What you need to know about urinary tract infections

New study finds women who experience recurrent UTIs are unhappy with limited management options for the painful condition

-Science Daily

According to Cedars-Sinai study published in the Journal of Urology, despite the widespread incidence of the painful disease, women are frightened and disappointed by the few treatment choices available to them.

Women who took part in the research expressed dissatisfaction with healthcare professionals, claiming that they failed to comprehend their experiences and overprescribed antibiotics as a therapeutic alternative.

A large number of women who came to us feeling hopeless and helpless when it came to the treatment of their urinary tract infections (UTIs) prompted the researchers to conduct the study. Lead author Victoria Scott, MD, a urologist at Cedars-Female Sinai’s Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery clinic, explained why the study was necessary.

A focus group study of 29 women who had recurring urinary tract infections was conducted to learn about gaps in their treatment. The researchers hope that this study will assist to give voice to individuals who suffer from recurrent urinary tract infections. UTIs are infections of the urinary system, which may affect any portion of it, including the kidneys, ureters, bladder, or urethra. When it comes to bladder infections, the phrase is most frequently used.

One of the most common concerns raised by research participants was the widespread use of antibiotics, as well as worries about the possible negative and long-term consequences of the drug.

“A large number of the participants were aware of the dangers associated with microorganisms acquiring antibiotic resistance,” Scott added. Their awareness of the “collateral harm” caused by antibiotics, as well as the disruption they may cause to the natural balance of good and bad bacteria throughout the body, was similarly high.

Participants in the focus group talks also expressed dissatisfaction with the medical system and the lack of research initiatives to explore new non-antibiotic treatment options.

Participants expressed their dissatisfaction and anger against their medical providers for “throwing antibiotics” at them without providing them with other treatment and preventive alternatives, as well as for failing to comprehend their situation. As well as seeking guidance from herbalists and acupuncture practitioners, as well as from their peers in online forums and chatrooms, several women reported getting help from others.

Treatment and Preventative Measures

Despite the fact that studies have shown that antibiotics are often the most effective treatment option for urinary tract infections, research has also shown that non-prescription measures such as increased water intake and pain relievers such as ibuprofen can be effective in clearing up to 40% of bladder infections.

Following these procedures when UTI symptoms first appear and urine test results are pending may be critical in avoiding needless medicines and ensuring that proper antibiotics are given when they are required, according to the American Urological Association.

Water consumption, taking cranberry supplements or a low-dose antibiotic after sexual contact, and the use of vaginal estrogen for women who are postmenopausal are some of the measures women may take to prevent a urinary tract infection.

While many people prefer over-the-counter remedies, Scott recommends seeing a doctor if a fever develops or if symptoms persist for more than a day. This is because antibiotic therapy can be critical for some infections in order to prevent them from spreading from the bladder to the kidneys, according to Scott.

Dr. Scott believes that antibiotics are “wonderful medicines” that may be lifesaving in some situations. “There are definitely some situations in which antibiotics are required, but it’s also essential for women to be informed about all of their treatment choices,” says the doctor.

Those who suffer from recurring urinary tract infections should get medical attention from a professional as soon as possible. The use of a kidney ultrasound or a cystoscopy, which utilizes a tiny camera that may be placed into the urethra to provide a picture of the urethra and bladder to rule out anatomic abnormalities, may be beneficial for certain women.

Men may also have urinary tract infections, according to Scott, despite the fact that they are less frequent.

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Categories: Clinical