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UTI 101

Dr. Alyssa Dweck^

UTI 101

The material provided below is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the diagnosis or treatment by a qualified healthcare professional. You should always seek medical advice before consuming any new medicines or supplements. AZO products referenced on this website are not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease such as overactive bladder, urinary tract infections, or vaginal infections.

Dr. Dweck is a paid spokeswoman for AZO®. The information provided herein is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as medical advice or to replace professional medical care. You should always seek the advice of a medical professional before starting any new medication or dietary supplement. The opinions stated herein are those solely of the writer and do not portray the opinions of the AZO® brand, i-Health, Inc. or DSM. AZO® products referenced on this website are not intended to treat, cure  or prevent any disease such as overactive bladder, urinary tract infections or vaginal infections. 

If you have ever had a UTI (urinary tract infection), chances are you can vividly recall the experience, and not in a good way. In fact, one in three women will suffer from a UTI at some point. Why so common? Simply put: female anatomy.

What’s happening in my body when a UTI occurs? 

The urinary tract includes several parts. First, the kidneys filter the blood and produce urine. Long tubes called ureters then transport the urine to the bladder for storage. When nature calls, the bladder contracts and the urethra carries the urine from the bladder to the outside. In women, the urethra lies in close proximity to the rectum and vagina, both of which are naturally colonized with loads of bacteria. This bacteria can contaminate the urethra and travel to the bladder. 

What are common UTI symptoms? 

Women can experience a miserable burning sensation during urination and constant pressure in the lower abdomen. This can start as a subtle sensation but can quickly worsen. The constant urge to go in a hurry is unforgettable and even though women might feel the need to go every few minutes, not much comes out.

How do I know if it’s a UTI? 

Of course, symptoms don’t always present themselves at a convenient time. Thankfully, women can detect the presence of a UTI with easy to use AZO Test Strips®. These strips quickly and accurately check the urine for nitrites and leukocytes—markers for UTI. In addition, if you think you have a UTI  it is always recommended to set an appointment with your doctor to ensure you get the proper assistance in dealing with the issue as soon as possible.  

How can I help manage the pain? 

If a UTI seems to be brewing, don’t waste precious time. Start hydrating with plenty of water to flush out bacteria. Avoid bladder irritants such as caffeine and alcohol, and make a beeline for the closest drugstore to get AZO Urinary Tract Defense®, which can help control the infection until you can see your doctor. If the pain is already unbearable, consider AZO Urinary Pain Relief® Maximum Strength until you can connect with your doctor, who oftentimes will prescribe a short course of antibiotics for treatment.

Is there anything I can do to help prevent a UTI in the first place? 

Here are some tips to help reduce the risk of a UTI: 

  • Stay well hydrated, and use the bathroom as soon as you feel the need, rather than when the urge becomes strong.
  • Urinate after sex to flush bacteria away from the urethra.
  • Assess your birth control method; if you are prone to UTIs, you may want to avoid a diaphragm and certain lubricants and spermicides (of course, talk to your healthcare professional when making this assessment).

When in doubt, always check in with your gyno for persistent, recurrent or concerning symptoms. UTIs are common and best addressed early.

ABOUT DR. ALYSSA DWECK: 

Dr. Alyssa Dweck is a practicing OB-GYN in Westchester County, NY. She has been voted Top Doctor in New York Magazine and Westchester County. She is proficient in gynecologic surgery, has expertise in female sexual health and provides gynecologic care to women of all ages. Dr. Dweck has co-authored three books, including The Complete A to Z for Your V: A Women's Guide to Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Your Vagina—Health, Pleasure, Hormones, and More, which tells women of all ages what they need to know about their own unique health. 

AZO®, AZO Test Strips®, AZO Urinary Tract Defense® and AZO Urinary Pain Relief® are trademarks of DSM. 

^Dr. Alyssa Dweck is a paid spokesperson for AZO®