A urinary tract infection (UTI) is the most common type of infection of the urinary system. It may affect any part of the urinary system, involving the urethra, ureters, bladder, and kidneys. It is a bladder infection that creates a common condition of frequent illness that usually develops when bacteria migrate to the sterile urinary tract and multiply. The most common symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI) include the urge to urinate frequently, pain while urinating, and pain in the side and lower back.
UTIs are known as the most common bacterial infections, affecting almost 150 million individuals every year across the globe. It has been known to be the major cause of morbidity among infant boys, older men, and females belonging to all age groups.
The infections of the urinary tract are caused by microorganisms, mainly bacteria. These microorganisms enter the urethra and bladder, causing inflammation and infection. Although urethral and bladder infections are the most frequent locations for UTIs, the bacteria may travel to the ureters and infect the kidneys. E. coli is the most common bacteria found in the intestine and causes more than 90% of bladder infections (cystitis). E. coli causes UTIs by migrating to the bladder and urethra while traveling from the anus to the urethra, also causing sexually transmitted infections such as herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and mycoplasma.
Although the urinary system is made for keeping off microscopic invaders away, sometimes the defenses fail to activate. Hence, during such conditions, bacteria may hold on for a while and develop into a severe infection in the urinary system. Some of the causes of UTIs are discussed below:
It is the type of UTI which is mainly caused by E. coli, a bacterium that is mostly found in the gastrointestinal tract. In some cases, other bacteria are also responsible for causing bladder infections. Sexual intercourse results in causing a bladder infection. Because of the short distance between the urethra and the anus and the urethral opening and the bladder, almost all women are at high risk of cystitis.
This UTI infection occurs when GI bacteria migrate from the anus to the urethra. As the female urethra is located very close to the vagina, some sexually transmitted infections such as herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and mycoplasma cause urethritis. Book an appointment at our Urology Hospital in Vijayawada to have better clarity on causes and treatment.
Antibiotics are effective in treating UTIs. The dosage of antibiotics varies depending upon the severity of the infection and is mainly recommended for 3–10 days with oral administration. Some commonly recommended antibiotics include:
Sulfonamides (sulfa drugs)
The symptoms of UTI fade away within 24–48 hours of taking the first dose of antibiotics, but finishing the complete course of antibiotics as recommended by the doctors to ensures any recurrence of UTI and prevents it from being resistant to the antibiotics. Consult with the Urologist in Vijayawada to know more about the treatment.
In the event of a recurrence of UTIs, cystoscopy is performed to observe inside the urethra and bladder so that low-dose antibiotics are recommended on a daily basis for one week or one month to prevent the development of UTIs. Sometimes the patients are hospitalized if a kidney infection occurs so antibiotics are administered through a drip.
Modifications in lifestyle are the best way to prevent UTIs. The following steps can be taken to reduce the risk of UTIs:
Intake of plenty of fluids: Drinking water helps in urine dilution while ensuring frequent urination so that bacteria can be flushed out of the urinary tract before the onset of the infection.
Wiping from front to back after urinating and bowel movements aid in preventing bacteria from migrating to the vagina and urethra from the anal region.
Emptying the bladder soon after the intercourse: Drinking a complete glass of water for flushing out the bacteria.
Avoiding potentially irritating feminine products: Using feminine products such as deodorant sprays, douches, and powders in the genital region causes irritation in the urethra.
Changing the method for birth control: Using diaphragms of unlubricated condoms or condoms treated with spermicides promotes bacterial growth.
Changing the clothing: One should avoid tight-fitting clothes that can help the person keep dry, thus preventing bacteria from growing within the urinary tract.
Consultant- Urologist and Kidney Transplant Surgeon
Manipal Hospitals, Vijayawada
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