Urinary traction infection (UTI) is a prevalent condition among both men and women. UTI can include any part of your urinary system. These include the urethra, urethra, bladder, and kidneys. Symptoms typically include having to urinate often, having discomfort when urinating, etc. Antibiotics can treat Most UTI.
What is a UTI?
Urinary tract infection is an infection in any part of the urinary system. The urinary system includes the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra.
Your urine does not usually contain bacteria (germs). Urine is a by-product of our kidney filtration system. Urine usually moves through the urinary system without contamination. However, bacteria may enter the urinary system from outside the body. They can cause problems such as infection and inflammation. This is a urinary tract (UTI) infection.
Fast facts on UTI
- Women have a lifetime risk of more than 50% of developing urinary tract infections ( UTI).
- Common signs include a strong, irregular urge to urinate and a painful, burning sensation while urinating.
- UTI is usually diagnosed based on signs and tests of the urine sample.
- 2 to 3 days of treatment can cure UTI.
- Cranberry extracts do not cure UTI but can help to minimize the risk of recurrent UTI.
Some people are at greater risk of having a UTI. UTI is more common in women and girls because their urethra is shorter and closer to the rectum. This makes it easier for bacteria to enter the urinary tract.
Other factors that can raise the risk of UTI:
- A previous UTI
- Physical intercourse, and a new sexual partner
- Changes in bacteria living inside the vagina caused by menopause or spermicide use
- Age (older adults and young children are more likely to have UTI)
What are the symptoms of?
Symptoms of Lower UTI (infections of the bladder or urethra)
- The lining of the urethra and bladder gets inflamed and irritated.
- Discomfort or burning during urination;
- More frequent urination, sometimes with just a small amount of urine.
- The sense of having to urinate urgently
- Cloudy, bad-smelling, or bloody urine
- Lower abdominal pain or pelvic pressure or pain
- Mild fever (less than 101 F), chills, and “not feeling good.”
- Urination burning
Symptoms of Upper UTI (pyelonephritis, or kidney infection)
Symptoms develop rapidly and may or may not contain symptoms of a lower urinary tract infection.
- Fairly high fever (above 101 F)
- Tossing with chills
- Flank pain: pain in the back or side, usually just on one side at the waistline.
Classic signs of urinary tract infection can not be present in newborns, babies, children, and older people. Other symptoms may indicate urinary tract infections. They are:
- Newborns: Fever, poor nutrition, jaundice
- Infants: Vomiting, diarrhea, fever, inadequate feeding, not thriving
- Children: Lousy sleep, unexplained fever that doesn’t go down, loose intestines, change in urination pattern
- Elderly: Fever, poor appetite, lethargy, change in mental status.
Types of UTI
Infection can occur in many areas of your urinary tract. Depending on the location, each form has the other names. They are:
- Cystitis (bladder): You can feel like you need to pee a lot, or it may hurt when you pee. You may also have lower stomach pain and blurry or bloody urine.
- Pyelonephritis (kidneys): Can cause fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, and pain in the upper back or side.
- Urethritis (urethra): This can cause discharge and burning as you pee.
Causes of UTI
Urinary tract infections occur as bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra. And then they multiply in the bladder. While the urinary system keeps out microscopic invaders, these defenses sometimes fail. When this occurs, bacteria will hang on and grow into a full-blown urinary tract infection.
The most common UTIs occur mostly in women and affect the bladder and urethra. Their causes are:
- Infection of the bladder (cystitis): Escherichia coli ( E. coli) bacteria causes this form of UTI. However, other bacteria are also responsible for this.
- Sexual intercourse may lead to cystitis, but you don’t have to be sexually involved in developing it.
- Infection of the urethra: Sometimes, GI bacteria spread from the anus to the urethra. It causes this type of UTI.
Is UTI contagious?
The answer depends on what microbe is infecting the urinary tract. The urinary tract consists of the urethra, bladder, urethra, and kidneys. Various microbes can infect each of them. UTI usually arise from organisms generally found in the intestine and urethral opening. These organisms infect the urinary tract by going toward the flow of urine. Lower urinary tract infections do not include the kidneys. But upper urinary tract infections affect the kidneys and are generally more severe. Both of these forms of urinary tract infections are rarely contagious. However, STD is often contagious and is passed to others during intercourse. However, UTI is not usually transmitted through intercourse. So, UTI is rarely infectious to a partner.
Treatment for UTI
When your doctor thinks you need them, antibiotics are the most common treatment for urinary tract infections. As well, make sure to take all of your prescribed medication rights when you start to feel better. Drink plenty of water to help wash the bacteria out of your body. Your doctor can even give you medicine to soothe your pain. You might find a heating pad helpful.
Cranberry juice is useful to prevent or cure UTI. The red berry contains tannin that may prevent E. Coli bacteria from sticking to the walls of your bladder. But research has not shown that it helps a great deal to prevent infections.
AN uncomplicated UTI occurs in a healthy person. 2 to 3 days of treatment can cure it.
A complicated UTI occurs in a person weakened by another condition. These include pregnancy or heart transplantation. Complicated UTI tends to take more time to cure, usually between 7 to 14 days.
The root issue must be detected and corrected to treat UTI. If left untreated, these infections can cause kidney damage. Experts are now looking for new ways of treating and preventing UTI. This includes vaccines and things that boost your immune system.
You can take these steps to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections:
- Drink lots of water: Drinking water helps dilute your urine and means that you frequently urinate. This allows bacteria to be washed out of your urinary tract before an infection can begin.
- Drink cranberry juice: Although research has not concluded that cranberry juice prevents UTIs, it is not likely to be harmful.
- Wipe from front to back: This helps prevent infection in the anal zone from spreading to the urethra and vagina.
- Empty your bladder soon after intercourse: Also, drink a full glass of water to help the bacteria flush.
- Avoid potentially irritating feminine products: Using deodorant sprays or other feminine items, such as showers and powders, can irritate the urethra in the genital area.
- Change your birth control method: Diaphragms or unlubricated or spermicide-treated condoms may both lead to the growth of bacteria.
Recurrent UTIs can be a cause of a more serious underlying condition. So, it’s best to check with your doctor before making any conclusions.