The infection in any part of the urinary system is known as urinary tract infection. This infection can be any part like kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra. Most commonly, it includes areas of the lower urinary tract- the bladder and the urethra.

There is a complicated and uncomplicated type of urinary tract infection.

Uncomplicated UTI: This is a condition occurs with a healthy person. This condition treats with medicines within 2 to 3 days. These cases are known as uncomplicated.

Complicated UTI: When the condition of UTI appears in association with medical conditions as a complication. In such cases, weakness of the immune system is more responsible for such infections. These conditions can be as simple as pregnancy or as complicated as heart or kidney transplants. In this type of infections long treatments needed.

A urinary tract infection is most comfortable to treat when it is in the lower urinary tract in initial days. Still, as it grows further and spreads to the upper urinary tract, it becomes challenging to the tract. But when overlooked, this type of infection can impact other organs and can lead to a condition like sepsis too.

In the case of recurrent urinary infection, a patient should work on the infection and after knowing about the causes of the problem, things should be solved immediately.

Facts about Urinary Tract Infection

  • Women, as compared to men, are at a higher risk of developing a urinary tract infection.
  • Infection limited to the bladder is painful, however, in severe conditions; it can affect the kidneys as well.
  • Urinary infection doesn’t need anti-biotic medicines always. Proper care can help a patient more than antibiotic drugs.
  • The main focus in the treatment should be on the strengthening of the immune system so that further complications of UTI should not happen.
  • Drink a lot of fluid to help flush bacteria is the standard and best advice for preventing and treating urinary tract infection.
  • Some new ways to treat UTI include vaccines and things that boost the immune system.
  • Generally, UTI treatment takes only 2 to 3 days to resolve for once. But when the immune system of the body is weak, infection keeps on coming back again and again.
  • About 1 in 5 women have chronic urinary tract infections; they get it from man and have them again and again.
  • Some bacteria invade and multiply in body cells and create antibiotic-resistant colonies of bacteria.
  • Therefore antibiotics are a failure in case of UTI.

Signs and Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection

Signs and symptoms of urinary tract infection depend on the area it is infecting, and on this basis, it is classified as follows:

  • Kidneys (acute pyelonephritis): Pain radiates in areas including upper back and side (flank). It causes high fever with shaking and chills. The patient also feels nausea and vomiting. 
  • Bladder (cystitis): The most prominent symptom is pelvic pressure and lower abdomen discomfort in this case. Blood in urine with frequent, painful urination are other symptoms of it.
  • Urethra (urethritis): It includes signs like discharge and burning in urination.

Some common symptoms for urinary tract infection are:

  • Frequent and strong urge to urinate.
  • Strong smelling urine with cloudy and bloody texture.
  • While urinating, pain or burning sensation.
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Abdominal pain and muscle aches
  • Pelvic pain in women and rectal pain in men
  • Increase in discharge with bad odour.

Causes of Urinary Tract Infection

Some common reasons for developing urinary tract infections include:

  • Diabetes: It increases the blood sugar level due to a decrease in insulin and fluctuating different hormones leading to imbalance and causing infection.
  • Poor personal hygiene: Drinking less water, not maintaining proper cleanliness and hygiene are some common reasons for UTI
  • Kidney stones and blocked the flow of urine: Due to kidney stones, there is a blockage in urine path and emptying of the bladder is not proper hence leads to contamination and infection.
  • Menopause: After menopause, the level of estrogen hormone decreases and changes the environment for healthy bacteria and hence increasing the risk of UTI
  • Pregnancy: During pregnancy level of hormones fluctuates a lot. This fluctuation impacts the pH of the urinary tract. Thus, this imbalance of pH helps bacteria to invade in the membranes and leads to urinary infection.
  • Suppressed immune system & Heavy use of antibiotics: It disrupts the natural PH of the urinary tract and hence leading to the growth of infection-causing bacteria.
  • Use of spermicides and tampons: can cause irritation and increase the risk of bacteria entering the bladder.
  • Sexual intercourse: It can increase the chances of urinary tract infection if it is more frequent, intense and done with multiple partners without any precautions of using condoms. It can sometimes cause severe sexually transmitted diseases also.

How does it occur?

Urinary tract infection majorly occurs when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra, and they divide and multiply forming colonies in the bladder. Although the immune system of the urinary system is designed to keep away such infection-causing invaders sometimes the system fails due to pH disturbance or improper environment. 

Cystitis (a bladder infection) occurs by Escherichia coli which is a type of bacteria usually found in the gastrointestinal tract of a human. Specifically, the women are more prone to such infection due to shorter distance from the urethra to the anus and urethral opening to the bladder.

Urethritis (a urethra infection) occur when gastrointestinal bacteria spread from anus to urethra and female urethra is close to vagina some sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhoea, herpes, and chlamydia can cause infection of the urethra.

Pyelonephritis (a kidney infection) is mainly the severe condition of urinary tract infection and occurs when the disease is not treated at bladder infection or urethra infection stage. Some possible reasons for this infection can be kidney stones and blockage in the path of urine flow.

Some tips and prevention measures for repeated urinary tract infection include:

  • Pee as soon as there is a feeling of a full bladder and empty it entirely without rushing.
  • Keep proper cleanliness of the genitals by wiping it from front to back after urination, wear inner cotton wears and loose-fitting clothes.
  • Drink lots of fluid and water to flush out the infection-causing bacteria.
  • Try to stay away from scented feminine sprays and douches as it causes irritation.

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