Urinary Tract Infection, Description, Causes, Types, Symptoms, Treatment, Home Remedies, Harmful Complications and FAQ
What is Urinary Tract Infection?
UTI (Urinary Tract Infection) refers to an infection that occurs in any part of the urethra. It is one of the most common infections of local primary care. The problem is less common in adult men under 50, with adult women 30 times more likely to have urinary tract infections than men.
Urinary tract infections are of two types, one is simple and other is complicated. Simple low UTI remains one of the most commonly treated infections in primary care. Urinary tract infection is the most common bacterial infection in children (under the age of 2) and newborns.
Urinary Tract Infection and its Treatment
In the first six months of life, UTI is more common in boys. Generally, 40% of women develop UTI in the body at some point in their lives. Adult women are 30 times more likely to develop UTI than men; almost half of them experience at least one episode of this problem during their lifetime. According to research, one in three women appears in the first episode of UTI by the age of 24. UTI is common in sexually active young women. Other sensitive adults include elderly and patients in need of urinary tract catheterization (Urethral catheterisation).
Many cases of simple UTI without treatment are spontaneously solved. But many patients approach treatment to get rid of symptoms. The purpose of the treatment is to prevent the infection from spreading to the kidneys or developing into upper tube disease/pyelonephritis. Spreading the infection to the kidneys or upper limbs can destroy the fine structure of the nephron and eventually cause high blood pressure.
Further this article will discuss the problem of UTI and other information related to it.
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Types and Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection
According to the affected part, the problem of UTI can be of 4 types:
- Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
It is any inflammation of the male urethra (the tube carrying urine out of the bladder). It is not caused by gonorrhea (sexually modifiable infection). It is sometimes called ‘Non-gonococcal urethritis’ (NGU). Several organisms can create it but, in many cases, the specific organism cannot be identified. The infection can be easily detected through vaginal sex. It can also be acquired through or oral sex, although it is rare. Sometimes it can happen without being sexually transmitted.
- Clear white discharge from the penis,
- Burning sensation, sometimes pain while urinating.
- Pain and swelling in the testicles. This can be a sign of a serious infection.
- Bladder Infection
Urinary tract infections involve bacteria in the urine. It is the most common form of urinary tract infection, especially in women. Bladder is a muscular bag that preserves urine from the kidneys. This preserved urine is emitted from the body through the urethra. It is called urinary tract infection when bacteria enter the urethra, infect urine and swell the bladder lining. Most women suffer from this problem at least once in their lives. It is painful and annoying but not dangerous or contagious, and the infection does not spread to your partner during sex.
- Frequent urination, but only a few drops are emitted.
- Feeling of irritation or pain during urination
- Strong smelling urine
- Dark or bloody urine
- Lower abdomen pain
- Blood in urine etc.
- Kidney Infection
Kidney infection begins in the bladder and one or both of them affect the kidneys by moving upwards. In rare cases, kidney infection can cause serious health problems, but quick treatments can prevent most complications.
Symptoms of kidney infection may vary depending on your age. This can include cold feelings, fevers, and painful urine.
- Vaginal Infections
Vaginal infections are vaginal inflammation that can lead to discharge, itching and pain. The cause is usually a change of the normal balance of vaginal bacteria or infection. Decreased estrogen levels after menopause and some skin disorders can also lead to vaginal infections. There are also three types of vaginal infections:
- Vaginal infections caused by bacteria; this causes excessive growth of other organisms from the normal bacterial changes in your vagina.
- Yeast infection, which is usually caused by a naturally occurring fungus called ‘Candida Albicans’.
- Trichomoniasis; this is caused by parasites and is usually transmitted by sex.
- Changes in the color, smell or amount of white discharge from the vagina
- Vaginal itching or irritation
- Pain during intercourse
- Painful urine
- Light vaginal bleeding
Causes of UTI
- The pathogenic bacteria rise from the perineum and cause UTI problems. Women are more prone to this infection because of the shorter urethra than men in women. Blood-flowing bacteria cause very few uncomplicated UTIs. Acheria cola (Escherichia coli) is the most common organism of non-complex or simple UTI at large intervals.
- One of the main risk factors for UTI is the use of catheters (Catheter). Urinary tract damage is a risk factor.
- Sex and use of spermatocides and diaphragm are also risk factors for UTI. Frequent pelvic examinations and presence of physical abnormalities in the urethra can also lead to early disposal of a UTI.
- UTI is very common after kidney transplant. Both factors include the use of Immunosuppressive drug and Vesicoureteral reflux.
- Other risk factors include the use of antibiotics and diabetes mellitus.
Home Remedies for UTI
The following ways to avoid urinary tract infections are effective-
1) To prevent urinary tract infections, the part of the vagina should be clean and dry as much as possible. Cleaning the vagina thoroughly after urinating or after defecation can prevent bacteria from entering the urethra.
