Urinary Tract Infection

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Medically Reviewed by Dr. Monika Dubey
Written by Hexahealth Care Team, last updated on 12 December 2023| min read
Urinary Tract Infection

Quick Summary

  • A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection that may affect any part of your urinary system.
  • It is more prevalent in the bladder and urethra among the three.
  • UTIs are more prevalent in women than men.

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection that may affect any part of your urinary system. It may affect the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. The infection is more prevalent in the bladder and urethra among the three.

It is one of the most common infections and can be seen in both males and females. However, according to the experts, UTIs are more prevalent in women. 

What is Urinary Tract Infection or UTI?

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection that may affect any part of your urinary system. It may affect the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. The infection is more prevalent in the bladder and urethra among the three. It is one of the most common infections and can be seen in both males and females. However, according to the experts, UTIs are more prevalent in women. 

Depending upon the area of infection, these are divided into three types such as:

  1. Urethritis: It is an infection caused in the urethra.
  2. Pyelonephritis: It is an infection caused in the kidney.
  3. Cystitis: It is an infection in the bladder.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of UTI?

The common signs that indicate the presence of a UTI are:

  1. Persistent urge to urinate
  2. Unable to urinate properly
  3. Burning sensation while urinating
  4. Blood in urine
  5. Cloudy or reddish colour urine with a strong smell
  6. Fatigue 
  7. Fever/chills
  8. Pain or pressure in the lower abdomen
  9. Pain during sex

However, some people might not show any of the indications.

What are the Causes of UTIs?

UTIs are mostly caused due to the presence of a microorganism such as bacteria. It enters the urethra or bladder and leads to inflammation and infection. Even though the urinary system is expected to keep such minute organisms out, these might not be effective every time. Thus, bacteria may invade and multiply into a full-blown infection in the urinary tract. About 90 per cent of cystitis infections are initiated by E. coli bacteria located in the gut.

What are the Risks Factors for UTIs?

UTIs are very common in females and can be experienced more than once in their lifetime. Factors that might increase the risk of development of UTIs in females are:

  1. Female anatomy: The urethra in females is shorter than in males, and therefore bacteria can easily reach the bladder.
  2. Contraceptives: Few contraceptive methods, for instance, the diaphragm and spermicidal agents, enhance the risk of UTIs.
  3. Menopause: The decline in oestrogen level after menopause makes the body vulnerable to infections.
  4. Other people who are at risk include:
    1. Individuals with blockage in the urinary tract
    2. Individuals with a suppressed immune system, i.e., people with diabetes mellitus.
    3. Individuals with abnormalities in the urinary tract
    4. Individuals who have undergone any recent urinary procedure or even diagnosis of the urinary tract.

Prevention and Disease Reduction

Following the below-mentioned measures might help in the prevention of UTIs:

Practice good hygiene

  1. Drink an ample amount of water
  2. Wipe all over from front to back after using the toilet
  3. Prefer showers over baths
  4. Drinking cranberry juice
  5. Empty your bladder after an intercourse
  6. Avoid feminine products that may cause irritation
  7. Use contraceptives other than the diaphragm or spermicidal agents
  8. Keep your genital area dry and wear loose-fitting clothes

When to See a Doctor?

You must immediately visit a doctor if you experience:

  1. Burning sensation while urinating 
  2. Pain in the lower back
  3. Persistent urination 
  4. Pain during sex
  5. Blood in urine
  6. Foul-smelling urine

What may happen if UTI is not Treated in Time?

UTI infections are generally non-serious and can be treated easily. However, if a UTI is neglected and not treated in time or the treatment course is not completed, it might lead to a serious kidney infection. 

What are the Benefits of Treating UTIs?

The various benefits of treating a UTI include:

  1. Reduction in the discomfort and pain caused by the infection.
  2. Majority of the UTIs affect the bladder and therefore, treatment can prevent the progression to the other parts.
  3. The progression might also infect the kidney which is also prevented by timely treatment.

How can UTIs be Diagnosed?

For diagnosing a urinary tract infection, your doctor will initially ask you about the signs and symptoms and then shall conduct any of the following tests:

  1. Urine analysis: In this, Urine samples are analysed to look for WBCs, RBCs or microorganisms.
  2. Imaging tests such as MRI, CT scan or ultrasound are conducted to check any abnormality in the urinary tract. 
  3. Cystoscopy: A long, slim duct with a lens is introduced in the urethra and bladder. It is used for examining the tract.
  4. Lab analysis: Urine culture is performed to identify the causative bacteria and thus, can help in identifying an effective medication. 

How can UTIs be Treated?

  1. Antibiotics are the first line of therapy for UTIs. 
  2. Your physician will prescribe you based on the causative bacteria. Some commonly prescribed drugs include 
    1. Amoxicillin
    2. Cephalosporins
    3. Nitrofurantoin
    4. Cephalexin 
    5. Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole
    6. Doxycycline 

One must complete the due course of the treatment even if the infection is cured as it might recur. Your physician will also recommend the intake of plenty of water.

How to Prepare for Doctor’s Consultation?

Before visiting the doctor, you must note down some questions to be asked:

  1. What is the cause of my symptoms?
  2. What are the tests required for diagnosis?
  3. Are there any side effects of the medicines?
  4. What are the chances of reoccurrence? How can I prevent it?

Conclusion

UTI is a very common infection that impacts the urinary tract and is very prevalent in females. The diagnosis and treatment for UTIs are very simple and effective. However, they should not be left untreated. Hexahealth is the first step towards the right treatment and care. We help you to connect with the top doctors and surgeons from the most trusted hospitals at affordable prices to make your healing and recovery process as relaxing as possible. From our nationwide network, we offer you the greatest and most suitable healthcare and surgical guide for the proper treatment. You are just a phone call away from the correct health care service that you require.

 

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Updated on : 12 December 2023

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational and learning purposes only. It doesn't cover every medical condition and might not be relevant to your personal situation. This information isn't medical advice, isn't meant for diagnosing any condition, and shouldn't replace talking to a certified medical or healthcare professional.

Reviewer

Dr. Monika Dubey

Dr. Monika Dubey

MBBS, MS Obstetrics & Gynaecology

21 Years Experience

A specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology with a rich experience of over 21 years is currently working in HealthFort Clinic. She has expertise in Hymenoplasty, Vaginoplasty, Vaginal Tightening, Labiaplasty, MTP (Medical Termination...View More

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