Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs): All What You Need to Know
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are popular infections that usually affect the urinary system of the body which include bladder, ureters, kidneys and urethra. In most cases, the infections often occur around the lower urinary parts which are the bladder and urethra.
Both genders can experience this condition but it is most common in women. According to medical experts, a lot of women have repeat infections, even for years compared to men. When women experience the infection regularly, it is regarded as recurrent UTIs. In a situation whereby you are experiencing an infection around the lower urinary part such as bladder, it would not only be painful but also annoying to the body system. Meanwhile, if you permit a UTI to move to your kidneys, a great threat and severe consequences might develop.
The pains from UTIs can make you uncomfortable and medical doctors have recommend antibiotics as appropriate treatment for the infection. This article will explain proper ways you can manage UTIs and how you can limit the possibility of getting a UTI in the first place.
Possible symptoms of UTIs:
Sometimes, UTIs might not bring any sign or symptoms but in a case they do, some of the signs are:
- When there is a powerful desire to urinate often
- A burning feeling when you are urinating
- When you are urinating small amount of urine too often
- The urine appears cloudy, dark or strange-smell
- If the urine seems red like a sign of blood presence
- Feeling pain low down the stomach
- Experiencing fever or chills
- Feeling weak, tired, and achy.
- Pelvic pain or feeling pressure in your back or lower abdomen.
The above are the signs or symptoms of UTIs which might be overlooked or mistaken for other conditions most especially by older adults.
Types of UTIs:
You can experience different signs and symptoms since an infection can occur in different parts of your urinary tract. This shows that the part of the urinary tract infected determines the signs and symptoms as there are different types of UTIs. Each type has a different name which depends on where it is located.
- Cystitis (Bladder): You can experience situations such as feeling to urinate often, blood in urine, discomfort while urinating, pelvic pain or pressure, and lower belly pain.
- Urethra (Urethritis): Presence of discharge and burning when you urinate.
- Pyelonephritis (Kidney): You can witness high fever, upper back and side pain, shaking and chills, vomiting, and nausea.
When to go for medical consultation:
You are advised to consult your medical doctor in case you think you might have a UTI, most especially if:
- The symptoms are becoming severe and worse.
- You experience UTIs too often.
- The symptoms haven’t started to improve after a few days
The medical doctor will help you phantom out other likely causes of those symptoms by getting a sample of your urine and make a test with it. You will be given appropriate recommendation in case you really have an infection. Antibiotics are usually recommended for use because if you didn’t treat UTIs as at when noticed, it can cause severe problems if allowed to spread across.
Causes of UTIs:
It is because of urinary tract infections that medical doctors usually advise women to wipe from front to back after using the bathroom. The infection usually happens when bacteria move to the urinary tract via urethra and start to develop in multiple inside the bladder. The urethra is a tube that transport urine from the bladder to outside of the body and it is very close to the anus.
Some bacteria available in large intestine e.g. E. coli can leave the anus and move into the urethra which makes it easy for them to penetrate to the bladder and when you didn’t treat the infection, it can proceed to the kidney and cause different harmful infect. Since women have shorter urethras than men, it becomes simple for bacteria to move to their bladders. Sexual intercourse can bring bacteria to the urinary tract too.
Another cause of UTIs in women is their genes. Women that have diabetes might be at a great risk because their immune system is weak and hence they are not too strong to fight against infections. Some conditions that can contribute to the risk are multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, hormone changes, stroke, and kidney stones.
Risk factors of UTIs:
Women usually experience urinary tract infections and even more than it is usually more than one infection during their lifetimes. Some risk factors for this infection on women include:
- Menopause: At the stage of menopause, there usually exist reductions in circulating estrogen that can affect the urinary tract and make it easy to have infection.
- Anatomy in females: Since the urethra of a female is shorter than males, there is a little distance that bacteria need to cover in order to reach the bladder.
- Some types of birth control: It is possible to have increase possibility of having the infection most especially when women make use of diaphragms for birth control or if spermicidal agents are being used by women.
- Sexual activity: Women that are sexually active tend to have more UTIs than others that aren’t sexually active. When there is a new sexual partner, the risk of having the infection can also increase.
Prevention of UTIs:
There are different ways you can follow in order to stop the infection from coming back in case you have it and also reduce the risk of having it when you haven’t experience it.
- Drink enough water: Your urine will be diluted when you drink enough liquids such as water. It will also enable you to urinate more often and flush out the bacteria from your urinary tract before it develops infection.
- Always visit the toilet when necessary and ensure to empty your bladder aptly.
- Always wipe from front to back: You can do this action after a bowel movement or urination as it will help you fight against bacteria in the anal part from moving to the vagina and urethra.
- Empty your bladder after sexual intercourse: Always ensure you drink a glass of water to help get rid of bacteria. This will enable you to empty your bladder after sex.
- Always stay hydrated appropriately.
- Wear innerwear that are made of cotton instead of synthetic material and avoid tight trousers or jeans.
- Change the birth control method as diaphragms or condoms with spermicidal lubricants on them can increase the growth of bacteria.
Treatment for UTIs:
In most cases, UTIs are majorly treated with antibiotics. It is usually prescribed for most women to go on three-day course of antibiotic tablets or capsules. Perhaps, other people such as pregnant women, men or people with more severe symptoms might go for a bit longer course.
You can also use paracetamol as a painkiller in order to get rid of any form of pain. Drinking liquids can also go a long way in assisting you. You should consult your doctor in case the symptoms aren’t improving or getting worse.
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- Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs): All What You Need to Know