You’ve been having discomfort and suspect you have a urinary tract infection or UTI. You’re not quite sure because your symptoms overlap with other diseases. As the days go by, you start to ask yourself, “Should I go to the emergency room for a UTI?” Before running out the door, think about what you’ve been putting your body through as that should give you plenty of clues. Here are 5 situations that signal you may have a UTI. See if they apply to you.
5 Reasons Why UTIs Occur
1. You Are Dehydrated:
Have you been drinking enough water? If not, there’s a chance this is the reason you have a UTI. Your body uses water to flush out bacteria, so if you are not providing water for your body to do so, the bacteria is sitting in your bladder and multiplying. Many women have a higher chance of developing a UTI in the summer months, as there is a higher chance for dehydration.
2. You Are Holding Your Urine for Long Periods of Time:
Urine is supposed to be expelled for a reason-to release toxins that are not supposed to be inside your body. The longer you hold your urine, the greater the chances exist for you to develop UTIs. Going to the bathroom constantly can be a nuisance, but it won’t be as bad as the discomfort you feel when you have an infection.
3. You Are Not Taking Care of Your Hygiene
The female anatomy was not built to our benefit, so more effort must be put in order to avoid infection. The female urethra is shorter than a male urethra, making the distance bacteria need to travel much shorter and easier. Bacteria like to grow in moist areas, so it’s important to keep our body clean and dry. During menstruation, pads and tampons should be changed often.
4. You May Have Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are not fun. They are quite painful and have the power to block your urinary tract which leads you to straining to relieve yourself. Just like holding in your urine voluntarily can cause a UTI, so can holding it involuntarily.
5. Your Hormones are Fluctuating
Being on birth control or having a natural fluctuation in hormones due to menopause or stress can upset the bacteria in the vagina and increase the chances for that bacteria to travel to the bladder.
5 Ways to Alleviate and Prevent UTIs
1. Drink Lots of Water
It’s the most important thing you can do to help your body. This is how your body flushes any bacteria that has the chance of growing in your bladder. You should drink around 64 ounces of water a day for proper cleansing. Drinking lots of water also prevents bacteria from growing from the start.
2. Empty Your Bladder Often
If you are prone to developing UTIs, you should aim to relieve yourself as often as possible. When you expel more urine you lower your chances of developing bladder infections. Work and life can get in the way, but remember, your health comes first. If you are healthy, you are better prepared to handle your everyday tasks.
3. Urinate After Sex
Having sex moves around a lot of bacteria, which is why it’s important to urinate after sexual intercourse to prevent any sexually transmitted bacteria getting close to your urethra.
4. Apply a Heating Pad on Your Abdomen
If you are already suffering from a UTI, try using a heating pad. A heating pad over your abdomen will take care of any pain you experience due to urinary tract infections.
5. Avoid Fragranced Feminine Products
Fragrance irritates your skin. Like you should avoid fragranced skincare for your face you should avoid it for the most sensitive area on your body.
Should I Go to the Emergency Room for a UTI?
Now that you’ve read the possible ways one can get a UTI, the answer to your question, “Should I go to the emergency room for a UTI?” is up to you. Urgent care is a place for emergencies. If you find yourself feeling extreme discomfort or your preferred clinic is closed, you can absolutely go to an emergency room. While specialized in emergency care, emergency centers are also equipped to treat infectious diseases that keep you uneasy. It is important to note that while not emergent, a UTI can develop into something serious if left untreated.
Stop by any of our 3 locations if you are seeking treatment for a urinary tract infection. Our River Oaks emergency room, Katy emergency room, and Clear Creek emergency room are ready to assist you at a moment’s notice. At Village Emergency Centers, we strive to provide you and your loved ones quality medical emergency care. Our emergency centers are conveniently open 24/7 and accept walk-ins because we know emergencies are not events that can be planned. Get directions here to visit one of our locations.