If you’ve noticed symptoms that suggest a urinary tract infection (UTI), you might turn to the internet or a friend for help. Are the symptoms you’re feeling really a UTI? Do you have to see a doctor? While you’ll probably find some reputable medical information, you’re just as likely to come across misconceptions and myths that can prolong discomfort and allow symptoms to worsen. To help you get the facts, the team at Advanced Obstetrics & Gynecology, LLC put together a review of the biggest UTI myths out there. Learn more about the truth behind these false claims and why you need to see a women’s health professional if you suspect you’re dealing with a UTI.
While it’s true that most individuals with a UTI experience some discomfort, not all UTIs hurt. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye on your overall health with an annual exam and report unusual urinary symptoms to your doctor right away. Cloudy urine, a strong, unpleasant odor, and urine tinged with blood can all be signs of a UTI. If you have blood in your urine, it could also be indicative of another condition, making it important to let a doctor know as soon as possible. Our physicians see many patients with UTIs every year, and we know each patient experiences varying symptoms with this type of infection.
You may have heard UTIs can be cured with cranberry juice or cranberry-based supplements, allowing you to skip antibiotics and a doctor’s visit. Unfortunately, numerous scientific studies have failed to demonstrate the benefits of cranberry juice for treating UTIs. Still, some research suggests cranberry juice may help manage UTI symptoms. As this beverage is rich in vitamins and antioxidants, there’s generally no harm in adding a few glasses to your doctor-prescribed treatment regimen. Just keep in mind, cranberry juice alone is not a miracle cure.
The same goes for any of the home remedies for UTIs you may read about online, including D-mannose supplements, probiotics, and more. Most non-medical treatments haven’t been rigorously tested or scientifically proven, increasing the risk of negative side effects. If you’re interested in supplementing antibiotics with natural remedies, talk to your doctor to ensure these methods are safe and appropriate.
While many illnesses clear up without medication, patients with a UTI aren’t so lucky. A few UTIs may resolve without antibiotics, but this is the exception to the rule. Furthermore, bacteria may spread to the bladder and the kidneys, where it can cause significant damage and permanently hinder kidney function. In severe cases, patients may even experience kidney failure. Only a doctor can accurately assess your symptoms and determine the best way to treat a UTI. Once they do, you won’t just feel better – you’ll have peace of mind that this relatively minor infection won’t lead to bigger health problems in the future.
Friends, family members, and folks online have good intentions when they share UTI myths, but every woman needs accurate information about this common condition. If you suspect you have a UTI, don’t wait – contact Advanced Obstetrics & Gynecology, LLC today. When you schedule an appointment at one of our four locations in Flemington, Lebanon, and Branchburg, our providers will assess your symptoms, perform necessary testing, and prescribe the treatment needed to help you feel better as soon as possible.