Urinary Tract Infections: What you should know?

What is Urinary Tract Infection?

An infection that occurs in any part of your urinary system is referred to as urinary tract infection. It includes urinary bladder, kidneys, urethra, and ureters.  It has been noticed that women are at a greater risk of catching urinary tract infection, especially in the lower part like bladder and the urethra.

The condition needs to be treated properly, otherwise may create serious complications. Recurrent infections, permanent kidney damage etc may occur if UTI’s are left untreated.

What causes Urinary Tract Infection?

Urinary tract infection commonly occurs when the bacteria enters into the urinary tract through the urethra. It will multiply fast inside the bladder, and can spread to the kidneys as well.

The infection in the bladder is mostly caused by bacteria called E-coli which are found inside the gastrointestinal tract. Urethra is the tube that transports urine from the bladder to outside. Since the distance between urethra and the anus is short in women, the bacteria can easily enter inside the system leading to UTI.

The vagina is located close to the urethra. A vaginal infection or sexually transmitted infection can also result in urinary tract infection.

Risk factors of UTI

Several factors can lead to a urinary tract infection in women at different stages of life. Mainly, the female anatomy increases the risk of UTI in women. There are certain risk factors which you should be aware of. It includes:

  • A weakened immune system
  • Menopause as the female reproductive hormones declines
  • Birth control measures
  • Kidney stones or other blockages
  • Prolonged bladder emptying
  • Sexual intercourse with multiple partners
  • Abnormalities in the urinary tract
  • Use of catheters
  • Medical procedures

Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection

  • UTI symptoms may not show up in the initial stages but may develop gradually. The symptoms normally include:
  • Painful urination
  • Tendency to urinate frequently
  • Cloudy or milky urine
  • Blood stain in the urine
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Foul smell in the urine
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscles pains
  • Pelvic pain
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Fever and sudden chills if the infection spreads to the kidney

Treatment for Urinary Tract Infection

UTI’s are diagnosed by a urine culture test to find out the amount of blood cells, types of bacteria, and severity of the infection. In case of recurrent urinary tract infections, further imaging tests has to be done.

Since it is mostly caused by Bacteria, antibiotics are prescribed on patients with urinary tract infection. The treatment method will depend on the symptoms and patient’s health statistics.

Preventive measures

In order to stay away from UTI, follow these instructions:

  • Drink lots of water
  • Empty your bladder frequently
  • Urinate after sexual intercourse to pull out the bacteria if entered
  • Cleanliness in the genital area before and after sex
  • Never wipe from back to front of genital area
  • Do not use perfumes of sprays in the genital area