Causes, Risk Factors and Treatments of Urinary Tract Infections

 

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in any part of your urinary system — your kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra and begin to multiply in the bladder.

Lower urinary tract infections, rarely lead to complication when treated promptly and properly. If left untreated, a urinary tract infection can cause serious health complications such as

  1. Permanent kidney damage from an acute or chronic kidney infection (Pyelonephritis) due to untreated UTI, especially in kids.
  2. Recurrent infections, especially in women that have experienced more than three UTIs.
  3. Increased risk of infertility in women or women delivering premature infants.

Risk factors of UTI include.

Being sexually active. Sexually active women tend to have more UTIs than women who are not sexually active.

Being female. UTIs are common in women, because they have a shorter urethra than men do, which cuts down on the distance that bacteria must travel to reach a woman’s bladder.

Having urinary tract Blockage. Enlarged prostrate or Kidney Stones can trap urine in the bladder and increase the risk of UTI.

suppressed immune system. Diseases such as Diabetes, impair the immune system, the body’s defense against germs and this can increase the risk of UTIs.

Using Certain birth control. Women who use diaphragms for birth control and spermicidal agents, may be at higher risk.

urinary tract abnormalities. Babies born with urinary tract abnormalities that cause urine to back up in the urethra have an increased risk of UTIs.

Menopause. UTI’s may become more common after menopause, because there are changes in the urinary tract due to lack of estrogen which make it more vulnerable to infection.

Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infections Include.

  • strong, persistent urge to urinate
  • Passing small amount of urine frequently.
  • A burning sensation when urinating
  • Cloudy Urine.
  • Urine with strong smell.
  • Urine that appears Cola-colored or bright pink. ( certain medications also cause this)
  • Pelvic pain, in women
  • Rectal pain, in men

Treatments.

Urinary Tract Infections are commonly treated by doctors with drugs like

Amoxicillin (Amoxil, Augmentin and other similar drugs).

Ampicilin.

Ciprofloxacin (Cipro).

Levofloxacin (Levaquin).

Nitrofurantoin (Furadantin, Macrodantin).

Sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim (Bactrim, Septra, others).

Symptoms usually clear up within a few days of treatment. But you may need to continue antibiotics for a week or more. Take the entire course of antibiotics prescribed by your doctor to ensure that the infection is completely gone.

Lifestyle Changes to Reduce the Risk of Urinary Tract Infections.

  • After Urinating or after Bowel Movement Wipe from front to back. This helps prevent bacteria in the anal region from spreading to the vagina and urethra.
  • Drink plenty of liquids, especially water. Drinking water helps to dilute your urine and make you urinate more frequently. This allows bacteria to be Flushed from your urinary tract before an infection can begin.
  • Empty your bladder Immediatelyafter intercourse and also drink a full glass of water to help Flush out bacteria.
  • Do not deodorant sprays or other feminine products, like douches and powders in the genital area, it can irritate the urethra.

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