Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Is a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Contagious?

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Is a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Contagious?

UTI

 

The answer depends upon what microbe is infecting the urinary tract. The urinary tract consists of the urethra, bladder, ureters, and kidneys, each of which can become infected with different microbes. Urinary tract infections usually arise from organisms that are normally present in (colonizing) the person’s gut and/or urethral opening. These organisms (for example, bacteria such as E. coli or Pseudomonas infect the urinary tract by relocating against the flow of urine (retrograde) toward the kidneys.

Lower urinary tract infections do not involve the kidneys while upper urinary tract infections involve the kidneys and are typically more severe. These types of infections of the urinary tract are almost never contagious to other individuals. This article will not consider STDs and the organisms that cause STDs as urinary tract infections as they are discussed in other articles. However, STDs are often contagious and are transferred to others during intercourse, while UTIs are not usually transmitted by intercourse, so UTIs are rarely contagious to a partner. In addition, women who are sexually active and those individuals (males and females) who have anal intercourse have an increased chance to develop a UTI.

It is unlikely for anyone to get a UTI or STD from a toilet seat, as the urethra in males and females typically wouldn’t touch the toilet seat. It is theoretically possible to transfer infectious organisms from a toilet seat to a buttock or thigh cut or sore and then have the organisms spread to the urethra or genitals. Nevertheless, such transmission of UTIs and/or STDs are highly unlikely.

How long before I know I have an infection of the urinary tract?

The incubation period (time of exposure to time symptoms begin) varies with the microbe. In general, common urinary tract infections with colonizing bacteria, like E. coli, varies from about three to eight days.

How are urinary tract infections spread?

Bacterial infections of the urinary tract are almost never spread to others if the infecting organisms originate from the bacteria normally colonizing the individual (for example, E. coli).

 

When should I seek medical care for a urinary tract infection (UTI)?

 

For symptoms of itching and/or burning on urination or discomfort with urination, people should seek help within 24 hours. Individuals who may develop an upper urinary tract infection (kidney involvement with flank pain, for example) should seek medical help immediately.

When are urinary tract infections no longer contagious?

Simple lower and upper urinary tract infections caused by bacteria residing in the patient are not considered to be contagious. Clinicians suggest people are cleared of lower urinary tract infections after about three to seven days of antibiotic treatment and upper urinary tract (kidneys) infections by about 10-14 days after treatment. Some individuals with kidney infection may benefit from an initial IV dose of antibiotics followed by oral antibiotics.

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Gonorrhea

gonorrhea

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are on the rise in the U.S., with gonorrhea being one of the most common. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that gonorrhea is the second most-reported STD, with around 820,000 new cases recorded every year.

What Is Gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea is an STD caused by the bacterial strain Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and it can affect both men and women. Most cases of gonorrhea are asymptomatic (no symptoms develop), but when symptoms  do appear, they often cause great distress. A classic indicator of gonorrhea is the presence of a sticky, pus-like discharge in the penis and the vagina. A burning feeling may be experienced during urination as well. In some cases, pain in the abdomen (or testicles for men) may develop.

Common Misconceptions About Gonorrhea

Due to the prevalence of gonorrhea, many myths have popped up regarding how you can treat or avoid it in the first place, some of which you may have heard before:

Gonorrhea Can’t Be Transmitted Through Oral Sex

The male and female genitals aren’t the only organs that gonorrhea can infect. If a partner has gonorrhea, it can manifest in the throat through oral sex.

Your Body Can Get Rid of Gonorrhea on Its Own

It’s highly unlikely that your immune system alone can fight off gonorrhea, and that you can’t get it again once the infection is gone. You certainly need some form of treatment to experience relief from its symptoms, and there’s a high chance the disease can return.

The Hot Tub Will Kill Off Gonorrhea or Other STD-Causing Microbes

People generally think that gonorrheal bacteria and other STD-causing microbes can be killed by soaking in a tub of warm water. On the contrary, these microorganisms can survive in warm water for long periods of time. In addition, the warm water opens up your pores, making your skin more vulnerable to cuts that can allow the microbes to enter your system.

You Can Immediately Tell if You Have Gonorrhea

Many cases of gonorrhea are actually asymptomatic, making it hard to know who is truly infected. The only way to stop the spread of gonorrhea is to have yourself and your partner tested for STDs regularly.

