Women's Health

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs): Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs): Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

A Urinary Tract Infection is a major concern for the generation these days. Especially, when it comes to women’s health and hygiene across the globe. So let’s take a look at what UTI is all about and put a step forward to a healthier tomorrow.

What Is UTI (Urinary Tract Infection)?

To understand the significance of UTI, we must first understand how it develop.

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When certain microbes or bacteria enter the human urinary system through the urethra, they severely affect the defense mechanism of the system and begin to multiply. This marks the beginning of a severe infection within the urinary tract. The lower urinary tract is the area that is most likely to become infected.

What Are the Causes of UTI?

  • More frequent sexual intercourse or intercourse with multiple partners.
  • Shorter distance between the urethra and bladder makes it easier for the movement of bacteria.
  • Poor personal hygiene may result in the multiplication of microbes which can further affect the urinary system.
  • Diabetes
  • Use of contraception
  • Use of tampons
  • Weak immune system
  • Frequent use of antibiotics (may disturb the natural functioning of the urinary system.)

Who Is at Risk of UTI?

Several surveys and studies claim that women are at a higher risk of UTI as compared to men. This is because the female urethra is closer to the anus than that of the male urethra.

It is corroborated that 1 among every 2 women is suffering from UTI or have experienced a UTI in the past.

Added to this, the infection is recurring in nature and women are always at risk of recurrence irrespective of the number of times they have suffered in the past.

What Are the Symptoms of UTI?

  • Burning sensation while urinating
  • Painful urination
  • Unusual odor from urine
  • Urge to urinate often but very less urine discharge
  • Unusual fluid discharge
  • Frequent fever
  • Feeling tired and weak

What Is the Diagnosis and Treatment for UTI?

If you suspect that you are experiencing a urinary tract infection, all you need to do is make an appointment with your doctor. During your appointment, you will be asked to present a urine sample.

The treatment afterwards comprises basically of a strict medication regimen. There are several antibiotics that are affectively used in the treatment of urinary tract infections. These medications should be consumed as directed by your doctor.

A few of the medications used for the treatment of UTI include:

  • Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole
  • Fosfomycin
  • Nitrofurantoin
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Levofloxacin
  • Cephalexin
  • Ceftriaxone
  • Azithromycin
  • Doxycycline

Preventing Urinary Tract Infection

The following are some of the ways you may prevent future UTI’s.

  • Drinking sufficient water every day.
  • Increase the consumption of vitamin C.
  • Consider using herbal remedies.
  • Look after your personal hygiene. Keep your private area dry and clean as wet areas are more prone to bacterial or fungal growth.
  • After bowel movement, make sure to wash and wipe your private area from front-to-back motion and not the other way around. If wiping is done incorrectly, it leads to bacteria moving from the anus to the urinal or vaginal opening.
  • Avoid alcohol, coffee, or soda as these may irritate the bladder.
  • Avoid having sex with unknown partners or without protection.

Drinking sufficient water regularly helps in detoxifying our bodies. This helps the internal system to work in an efficient manner, and also strengthens the immunity to help fight any microbial growth in the body. Drinking plenty of water will lead to an increase in urination. Urinating frequently helps in avoiding the accumulation of bacteria. Due to the harsh contents found in alcohol, soda, and caffeine-containing products, it is advised to avoid consuming these in case any infection or allergy is diagnosed.

It is also advised to urinate before and after sexual intercourse. This is because any bacterial accumulation can be washed off before intercourse. Thus, keeping the bacteria from transmitting from one partner to the other. Urinating after intercourse will help in washing away any contamination that may have taken place during the intercourse. This is why it is said to be a healthy practice to urinate before and after sexual intercourse.

When you do not know the person you are about to become sexually involved with, the chances are that you might not have an idea about their lifestyle and hygiene. Due to this, you may come in contact with several bacteria that may worsen the situation. Added to that is the risk of sexually transmitted diseases and its aftermath.

There are certain bacteria and other microorganisms that are present in the human excreta. If wiping is done in a back-to-front motion after a bowel movement, it is likely that any bacteria that is present will be transferred from the anal area to the urinal area and grow there. This is why doctors always advise that any wiping and washing that is performed should be done in a front-to-back motion.

Other Remedies for UTI

  • Use of a heating pad reduces any sort of discomfort and also eases the bladder.
  • Cranberry juice is said to prevent UTI’s. It can be consumed for this purpose but one must refrain from over-consumption.

A warm (not hot) heating pad when rested on the abdominal or urinal area eases the muscles and cures any discomfort. The improved temperature around the area also makes it a less desirable area for bacterial growth or reproduction.

Cranberry is said to have properties that prevent urinary tract infection. However, till date, it has never been used in the manufacturing of medicines or antibiotics for urinary tract infection. Despite this, it is widely recommended and consumed as a cure for UTI. It is important to monitor the amount of cranberry juice that is consumed as cranberry thickens the blood tissues. Thus, an overdose of cranberry could present some unwanted results. Consuming too much cranberry can also cause diarrhea, as said by experts.

Home Remedies for a UTI

Note – A greater stage of this infection, if left untreated, may damage the kidney or lead to several other problems while conceiving.

Now that you are well acquainted with this condition, pass on this knowledge to the people around you.