A Soak Could Help You Find Some Relief Urinary tract infections are one of the most common outpatient consultations in the United States. They are one of the most common causes of fever in the young and elderly and can cause urinary incontinence in women. Yearly, around 250,000 cases of kidney infections or pyelonephritis occur among women in the United States. Costs for the diagnosis and management of urinary tract infections in the United States can reach up to a total of $2-3 billion dollars a year. It might seem like a simple infection, but it can be really costly when you think of it from that scale. It is an essential infection to treat because it can lead to serious complications such as sepsis and renal damage if left untreated. That is why a lot of other remedies are being tested to see if they can alleviate symptoms of urinary tract infections. This article will discuss how Epsom salt baths are good for UTIs, what benefits Epsom salt baths have, and how to prepare an Epsom salt bath. What are Urinary Tract Infections? What are the Symptoms? Urinary tract infections are infections of the parts that serve as the passageway of the urine out of our bodies; this includes the kidney, bladder, ureters, and urethra. Urine is a sterile substance that passes out of our bodies; therefore, the introduction of bacteria can lead to a bladder infection, inflammation, and pus formation that can lead to various symptoms. Symptoms of a urinary tract infection include pain and burning sensation while urinating, cloudy or foul-smelling urine, blood in the urine, and abdominal pain. What are Epsom Salts? What Do They Do? Epsom salt or magnesium sulfate is a white, crystalline water-soluble chemical compound that has been used for centuries to treat various illnesses. Epsom salts are commonly used to relieve sore muscles, stiff joints, itching, skin irritation, and sunburn and are used as relief for headaches or foot pain. Its uses in the human body are varied, and it has been found to provide relief for various ailments, which include urinary tract infections. How is an Epsom Salt Bath Good for UTIs? What Benefits do Epsom Salt Baths Have? Epsom salts provide several benefits for treating urinary tract infections. The primary benefit of using Epsom salt baths for bladder infections or urinary tract infections is to relieve pain. Epsom salt baths can help relieve pain and discomfort associated with UTIs. UTIs present with a burning sensation, pain while urinating, and cloudy urine. The warm, calming nature of Epsom salt baths has been shown to help relieve this. [youmaylike] If you soak in an Epsom salt bath, it can be helpful to reduce inflammation as well. Because they are rich in magnesium, they can help cleanse the urinary tract and aid in the healing process. The increased concentration of magnesium sulfate is believed to help change the environment in the urinary tract, which can lead to conditions unfavorable for bacteria to grow. It can help prevent bacteria from growing or multiplying when you soak in an Epsom salt bath and has a disinfectant property. Epsom salt baths can also improve the circulation of blood in the body. It can cause dilation of the blood vessels leading to improved blood flow, which also promotes the passage of cells that help in the body’s immunity. Epsom salt baths provide an overall relaxing and calming experience that can leave you feeling detoxified as well. Are Epsom Salt Baths the Answer to UTIs? Although Epsom salt baths may relieve urinary tract infection symptoms, there is not enough evidence to recommend using Epsom salts over established treatments like antibiotics. Epsom salt baths are currently home remedies that can be adjuncts to treatment but cannot be used to replace the treatment of urinary tract infections with antibiotic medications. In order to treat the infection, you should still take an antibiotic regimen prescribed by your physician. Are Epsom Salt Baths Risk-Free? Do Epsom Salt Baths Have Any Side Effects? Generally, Epsom salt baths are safe and don’t have a lot of serious complications. However, you still need to make sure that Epsom salt baths are safe for you. The most common side effects of Epsom salt baths include allergic reactions. So if you have an allergy to Epsom salt, it is better that you avoid this. It can also aggravate pain or discomfort if you have an open wound or breaks or scratches in the skin. If you have these, stay away from Epsom salt baths to avoid further complications. How Do You Prepare an Epsom Salt Bath? The general way to prepare an Epsom salt bath is to dissolve Epsom salt in warm water. Epsom salt is easy to find and can easily be bought in health and grocery stores. Recommendations include dissolving 1 to 2 cups of Epsom salt in a gallon of warm water to create a water-soak bath. It is important not to put too much to avoid irritation and drying of the skin. Let the Epsom salt dissolve in the water, which can take about a few minutes. If you have a bathtub, you can prepare it to submerge and soak in it. However, this can be done as you shower as well. When you have a bladder infection or a urinary tract infection, you can do a water soak for 15-20 minutes to help relieve symptoms. Rinse after every water soak. This can be done daily or on an average of 2-3 times per week. Doing this soak gives ample time in providing relief until the antibiotics start doing their work and control further growth and multiplication of bacteria, completely eliminating symptoms such as pain. If you think you have a urinary tract infection, consult your physician for an evaluation. Further, you should seek medical attention if you are experiencing any serious side effects from using Epsom salt baths. There are no studies that show that using an Epsom salt bath for UTIs will prevent or cure a urinary tract infection, so it is still important to go to the doctor for proper management. Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms of a urinary tract infection.