The Good News: Gonorrhea Is Treatable and Preventable

Conventional treatment for gonorrhea usually involves the use of antibiotics . However, this is not recommended nowadays as the bacteria have evolved and are now resistant to the medication. The CDC states that there is only one class of antibiotic left that may help treat gonorrhea, but chances are this antibiotic will also become ineffective in the long run.

Instead, home remedies can be used to help kill the bacteria. You’ll be surprised to know that simple household items can help treat gonorrhea , such as coconut oil.

Aside from being treatable, you can prevent gonorrhea from happening in the first place by practicing safe sex methods, such as using condoms and limiting your sex partners. Furthermore, this guide will educate you on how gonorrhea spreads, effective preventive methods and possible health complications that may arise if you don’t treat it right away.

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Five Most Common STD’s in Women

std

5 Most Common STDs In Women:

 

How To Spot Symptoms Of Sexually Transmitted Diseases

 

Untreated sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) cause infertility in at least 24,000 women each year in the United States alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control And Prevention (CDC). These unacknowledged health issues can be very serious. For example, untreated syphilis in pregnant women causes infant death in up to 40 percent of all cases. It’s important to recognize the signs of an STD so that you can treat the infection before it becomes a health risk. Here are the most common STDs among women.

 

Chlamydia

The rate of infection of chlamydia among women is more than two and a half times the rate among men. Most people with chlamydia have no symptoms, but it can lead to serious health problems like infertility. Your doctor can prescribe antibiotics for treatment. But even if you’ve been treated for chlamydia in the past, you can get the infection again.

 

Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is similar to chlamydia in that women are more often affected than men. But, unlike the former, many more people with gonorrhea stay undiagnosed. Signs of the infection include painful urination and white, yellow, or green discharge.

 

Gonorrhea treatment involves two different antibiotics, but without medical care women can develop pelvic inflammatory disease.

 

Genital Herpes

Genital herpes is more common in women than men, but it affects a whopping 20 percent of teens and adults. There is no cure for herpes. But your doctor can prescribe medicines that help prevent and ease the pain and shorten outbreaks — which is when it’s more likely to spread.

 

Human Papillomavirus Virus (HPV)

HPV is the most common STD among both genders, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly every sexually active man and woman will contract at least one strain of HPV throughout their lifetime.

 

Most people with HPV do not know they are infected and never develop symptoms or health problems from it. If untreated, women are the ones at risk. The virus is the main cause of cervical cancer.

 

Syphilis

It can take up to 90 days after exposure to syphilis, an infection caused by bacteria, for symptoms to appear. As previously stated, untreated syphilis in a mother is a serious life risk for an unborn baby. The STD can be treated with antibiotics to kill the bacteria.

 

Last year, the rate of syphilis diagnosis actually decreased 21 percent among women, but increased 1.3 percent in males.

 

When it comes to unprotected sex, women naturally bear more of the consequences than men. Certainly, a man will never become pregnant after sex without a condom, but a woman also might bear, disproportionately, the consequences of sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs). Consider a few sobering facts: untreated STDs cause infertility in at least 24,000 women each year in the U.S. alone. You may be astonished to learn as well that untreated syphilis in pregnant women causes infant death in up to 40 percent of all cases. Finally, when it comes to untreated chlamydia, men suffer neither symptoms nor ill effects most of the time, while women can develop pelvic inflammatory disease which might lead to reproductive system damage.

 

So why are women impacted by STDs differently than men? A few key reasons go a long way to explaining feminine vulnerability:

One/ For many common STDs — including chlamydia and gonorrhea — women are less likely to show symptoms compared to men and when symptoms do occur, they may appear to go away even though the infection remains. More importantly, men find it easier to notice symptoms because they signs are so obvious — an unusual discharge, for example. Since women experience a whole range of natural discharges, all of them quite normal, they find it much more difficult to distinguish when an abnormal one appears.

 

Two/ Not only is the vagina a suitably moist environment where bacteria may easily flourish, but its lining is exceedingly more delicate and thinner than the skin of a penis. This natural fragility means viruses find it easier to penetrate.

 

Three/ Women have visibility issues. Notably, it’s harder for a woman to see a genital ulcer (from syphilis, say, or herpes) because they could occur only inside her vagina and not on the surface of her genitalia. Meanwhile, it’s difficult for a man to miss seeing a sore making its debut on his penis.

