The bane of millions of women worldwide is a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). A new study has found that a lot of people who suffer from it are not happy that diagnosis and treatments are very limited for this distressing condition.
One of the biggest issues researchers found was that a lot of women are under the impression that frequent antibiotic usage for the treatment of UTIs may not be the best idea.
Women Are Sick Of Antibiotics And Want An Alternative Solution To UTIs
In addition to this, the study also found that women were frustrated that they weren’t able to get more help with the prevention of these UTIs.
According to data, a little over half of all women will experience a UTI at some point in their lifetimes and a quarter of these women will experience recurring infections.
Dr. Victoria Scott, a urologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center said that that was what inspired them to conduct this study in order to understand what these women go through.
When a doctor specializes in urogynecology, he/she often sees the most severe UTI cases. Due to a vast experience with treating women with UTIs, 6 focus groups were held where participants were asked what knowledge they had about UTIs and the impact on their daily life.
It was found that the women in these groups were frustrated and fearful. A participant said that the biggest problem is waiting for the results of the tests that are conducted because you’re in a ton of pain that usually worsens.
Another participant said that in her particular case, it took about 4-5 months to get her system back to where they were before being diagnosed with a UTI.
The risk of developing antibiotic resistance was well known by the participants of the focus group. Multiple women thought that they had been administered antibiotics amidst a different health issue.
One individual said that she sometimes wondered if she was creating a monster UTI that will turn out to be resistant to all antibiotics.
The women admitted that they would like to see more research done on non-antibiotic options to treat UTIs. They also added that UTIs impact their lives way more than medical professionals acknowledge.
Dr. Scott was of the opinion that as women are becoming more educated and are understanding more about antibiotics, they are asking for more action to be taken by physicians for when they develop symptoms.
Clearly, new strategies will be needed that limit the usage of antibiotics.
Since the female urethra is shorter than the male urethra, it can be easier for the bacteria to enter the bladder. Some women go through life relatively normally, but recurrent infections suddenly begin.
During and after menopause are common times for recurrent infections.
Dr. Scott said that a majority of women when evaluated don’t show a specific anatomic or physiological issue that can be addressed. This ends up being more frustrating for women as the problem cannot be pinpointed.
Antibiotics remain to be the most effective treatment, but some studies have revealed that almost 40% of UTIs can be done away with by just using ibuprofen. Although, this does come with the risk of developing kidney infections.
A variety of alternative treatments that are being researched include cranberry supplements, probiotics, vitamin C and antiseptic medications.
The best tool to prevent UTIs is hydrating. Reducing constipation and diarrhea can also reduce the inherent risks.
A possible solution can be to get a quicker diagnosis. This can be achieved through a urine analysis as opposed to a urine culture which takes 3-5 days. While it won’t confirm a UTI, it can definitely suggest one because of certain markers in the urine.
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