Marla Ahlgrimm R.Ph.

Marla Ahlgrimm | Retired Pharmacist | Leading Expert in Women's Health

Q & A with Marla Ahlgrimm | Urinary Tract Infections

Marla AhlgrimmA urinary tract infection (UTI) is the result of bacteria that stems from improper bathroom hygiene, sexual intercourse, diaphragm usage, kidney stones, diabetes, estrogen loss, or holding urine for an extended period of time. According to Marla Ahlgrimm, UTIs may occur anywhere in the urinary tract including the urethra, ureters, bladder, and kidneys. Here, Ahlgrimm explains UTI signs, treatment, and prevention.

Q: What are the symptoms of a urinary tract infection?

Marla Ahlgrimm: A urinary tract infection may present initially with a burning or stinging feeling while urinating. Women with a urinary tract infection may feel an intense urge to pass urine, though not much comes out when they get to the bathroom. UTIs may also cause pressure or pain in the lower abdomen, fever, shakiness, and fatigue. Reddish, cloudy, milky and foul smelling urine is an indication of a UTI.

Q: How are UTIs diagnosed?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Urinary tract infections require a urine sample and special lab tests. Women with persistent UTIs may undergo a urinary tract ultrasound or other exploratory exams to view any potential blockage, stones, or swelling.

Q: Are antibiotics required for UTI treatment?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Yes. Antibiotics are necessary to kill the bacteria that caused the urinary tract infection in the first place. Untreated, the infection can spread throughout the body and may cause complications during pregnancy. Pregnant women who suspect a UTI should see their doctor as soon as possible.

Q: Can UTIs be prevented?

Marla Ahlgrimm: While not all urinary tract infections can be avoided, a woman may lower their risk with proper preventative and self-care measures. Always wipe from front to back and drink plenty of water, especially after sexual intercourse. Avoid feminine hygiene sprays and wear cotton panties to help prevent moisture. Taking showers will also help reduce bacteria. Women who experience a high number of urinary tract infections who use a diaphragm or spermicide as a contraceptive may need to consider other forms of birth control.


Author: Marla Ahlgrimm

Pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm revolutionized the field of women’s health in the 1970s and continues to do so today. After introducing the term “premenstrual syndrome” to the American public in the late 1970s, Marla Ahlgrimm has continued to focus her pharmacy practice over the years to successfully address hormone concerns that affect women as they age. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Marla Ahlgrimm co-founded Madison Pharmacy Associates, and it was there she fine tuned individualized care protocols and prescription medication to optimize a woman’s hormonal health. One of the first hormone issues that Marla tackled was Premenstrual Syndrome, or PMS. At that time, there were no diagnosis or treatment options to address the severe symptoms that many women were reporting. As a result of Marla Ahlgrimm ’s intense attention to women’s health, Madison Pharmacy Associates gained a national reputation as an innovative practice. Founded in 1982, Madison Pharmacy Associates was the first pharmacy to special in women’s health in the nation. Thanks to the expertise of Marla Ahlgrimm, Madison Pharmacy Associates became known for the management of PMS. Over the years, Madison Pharmacy Associates evolved with Marla Ahlgrimm’s careful guidance, providing the national PMS Access newsletter, as well as a toll-free line where patients could obtain referrals to physicians who had the expertise to help them manage their symptoms. Marla Ahlgrimm founded Women’s Health America, Inc. in 1993 to help women by providing individualized hormonal medications to address the complex health issues of women and also to provide practical, helpful women’s health information. Over the years, Marla Ahlgrimm’s vision has grown to include Women’s Health America, Madison Pharmacy Associates, PMS Access and Cyclin Pharmaceuticals. In addition to her accomplishments with these landmark organizations, Marla Ahlgrimm is an author, having published two watershed books, The HRT Solution and Self-Help for Premenstrual Syndrome. Marla Ahlgrimm has also been published in numerous national publications, including serving as a columnist for The American Journal of Natural Medicine. Today, the primary work of Marla Ahlgrimm centers on natural hormone therapy, an important area for the large number of women who are menopausal and postmenopausal. Marla Ahlgrimm ’s work is unique because of her focus on individualized, natural hormone therapy options. According to pharmacist, Marla Ahlgrimm, many health issues facing women today are related to hormone changes. Using an individualized approach to therapy, she reports that many women feel reenergized for the first time in years. In addition to recognition in publications and journals, Marla Ahlgrimm has been recognized with a number awards over the span of her career. Some of Marla Ahlgrimm ’s most notable awards have been the YWCA’s acknowledgment of Marla Ahlgrimm as one of its Women of Distinction and recognition by her alma mater, the University of Wisconsin, as one of its Distinguished Alumni. Above all of the awards and honors, Marla Ahlgrimm finds that helping so many women is the greatest accomplishment of all. In fact, says Marla Ahlgrimm, she still works with some of her very first patients and their doctors. These women once sought the help of Marla Ahlgrimm for PMS, she says, and today she is helping them manage symptoms of menopause and the years that follow.

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