 

Four/ Finally, everyday sexually transmitted infections wreak havoc on a woman’s more gentle system while causing no problems in men. Along with chlamydia, the human papillomavirus (HPV) is contracted by both men and women frequently. However this common virus does not lead to serious (if any) health problems for most men while it is the main cause of cervical cancer in women. The fairer sex has been dealt an unequal hand.

 

So what’s a woman to do? In a phrase: protect yourself.

 

Speak Up

See your doctor, but more importantly talk to your doctor. There’s no shame in asking to be tested for sexually transmitted infections and diseases, and this is true whether your visit is with your primary care physician or your ob/gyn. If you haven’t already been given one, you might want to ask for the HPV vaccine.

 

Don’t stop here, though. Once you get a sense of a partner’s sexual history, go all the way and ask about STDs, especially if he or she has been around the block a few times. Make it a joke, if you have to, but simply ask: Ever been tested for STDs?

 

Finally, and yes we’ve saved the best for last, use condoms. Imperfect though they may be, they offer a good deal of protection against STIs and pregnancy. You’re never perfectly safe, and sadly, even long-term boyfriends (and husbands) have been known to spread disease to their partners. It’s always worth it, knowing you’ve done your best at self-protection.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

P Carrothers

312-972-WELL

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Pubic Grooming Tied to Higher STD Rates

pubicgrooming

Pubic Grooming Tied to Higher STD Rates

 

Brazilian bikini waxing and similar forms of personal grooming may be all the rage, but they come with a heightened risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted disease, new research suggests.

 

The study found that frequent groomers of pubic hair are three to four times more likely to contract a sexually transmitted infection, such as herpes, human papillomavirus (HPV) or syphilis.

 

“Grooming is linked to a heightened self-reported sexually transmitted disease risk, and for those who groom frequently or remove all of their hair often, the association is even higher,” said lead researcher Dr. Charles Osterberg. He’s an assistant professor of urology and surgery at the University of Texas Dell Medical School in Austin.

 

Still, the study didn’t prove a direct cause-and-effect relationship between pubic grooming and sexually transmitted infections, it was only designed to show a link between these factors.

 

Pubic hair grooming and removal has become increasingly popular worldwide among women and men, as public perceptions have changed regarding the role of body hair in cleanliness and attractiveness, Osterberg said.

 

To see whether this grooming might have any connection to sexually transmitted infections, Osterberg and his colleagues surveyed 7,580 U.S. residents, aged 18 to 65, about their grooming practices, sexual behavior and history of sexually transmitted diseases.

 

Almost three out of four participants (74 percent) said they had groomed their pubic hair before. More women (84 percent) than men (66 percent) reported trying it at least once.

 

Among the groomers, 17 percent were classified as “extreme” since they remove all of their pubic hair more than 11 times a year. Twenty-two percent were labeled “high-frequency” groomers because they trim their pubic hair daily or weekly. One in 10 groomers fell into both categories.

 

Extreme groomers had a quadrupled risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection. In addition, high-frequency groomers had a 3.5-fold increased risk of sexually transmitted infections, the results showed.

 

The researchers speculated that infections might spread more easily due to tiny cuts, scrapes and skin tears that result from grooming.

 

Dr. Dennis Fortenberry is a professor of pediatrics and adolescent medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine and current president of the American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association. He said, “I would probably lean toward the idea that the grooming itself causes mild trauma to the skin, and essentially makes the skin more susceptible to the organisms when they’re exposed.”

 

On the other hand, Osterberg noted, it might be that people who groom more often engage in more sex and are at higher risk for a sexually transmitted infection.

 

“Grooming may be a proxy for higher levels of sexual activity,” he added.

 

Overall, groomers tended to be younger, more sexually active, and to have had more sexual partners than those who don’t groom their pubic hair, the survey found. Extreme groomers had a higher number of sexual partners than any other category of groomer.

 

But, the researchers still found an 80 percent increased risk of sexually transmitted infections in anyone who reported having ever groomed at all, even after adjusting for the person’s age and their lifetime number of sexual partners.

 

There’s one bright spot for regular groomers — a reduced risk of pubic lice, the investigators found.

 

People who never or rarely groom their pubic hair have double the risk of pubic lice, the study authors reported.

 

“That’s how pubic lice end up breeding, in the hair itself,” Osterberg said. “You actually decrease your risk for lice by grooming.”

 

The study was published online Dec. 5 in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections.

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