UTI: Common Signs and Symptoms

Patient

Q: 1) I am a sexually active 26 year old female with one partner only. I have researched and it seems I have a UTI. I go to the washroom to urinate way too often...maybe 8 times a day. It's been happening for about over a week now. How can I treat this condition myself? It feels irritated and tingly most of the day down there but I do not have any blood discharge in my urine nor do I have cramps or any pain anywhere else. I do feel a mini burning sensation, but briefly...while urinating. I want to see my family doctor to seek medical options but I am uncomfortable speaking to him as he is a male. 2) I do not use protection during sex as my partner pulls out in time. I feel VERY uncomfortable if my family doctor tells me I'm pregnant when tested using my urine sample - is it possible to determine pregnancy when asked to be diagnosed for a UTI?

Doctor

A:   Burning sensation upon peeing is a common symptom of urethritis (inflammed urethra – passageway of urine). It is very important to wash your genitalia right after sexual intercourse. The reason for this is exchange of fluids happen during sex. Resident bacteria (harmless bacteria) are present in the male and female urethra. However, the bacteria in males are a different species than that in the female. Hence, it can cause infection. Also, trauma to the urethra can happen, more so if the sex is wild (since the urethra is very close to the vagina). Therefore, washing the genitalia after sex usually prevents urethritis. In your case, try drinking lots of cranberry juice. It has an effect of detaching the bacteria from the urethra. However, I strongly suggest for you to see your doctor since a urine test, and probably antibiotics, may be needed. Do not take this condition lightly because if it is left untreated, it can potentially invade upstream (urinary bladder up to the kidney) or the blood. Since you have several symptoms down there, I strongly suggest for you to see a doctor since a urine test, and probably antibiotics, may be needed. Also, ask about the Pap test since it is usually done 1-3 years from onset of sexual activity. May I also remind you that withdrawal has a very high failure rate; try to use other forms of contraception (pill, patch, injection, implant) to prevent pregnancy. I think it will be up to your doctor’s discretion to have you tested for pregnancy. You might be surprised, you’re probably not the first young female patient asking him about the same problems. I think it will be okay to ask him for blood tests for pregnancy because it is more accurate than the urine test, that is if you want to know for sure if you're pregnant or not. Also, he is ethically bound to the confidentiality clause; whatever you confide in him remains between the both of you. Your symptoms are more consistent with UTI. You may want to do a home pregnancy test first if your period is late (5-6 weeks from Day 1 of last period). Do it early in the morning upon waking up (first morning urine) as it is most concentrated. I do hope this helps and I wish you all the best.

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