Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), as the name suggests, is an infection caused in the urinary tract and is known for being among the most common diseases in humans.
The urinary conditions usually occur due to bacteria, which causes infection in any part of the urinary tract including, kidneys, urethra or urinary bladder.
UTIs are equally prevalent in both genders, and they can vary in intensity, they might be fatal if not taken proper care.
A urinary tract infection is a bacterial infection of the urinary system, which includes the bladder, urethra, ureters, and kidneys.
Symptoms of urinary tract infections often include a frequent urge to urinate, the pressure in the lower abdomen, and a stinging sensation when urinating. These diseases often get treated with antibiotics.
Urinary infections are treated with antibiotics (a medicine that kills bacteria), usually for seven to ten days. For some diseases, however, you may only need a single dose of antibiotics.
What causes UTIs?
Microorganisms (usually bacteria) are the most typical cause of urinary tract infections. They enter the urethra and bladder, causing inflammation and infection.
Bacteria can also go up into the ureters and infect the kidneys. E. coli produces more than 90 percent of cases of cystitis, a bacterium usually found in the intestines.
Any resistance or improper function of the urinary system at any part of the urinary tract may lead to Urinary Tract Infections.
However, other factors may be responsible for causing these infections:
- Any hindrance in the system created as a result of some other health problems like cancer, kidney stones, diabetes or others might be a cause of infection.
- Improper hygiene may also lead to urinary tract infections.
- Sexual intercourse, sometimes, pushes the bacteria back to the kidney, causing infection.
- Using catheters for a prolonged period may lead to urinary tract infection.
- Menopause leads to loss of estrogen that might be one of the causes of infections in women.
There are many symptoms detected for UTIs that may vary from person to person, as well as in different part of the urinary tract.
A urinary tract infection, urinary tract infection, or urinary tract infection is an infection in any part of the urinary system, i.e., the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. Most infections affect the lower urinary tract, bladder, and urethra.
Women are at higher risk of developing a urinary tract infection than men. If the disease is limited only to the bladder, it can be painful and annoying.
However, the consequences can be severe if the urinary tract infection spreads to the kidneys. Antibiotics are the typical treatment for a urinary tract infection.
Urinary tract infections do not always cause signs and symptoms, but when they do, they can include:
- A strong and persistent urge to urinate.
- A burning sensation when urinating.
- Turbine-like urine.
- Urine with blood.
- Urine with a strong odor.
- Pelvic pain in women.
- Rectal pain in men.
Urinary tract infections in lower regions may include symptoms like a burning sensation while urinating, strong smell, pain in the pelvic/rectal region and scanty urine.
However, UTIs in the upper region of the urinary tract are more chronic with symptoms including fever, pain, nausea, and vomiting. It requires immediate consultation with the doctors.
Symptoms of infection usually disappear within a few days of starting treatment. However, you may have to continue antibiotics for another week.
The doctor may also prescribe some pain medicine (analgesics) that numbs the bladder and urethra to relieve the burning sensation when urinating.
For a severe urinary tract infection, you may need intravenous antibiotic treatment in a hospital.
The treatment may vary according to the intensity and type of infection from one to another.
Some people may treat certain diseases with simple home remedies such as drinking six to eight glasses of water daily, proper intake of vitamin C and others as well as the use of antibiotics.
Cephalosporin is another antibiotic that interferes with the cell walls of bacteria. This antimicrobial efficiently removes various bacteria that proliferate in the urinary system.
Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX) is a sulfa antibiotic that is increasingly being used to treat urinary tract infections.
This medicine has a higher risk of causing side effects and may interfere with the effectiveness of oral contraceptives.
Quinolones, also known as fluoroquinolones, prevent the bacteria from reproducing by interfering with their genes. This medicine tends to be more expensive than other types of antibiotics.
Tetracyclines cure urinary tract infections by inhibiting the growth of bacteria. Side effects usually include sensitivity to sunlight and tooth discoloration.
Nitrofurantoin is a reasonably economical antibiotic prescribed especially for urinary tract infections. Although this medication usually works for bladder infections, it is not useful for kidney infections.
The most commonly used antibiotic medications to treat urinary tract infections are:
- Trimethoprim (Trimpex);
- Trimethoprim / sulfamethoxazole or TMP / SMZ (Bactrim, Septra, Cotrim);
- Amoxicillin (Amoxil, Trimox, Wymox);
- Nitrofurantoin (Macrodantin, Furadantin),
- And ampicillin.
- Other antibiotics are also sometimes used, including ofloxacin (Floxin), norfloxacin (Noroxin), ciprofloxacin (Cipro), and trovafloxacin (Trovan).
Some antibiotics are not safe for consumption during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking different medications.
Getting proper treatment will prevent problems in your urinary tract from worsening and affecting other parts of your body.
You can avoid kidney infections by seeing a doctor as soon as you have symptoms of a urinary tract infection.
If you feel pain, ask your doctor to prescribe a painkiller, as there are several medications available. A thermal pad can also be useful.
What to do if urinary tract infections continue?
Most healthy women do not have repeated infections. However, it is likely that women who have had three urinary tract infections continue to contract them.
Four out of five of these women get another urinary infection within 18 months of their last disease. Many women have them even more often.
If you have frequent infections (three or more per year), ask your doctor about one of the following treatment options:
- Take small doses of an antibiotic, such as TMP / SMZ or nitrofurantoin, daily for six months or more. Research has shown that this therapy is effective without causing severe side effects.
- Take a single dose of an antibiotic after intercourse.
- Take a short series (one to two days) of antibiotics when symptoms appear.