An infection in the urinary system is referred to as a urinary tract infection (UTI). The kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra are components of the urinary system. Most infections affect the bladder and urethra, which are parts of the lower urinary system.
Compared to men, women are more likely to get a UTI. An infection that only affects the bladder can be uncomfortable and painful. A UTI, however, can spread to the kidneys and cause major health issues.
Antibiotics are frequently used by medical professionals to treat urinary tract infections.
Not all UTIs result in symptoms. When they do, they could consist of:
an intense urge to urinate that persists
A burning sensation during urination
passing little volumes of urine frequently
Clear-looking cloudy urine
Red, bright pink, or cola-colored pee are indications that there is blood in the urine.
Urine with a strong smell
Women who experience pelvic pain typically experience it in the center of the pelvis and near the pubic bone.
UTIs in older persons may go unnoticed or be confused with other illnesses.
Urinary tract infection types
Different UTI types can cause different symptoms. Which part of the urinary system is affected determines the symptoms.
Affected part of the urinary tract Symptoms and signs
Kidneys side or backache
chills and shivering
Bladder Pelvic pressure in the bladder
discomfort in the lower belly
painful and frequent urination
urine with blood in it
Urethra urinary discharge with urethral burning
Whenever to visit a doctor
If you get UTI symptoms, get in touch with your doctor.
When bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra and start to spread in the bladder, UTIs often occur. It is the purpose of the urinary system to keep bacteria out. Yet sometimes the defenses fall apart. If that occurs, germs may establish a foothold and develop into a serious infection in the urinary system.
The bladder and urethra are the most commonly affected areas by UTIs, which mostly affect women.
Bladder infection: Escherichia coli typically causes this type of UTI (E. coli). A prevalent form of bacteria in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is E. coli. Yet, other microorganisms can also be to blame.
Although you don’t have to be sexually active to get a bladder infection, having sex can certainly cause one. Due to the anatomy of women, they are all susceptible to bladder infections. The urethra is near the anus in females. Moreover, the bladder is close to the urethral entrance. This allows the passage of microorganisms around the anus into the urethra and subsequent passage to the bladder.
Urinary tract infection (UTI): This kind of UTI can develop when GI bacteria pass from the anus to the urethra. Sexually transmitted infections can also result in an infection of the urethra. These include mycoplasma, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and herpes. Women’s urethras are located close to the vagina, which makes this possible.
Women commonly experience UTIs. Throughout their lifetimes, many women get many UTIs.
Female-specific risk factors for UTIs include:
Female anatomy: The urethra is shorter in women than in men. As a result, bacteria have to travel a shorter distance to reach the bladder.
Sexual activity: Sexual activity tends to increase the risk of UTIs. A new sexual partner raises risk further.
Other causes of UTIs include:
Urinary tract problems. Infants who are born with urinary tract issues may have difficulty urinating. UTIs can result from urine in the urethra backing up.
Obstructions in the urinary system. Urine can become trapped in the bladder by kidney stones or an enlarged prostate. The risk of UTIs is increased as a result.
Immune system suppression: The immune system, the body’s line of defense against pathogens, can be weakened by diabetes and other illnesses. This could make UTIs more likely.
Use of a catheter: Individuals who are unable to urinate on their own frequently need to use a catheter. The risk of UTIs is increased by using a catheter. Those who are hospitalized may utilize catheters. They may also be used by those who are paralyzed or have neurological conditions that make it difficult to control urination.
A recent urinary operation: Both urinary surgery and a urinary tract checkup involving equipment can raise your risk of getting a UTI.
Lower urinary tract infections almost never result in problems when immediately and effectively treated. UTIs can, however, lead to major health issues if they are not treated.
Among a UTI’s potential complications are:
Recurrent infections are when you experience two or more UTIs in a period of six months or three or more in a 12-month period. Repeated infections are especially common in women.
Damage to the kidneys that cannot be repaired because of an untreated UTI.
Delivering a child that is underweight or early because of a pregnancy-related UTI.
A urethra that is narrowed in men as a result of recurrent urethral infections.
Sepsis is a potentially fatal infection-related consequence. Particularly if the infection progresses up the urinary tract to the kidneys, this is a risk.
Several measures could aid in reducing the risk of UTIs:
Mainly water, drink a lot of liquids. Urine can be diluted by drinking water. As a result, you urinate more frequently, which enables you to wash bacteria out of your urinary tract before an illness develops.
Consider cranberry juice. Research examining the possibility that cranberry juice shields against UTIs are preliminary. Cranberry juice consumption is probably safe.
Clean from front to back. Perform this following a bowel movement and urination. It aids in limiting the transfer of bacteria from the anus to the urethra and vagina.
In the hours following sex, empty your bladder. Also, chug a full glass of water to help wash away microorganisms.
Avoid feminine items that can irritate you. They can irritate the urethra when used in the genital area. Sprays, powders, and douches are some of these products.