Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a bacterial infection that affects the different parts of the urinary tract. The urinary tract includes Kidneys, ureters, bladder, urethra. The function of this system is to remove waste from the body, regulate blood pH, blood pressure and volume, control levels of electrolytes and metabolites. Both men and women are susceptible to the infection but the anatomy and reproductive physiology of women makes them more Vulnerable. UTI occurs when bacteria move into the urinary tract and multiply. we will be looking at everything you should know about the infection starting with its symptoms. Read on.
Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
- Pain or burning sensation during urination
- Passing only small amounts of urine
- Cloudy, strong-smelling urine
- Red or pink-tinged urine, indicating the presence of blood
- Mucus- or pus-like urethral discharge, usually in men
- Incontinence (involuntary loss of urine)
- Strong, persistent urge to urinate even if you have just done that
Causes of urinary tract infections
When bacteria finds it way to the urinary tract, it causes UTIs. the bladder (that store urine) and urethra (passage for urine out of the body) both make up the lower urinary tract which is the mostly infected part of the tract. while UTI in the bladder is referred to as cystitis, that of the urethra is called urethritis.
Urinary Tract Infection of the bladder and urethra are caused by E.coli or other bacteria usually in the digestive tract, which can move from the anus to the urethra. Also, Sexually transmitted infections like herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia and mycoplasma can cause infection in the urethra. sometimes, before this bacteria can cause infection, urinating helps to flush them out but the body might not be able to always do so.
Although UTI can occur in the upper urinary tract, which includes the kidneys and Ureters but not so common. UTI in the kidney is known as pyelonephritis or kidney infection. the infection usually begins in the bladder and moves through the ureters to one or both kidneys which can lead to serious health problems.
Factors that makes you more likely to get UTI
- Being a woman – this is due to their anatomy. females have shorter urethras that makes it possible for the bacteria to enter the bladder.
- Frequently having sex with new partners can increase your risk of having UTI. bacteria can easily move to the urinary tract of a woman during sex as their urethra is located next to the vaginal and anus.
- Perimenopause and menopause
- A blocked urinary tract: kidney stones, an enlarged prostate, or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) can trap urine in the bladder and increase the risk of UTIs
- Diabetes: This condition suppresses the immune system, increasing the risk of UTIs
- Catheter use
- Recent urinary surgery
- Wearing thong underwear can also increase the spread of bacteria.
Complications of Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
when UTI is left untreated, it could lead to such complications as:
- Recurring infections
- Permanent kidney damage
- Narrowing of the urethra in men
- A potentially life-threatening infection called sepsis, especially when kidneys are infected (called urosepsis)
Tips to aid treatment of UTI and prevent future infection
- Drink a lot of water
- Do not hold it Urine, you should pee when needed
- Urinate before and after sexual activity to prevent the spread of bacteria into the urinary tract
- Avoid alcohol, coffee, caffeine, and soft drinks
- Avoid or reduce consumption of sugar
- Avoid carbohydrates
- Avoid vaginal deodorants, douches, powders, and other potentially irritating feminine products.
The first line of treatment for UTIs are Antibiotics and there are also home remedies to help UTIs like heating pad to relieve pain, wearing loose cotton clothing and modifying certain habits as mentioned earlier in this article.
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