UTI: Only a woman will know

UTI: Only a woman will know

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Only a woman will know the pain of a urinary tract infection. Let us call it UTI for short. This is the medical term for an infection in the waterworks. The burning sensation in the private parts and the ache in the bladder are indescribable for many. The discomfort and misery every time you go to pee is as horrible as you like. Yet, you have to go every few minutes knowing you can only pass a little amount of urine, painfully.

Now, this article is about the treatment of UTI and it is worth reading by both men and women. The first thing to do, of course, is to see your doctor. This avoids huge problems later and helps you to keep a small infection from becoming a potentially life-threatening condition. Let me reiterate this. Urinary Tract Infection can become a kidney infection and threaten your life, if not well managed.

So, see a doctor as soon as you can and give them a sample of your urine. We prefer the first and early morning sample of urine in a clean and sterile bottle. The laboratory can confirm infection and helps to determine the most effective antibiotic to use.

Warning: Do everything with caution and see a doctor as soon as possible. Please do not go to a local chemist and ask for antibiotics. Do not buy it off the mallam on the bus to Dala. Self-medication is truly bad for you and pretty bad for us all, since the germs can become resistant to the antibiotics, and then we are all in trouble.

Prevent infection

The best thing is to avoid infection through proper hygiene and body care. Clean yourself the proper way after using the toilet. Wipe from the front to the back and do not douche. Cleaning the private parts after toileting is important. Clean with water only and dry with clean tissue or a clean towel. Daily change into clean underwear is recommended. So is sleeping in loose underwear.

Be sure it is not a sexually transmitted infection. Watch out for vaginal discharge and foul odours. See your doctor if you are concerned. Definitely, see a doctor if you notice blood in your urine.

But, in case you cannot get to a doctor as quick as you like, then you need to know a few things you can do at home. Here are a few ideas and homemade remedies. I got some of these off the Internet.

Home treatment

Drink plenty of water. One of the most important things you can do when you have a UTI is to drink plenty of water. It can help to flush out bacteria, and (almost) more importantly, it gives you something to actually push out when you pee. Water and other drinks recommended actually help in pushing the bacteria out of your system. Try a glass of warm water with a whole lemon squeezed in. It does mean that you have to go and pee as often as the sensation comes but that is not a bad thing.

It may sound obvious, but when you need to pee, please do it. If you hold it in, you increase the chance that bacteria will develop, multiply, and prolong the infection. Getting rid of the germs through peeing is good for you.

Find comfort

A warm water bottle can be pretty comforting, as it can take your mind off the pain. Sometimes, it is not just peeing that hurts. Some people observe that the irritation can cause a constant, nagging discomfort that makes them feel they are in painfully cramped conditions. When this happens, applying heat over your bladder can bring some relief. The gentle warmth will relax your muscles, melting away the pain caused by spasms or inflammation. Leave the bottle on for as long as needed and repeat as necessary. Take care not to burn yourself.

Things to avoid

In general, you should avoid the following: Chocolate, citrus, carbonation, and caffeine. These are four things that you should avoid if you find yourself getting UTI’s frequently. All of them can irritate the lining of the bladder, and potentially make it easier for bacteria to adhere. Citrus will also increase the acidity of your urine, which will make it even more painful to pee.

One method to talk about is cranberry juice. Some have advocated it as an effective home treatment for UTI. There is very little evidence it helps and it may even be harmful. I will not recommend this and perhaps you should avoid it.

Similarly, avoid taking advice from people who know very little about this and take the comments of well-wishers with a pinch of salt. As you know, Nigerians have up to 10 doctors each: the cleaner, the gardener, the meat seller, friends and family are all occasionally ‘doctors’, dishing out poor and unsolicited advice.


Do not confuse a UTI with sexually transmitted infection. This is important. As discussed above, any discharge and foul smell from the nether regions should prompt a visit to the sexual health clinic for information, advice and treatment.

By the way, do not call it staphylococcus.



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