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A Guide to Urinary Tract Infection

Anyone who has probably suffered from a urinary tract infection knows very well about this pesky disease and would never want it again in the lifetime. The terrible burning sensation, frequent urge to urinate, pain, and restlessness is enough to scare this disease and do every possible thing to avoid getting infected again. This is one of the most common types of infections caused by bacteria that enter the urinary tract through urethra, multiply in the bladder and keep moving up the tract, if left untreated. UTI needs immediate treatment to prevent any further critical medical condition.

Some Facts About Urinary Tract Infection 
  • It is the second most common type of infections next to respiratory tract infection.
  • The consequences of UTI are more serious among children than adults.
  • 1% to 2% children are at risk of UTI infection with infants at greater risk. 
  • A woman is more prone to UTI than a man. 
  • About 40% of women are likely to get a urinary tract infection sometime in their lives.
What are the causes of UTI or urinary tract infection?
Our urinary system has its own defence mechanism, but sometimes it fails due to some notorious bacterial activities. Once the bacteria enter the urinary system, they grow into a fully blown infection, causing what we commonly call as urine problem. Some causes of urinary tract infection are listed below:
  • UTI is caused by bacteria called Escherichia Coli or E. Coli. The bacteria are found in the bowel and if they manage to travel from anus to urethra, they cause an infection.
  • Improper cleaning after bowel movement may cause the infection.
  • Sexual intercourse can also cause the bacteria to enter into bladder through the urethra.
  • Flushing out the bacteria with urine is important. Less urination due to less intake of water can also increase the severity of the problem. 
  • Presence of kidney stones that obstruct free urination can also blow the infection. 
Signs and Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection 
The symptoms of urinary tract infection appear fast, however, they are different in newborns and infants. Some of the common UTI symptoms among newborns and infants include poor feeding, irritability, fever, vomiting, loose motions, and frequent urination. 
General symptoms of UTI among adults include:  
  • Pain or burning sensation during urination 
  • Frequent urge to urinate 
  • Painful urination and very less output
  • Cloudy and bad-smelling urine 
  • Pelvic pressure 
  • Mild fever and chills 
Diagnosis and Treatment of Urinary Tract Infection 
After experiencing the symptoms, one should head to the doctor immediately. The doctor will diagnose the infection after a urine test called urinalysis. A urine culture test may also be required. Once it is diagnosed, the UTI treatment will be started which mainly includes a course of antibiotics. Please stick to the doctor’s prescription and complete the course. Drink a lot of water to flush out the bacteria. 

How to prevent Urinary Tract Infection?
Prevention of urinary tract infection involves complete hygiene of genitals. One should go for cleaning of urethral area and bladder emptying after sexual intercourse. Drinking lots of water is encouraged as it flushes out the bacteria, if any. Also wearing cotton underwear is suggested as it will help keep the area dry and will not provide any breeding environment to the bacteria. 
UTIs are common and easily treatable. It is just that you don’t ignore the symptoms and reach the doctor on time to avoid any trouble. A general physician or a urologist can help you with the right treatment and suggestions.