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Renal Sciences | Posted on 02/02/2023 by RBH
Have you been experiencing burning or pain while urinating? If yes, it can be a sign of urinary tract infections (UTIs). This is a condition which can be overlooked by anyone easily. It is vital to diagnose UTI on time so that it doesn’t get worse. As dreadful as it seems, urinary tract infections are common in both males and females, although women experience the greatest discomfort.
In this write-up, we will take you through the basics of urinary tract infections commonly experienced by both men and women in their reproductive age group. However, the reading is completely for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice.
A urinary tract infection (UTI is an infection of the reproductive system among both men and women. It involves your kidneys, bladder, and urethra. UTIs are majorly common in females and can be very uncomfortable for them as some might experience severe pain. The infections are caused by bacteria, primarily, the bacteria from the bowels.
UTIs are usually curable with some medications but some people can suffer from a chronic urinary tract infection. Knowing when to see a doctor is very important because if it’s left untreated, it can spread beyond the lower urinary tract and into the kidneys. It is a serious infection which shouldn’t be overlooked. So, if you experience UTIs often, make sure to consult your doctor for on-time treatment.
It is a very common question asked by people with recurrent urinary tract infections. The causes of recurring UTI comprise bacteria entering the tract and causing the infection to make entry again. It could also be because of the bacteria that was left behind in the urinary tract after an earlier infection. In general, females have a higher chance of experiencing urinary tract infections because of the shorter urethra when compared to men. The shorter urethra makes it simpler for bacteria to enter the bladder. Another main cause of UTIs in females is hormonal changes.
There are several other conditions causing the risk of UTI. So, you must be mindful of these conditions which include:
The symptoms of urinary tract infections and chronic UTIs are similar. You should know that the UTI symptoms for the bladder and kidney are different. So, here are the early signs of UTI when it affects the bladder:
The symptoms of UTI in the kidney are:
If you think that the signs you are observing indicate a urinary tract infection, kindly make an appointment with the doctor to identify the best treatment for you. If you have already received the UTI treatment earlier, ensure to consult the doctor and find out your next steps. Depending on your case and symptoms, the doctor might prescribe you some medications or antibiotics for the condition.
Once you visit the doctor for a UTI diagnosis, the doctor will perform a visual exam of the urethra and bladder to find out anomalies. Your doctor might order a microscopy test and urine routine tests which comprises microscopic, chemical, and gross assessment of a urine test to confirm UTI. A CT scan might also be recommended for a comprehensive diagnosis.
The treatment for urinary tract infections depends on whether it is viral, fungal, or bacterial. Your doctor can tell you by having a look at the test results. The treatment options are:
The antibiotics used to treat urinary tract infections depend on which urinary tract part is affected. Oral antibiotics are usually helpful to treat lower tract infections whereas intravenous antibiotics which are directly put into the veins. Sometimes, bacteria can cause resistance to antibiotics so to prevent this, your doctor might give the shortest treatment possible. Generally, the treatment doesn’t last for more than a week. Antibiotics that are commonly given include Nitrofurantoin, Amoxicillin, Cephalosporin, Doxycycline, Quinolones, and Sulphonamides.
Here are some tips that you can follow to prevent UTIs:
Recurrent urinary tract infections are very common these days and are easily curable, but timing is very important. If you experience UTIs often, consulting a doctor is crucial and it shouldn’t be ignored in any way. It is vital to you take the prescribed medications as prescribed by your doctor and follow lifestyle changes as recommended.
Does cranberry juice prevent a urinary tract infection?
It is believed that cranberry helps to treat or prevent urinary tract infections, but researchers are still looking into the topic and haven’t discovered anything relevant to it. Healthcare experts suggest drinking lots of fluids such as water. You can include cranberry juice as well even if it is not a proven way to avoid UTIs.
Will UTIs go away on their own?
Generally, UTIs can go away on their own, but if someone has a chronic urinary tract infection then it requires treatment. Healthcare professionals recommend visiting a doctor if UTI symptoms are developed as they can further progress into a kidney infection.