|22 June 2022
|Urinary tract infection Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
A Urinary Tract Infection is a common type of infection in the urinary system. This infection can involve any part of the urinary system such as the urethra, kidneys, or bladder. The urine does not contain bacteria. Urine is produced through the kidneys for removing waste products and excess water from the blood. In simple words, urine is our body’s filtration system. Urine moves through our urinary system without contamination. However, bacteria can enter the urinary system from outside of the body, thus causing infection and inflammation which is called urinary tract infection.
The urinary tract makes and stores urine (the body’s liquid waste products). The following parts are included in the urinary tract:
Kidneys are small organs located on the back of our body. They remove waste and water from the blood, working as the filters of our bodies. The waste then becomes urine.
Ureters are thin tubes in our bodies. They carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder.
The bladder stores the urine before it leaves the body.
It is a tube that carries the urine from the bladder to the outside of the body.
Urinary tract infections are very common. They occur in 1 out of 5 women sometime in their lifetime. Though the infection is common in women, it can happen to men, older adults, and children. 1 to 2% of children develop UTIs.
Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections, most often don’t show any signs or symptoms but when they do they are as follows:
- A strong urge to urinate
- A burning sensation while urinating
- Passing small amounts of urine
- Appears cloudy urine
- Red, bright pink, or cola-colored urine (a sign of blood in the urine)
- Strong smelled urine
- Pain in the center of the pelvis and around the area of the pubic bone (especially in women).
Causes of Urinary Tract Infection
The most common Urinary Tract Infection occurs mainly in women. They affect the bladder and urethra.
- Cystitis (Infection of the bladder)
This type of infection is generally caused by Escherichia Coli. It is a type of bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tract. However, it is possible that sometimes other bacteria are responsible. Though sexual intercourse may lead to Cystitis, you don’t have to be sexually active to get it. All the women are at risk to get Cystitis because of their anatomy. In short words, because of the short distance from the urethra to the anus and the urethral opening to the bladder.
- Urethritis (infection of the urethra)
This type of infection happens when GI bacteria travel from the anus to the urethra. Moreover, since the female urethra is close to the vagina, sexually transmitted infections can cause urethritis. These infections are herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and mycoplasma.
Treatment of Urinary Tract Infection
There are some precautions or prevention steps that you can apply to diminish the risk of this infection:
- You should drink plenty of liquids, especially water. Drinking more water lets you urinate more frequently which allows bacteria to be flushed from the urinary tract. This as a result prevents infection.
- Although it is not proven, it is believed that drinking cranberry juice prevents UTIs.
- You should always wipe from front to back. Wiping after urinating helps prevent bacteria from entering the vagina and urethra from the anal.
- Make sure to empty your bladder after sexual intercourse. Also, drink a glass of water to flush the bacteria.
- Avoid using feminine intimate products such as deodorant sprays, douches, powders, etc.
- Changing your birth control method might also help. For example, avoid using diaphragms or unlubricated condoms as they contribute to bacteria growth.
Urinary tract infection Symptoms, Causes and Treatment: Video by Dr. Shreyas Bhalerao
Antibiotics usually are the common treatment for urinary tract infections. The drugs which are going to be prescribed to you depend on your health condition and the type of bacteria present in your urine. There are usually 2 types of infections e.g. Simple infections and frequent infections. If you have caught simple infections, the doctor may prescribe these drugs:
For the frequent infections, the doctor may prescribe these drugs:
- Low dose antibiotics (might prescribe for 6 months but sometimes longer)
- Self-diagnosis and treatment
- If your infection is related to sexual intercourse, a single dose of antibiotic after intercourse is prescribed
- If you’re postmenopausal, vaginal estrogen therapy is prescribed.