How Long Do STD Tests Take?
If you believe you have a sexually transmitted disease (STD), you may be worried about your long-term health at the moment. There are various types of STDs. While some can be treated with medication, some common diseases, like herpes or HIV, are permanent and can affect your quality of life. If you believe you are at risk, testing is needed. So, how long do STD tests take and what do you need to know about them? Read on.
Depending on the STD and the moment from when the symptoms start appearing, testing your body for the strain can take several weeks after you have been exposed. If you have a curable STD, your doctor will get a re-test before beginning treatment.
But keep in mind, time is of the essence. STDs and STIs do not work as viral infections. Referring to the sexually transmitted part of the term, you can only get these infections and diseases from sexual contact with an already infected person.
If you suspect that the person you came into contact with was infected, you must get yourself tested as soon as possible.
What Are the Most Common STDs?
Several common STDs do display symptoms within the first few days or weeks. Unfortunately, given the nature of these diseases, it is also common for them not to show any symptoms at all. So, you might go months or even years without knowing you have an STD.
The National Coalition for Sexual Health lists various timelines for sexually active people. Whether you have been abstinent for a short period or even if you are in a long-term relationship, it is wise to get tested, especially if your doctor recommends it. There’s no need if you believe you have not exposed to any STDs.
However, if you have had multiple partners or are in an open relationship, or are polyamorous, this will increase your chances of developing symptoms for the following STDS:
Symptoms occur one to three weeks after exposure, though they can start later as well. Symptoms include:
- Pelvic pain in women (testicular pain in men)
- Pain when urinating
- Discharge from the penis or vagina
- Vaginal bleeding after sex or after menstruation
Symptoms occur in the first two weeks after exposure. Symptoms include:
- Yellow or green discharge from the penis or vagina
- Pain while urinating
Symptoms occur within the first six weeks or at the six-week mark. Symptoms may occur within four days if previously diagnosed. Symptoms include:
- Spotted red rashes
- Itching on and around the genital area (worse at night time)
Symptoms occur two to three weeks after exposure but can develop sooner. Symptoms include:
- Blotchy rashes
- Flu-like symptoms
- Painless ulcers or sores on the genitals
- Ulcers or sores may ooze syphilis bacteria
Symptoms may develop four to seven days after exposure. However, there is a greater chance you may not have any indications of the infection. Symptoms include:
- Severe itching around the genitals
- Tingling sensation around the genitals
- Pain while urinating
- Painful blisters on the genitals
Symptoms may develop three weeks later, but they may also take months or even years to develop. Symptoms include:
- Itchy growth around the genitals
- Small growths and bumps around the anus and genitals (growth will not be so obvious)
Symptoms may develop within two to six weeks. Symptoms include:
- Red rashes all over the body
- High fever, headaches, aching joints and muscles, sore throat, and other flu-like symptoms
Duration for STD Testing
To answer "how long do STD tests take?" it is good to know that each test is different, depending on the type of STD. Here's what to expect:
- Chlamydia: The type of tests used include blood, urine, or a swab test, and the re-test period will be three months.
- Gonorrhea: Testing includes blood, urine, or swab test. There’s a wait period of two weeks after a confirmed diagnosis and treatment to ensure negative results.
- Herpes: This is tested via a Pap smear for women; there’s no test for men. There is no re-test period.
- Syphilis: This is tested through a blood test with a re-test period of three months.
- HIV: This can be tested through a blood test, saliva sample, or nucleic acid test. There’s no re-test period.
Swab sample is typically taken from the throat, cervix, rectum, or vaginal canal
STDs, like genital warts, scabies, and genital herpes, require a physical examination before the doctor can make a diagnosis. Because of the obvious physical symptoms each STD causes, your doctor may inquire about your recent sexual history to estimate a timeline.
After making a diagnosis, your doctor will prescribe medication to control the severity of the STD symptoms.
A Note on Preventing STDs
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using condoms, getting tested before initiating sex, and getting vaccinated to prevent STDs. They also recommend talking with your partner about safe sex and getting tested if either has been with multiple partners.
While it does seem like an uncomfortable conversation, talking about STDs and your past experiences ensures you and your partner are both safe during sex. If you need further education on STDs, the CDC also recommends talking with your healthcare provider to know all the details on keeping yourself safe.
While getting an STD may be disruptive to your lifestyle, it is not life-threatening, and now you know the answer to "how long do STD tests take?" You also know how to spot the signs and symptoms of STDs, and when you should seek a doctor's help.
Getting regularly tested and being safe can easily prevent STDs. So, educate yourself and be aware of the information regarding safe sex.
Your body is a temple, and you must do the best you can to protect it from anything that may cause it harm.