2) Wear underwear made from natural fibers so that the urethra remains as clean and dry as possible to prevent bacterial entry. Wearing too tight clothes can block air flow to the urethra. Without air flow, bacteria can gain access and breed in an environment that allows UTI growth. Wearing clothes made from synthetic fibers like nylon can block moisture, which can lead to increased bacteria.
3) Do not use soap in vagina. The vagina contains harmful as well as beneficial bacteria. It is necessary to maintain the balance between the two. Using soap can result in imbalance of the body’s PH level and an increase in harmful bacteria. Our vagina cleans itself with white discharge. Yet you can use a PH balanced solution PH if you feel the need.
4) Use pads, tampons or cups instead of using clothes during menstruation. Doing so can prevent many bacterial infections in the vagina. But remember, even if you’ve used pads, tampons or cups, it’s very important to change it every 5,6 hours. Because they hold the blood flow. Such pads can increase the harmful bacteria when exposed to the vagina for long.
5) Spermiside is a type of birth control that is inserted into the vagina before sex to kill sperm. Spermicide can cause burns, remove natural barriers to safety from bacterial attacks and eventually incite infection. In addition; urinating immediately before and after sex can be helpful in preventing UTI.
6) UTI may cause discomfort or pain in the pubic area. The use of heated pads or hot water bottles can help soothe pain in that area. Applying heat for about 15 minutes in the pelvic area can make a big difference. Ensure that the temperature is not too hot and the heat source does not touch the skin directly.
7) Drink plenty of water. Doing so will keep you hydrated and make it easier to extract harmful bacteria from the body by increasing the amount of urine.
8) You can consume cranberry juice. When bacteria are attached to the cell wall in the urethra, it can lead to urinary tract infections. Proanthocyanidins, an active ingredient in cranberry juice, can help prevent bacteria from getting attached to the walls of the urethra, which helps in preventing UTI.
9) Eating garlic improves your immune system. Garlic is well known for its antibacterial and antifungal properties. A compound of garlic, elysian, has antimicrobial properties that have proved to be effective in E.coli.
10) Reduce the amount of sugar in the food. According to a study sugar is the favorite food of bacteria. Consuming too much sugar or sugary food can lead to an increase in harmful bacteria.
11) Take probiotics. Probiotics are supplements of “good” bacteria that support a healthy gut and immune system. These can prevent harmful bacteria from developing and prevent recurrence of urinary tract infections. Probiotic lactobacillus has proved to be particularly effective in preventing UTI for women.
12) Uva ursi is a herb that has anti-inflammatory, harsh and antiseptic properties of urine. Ubha Urchi has proved effective in treating and preventing UTI.
13) Oregano oil can be used. It is well known for its strong anti-bacterial properties. Studies have shown that oregano oil can be very effective in killing E.coli.
Complications of UTI
The possible complications caused due to the problem of UTI are as follows:
- Repeated infections, especially in women who suffer from UTI two or more times within a year or six months.
- Untreated UTI causes acute or chronic kidney infection (pyelonephritis) and subsequent permanent kidney damage.
- Pregnant women have an increased risk of the baby being underweight or premature delivery at birth.
- Repeated urinary tract infections in men can cause narrowing of the urethra.
- Sepsis – A potentially life-threatening complication of infection, especially if the infection moves from your urethra to your kidneys.
The above article provides you a basic knowledge of the problem of UTI and other related information. This article may benefit you in various ways.
Also Read: UTI Problem and Treatment (Assamese)
1) Why are women more prone to UTI?
A. Bacteria entering the urethra through the urethra cause UTI. Women experience these infections more often than men because woman’s urethra is much shorter compared to men (about 1.5 inches in women and 8 inches in men).
2) How is UTI diagnosed?
A. For women with common symptoms, testing a clean urine sample with a test pot usually gives everything that is needed. Physical examination and sonography may be useful to exclude other causes. If additional confirmation is required, urine samples are sent to the laboratory for culture. The results of which can be available within a few days.
3) Is UTI a sexually transmitted disease?
A. No. Although UTI usually develop within 24 hours of sex, they are not sexually transmitted. Bacteria that cause UTI are not caught by the body during intercourse. Instead, friction associated with sexual activity helps these bacteria move out of the vagina and up the urethra. This is why UTIs are often associated with intercourse.
4) Is it safe for pregnant women to take antibiotics for UTI?
A. Urinary tract infections are more common in pregnant women. UTI should be treated during pregnancy to prevent complications of both mother and baby. Several antibiotics are available which are considered safe to use during pregnancy.
5) Which doctor should be shown for the problem of UTI?
A. You should be shown to an Urologist to test urinary tract infections.