term antibiotics that could used for up to six months that can be prescribed.

Also, for those ladies who are sexually active, Chlamydia can cause urinary tract infections. The burning sensation is more intense if this is the case. If the UTI is caused by Chlamydia then there is a different course of antibiotics that is taken instead of the antibiotics used to treat a typical UTI.

If you have contracted an UTI, then tt is very important that you go to a medical professional to check you out! However if you are thankful enough not to have experienced a UTI, but you are concerned about contracting one in the future, then do not worry, there are some simple precautions you can take to prevent the contraction of a UTI!

Helpful tips to prevent an UTI: 

Good hygiene is always important, so always wash your hands and keep yourself squeaky clean! After you go to the bathroom, wipe from front to back. It is also very important to stay hydrated and drink lots and lots of water. This is just one more reason water is good for you! You can also start drinking a glass of cranberry juice on a daily basis or taking cranberry pills. Cranberry products acidify the limiting of the urinary tract so its harder for bacteria to grow. If you are sexually active, urinate right after intercourse just to flush out any bacteria that could cause an infection. 

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