Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)-Causes and symptoms

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is an infection that affects the urinary tract. This kind of infection occurs when bacteria enter the urethra and women are the ones who are at high risk.

Urinary tract infection occurs if bacteria enter the urethra. The bacteria come about from different things and also due to poor feminine hygiene, unsafe sexual activities, and poor bathroom hygiene.

A person is more likely to develop a urinary tract infection when bacteria enter the urethra and travel to the bladder or other parts of the urinary tract.

This comprehensive post is going to take you through all there is to know about urinary tract infections including the types, UTI causes, diagnosis, and treatment among other things.

Types of Urinary Tract Infections

The types of urinary tract infections are classified based on where they affect. There are different kinds of UTIs, including;

  1. Urethritis– a type of UTI that affects the urethra(urethra infection).
  2. Cystitis– a UTI that affects the bladder(bladder infection).
  3. Pyelonephritis– it is a UTI that affects the kidneys(kidney infection)

Note: Of these three UTI types, cystitis is the less severe one, while pyelonephritis is the most severe one. However, beware that they all need to be treated.

Areas where Urinary Tract Infection Affects.

UTIs affect both men and women and because it infects the urinary tract, the following are some of the areas most commonly affected by UTIs;

  • Vagina.
  • Bladder.
  • Urethra.
  • Ureter.
  • Kidneys.

The causes of Urinary Tract Infection.

There are different causes of UTIs. Among these causes include;

  • Bacteria- UTI is caused by bacteria that are introduced into the urethra, bladder, or kidney.
  • Poor hygiene- poor feminine hygiene and bathroom hygiene can lead to germs getting to the urethra, vagina, and bladder causing UTI.
  • Sexual activities- any kind of sexual activity especially unsafe sex can cause or move bacteria further to the urethra, bladder, or kidney causing UTI. This is why sex is discouraged during a urinary tract infection.

Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection

Most at times, you will not know that you have a UTI until symptoms start to manifest. This is why it is important to go for regular checkups and screenings especially if you are a woman.

Some of the common symptoms of a urinary tract infection include;

  • Feeling like you need to pee but find your bladder empty when in the toilet.
  • A sudden urge to urinate frequently.
  • Blood in the urine.
  • Sometimes, your urine may be cloudy or discolored.
  • Pain or burning sensation while urinating
  • Painful cramping in the lower abdomen which is not associated with menstruation or pregnancy.

Diagnosis for UTI

For the doctor to know whether you have a UTI or not, a diagnosis needs to be done.

  • First, there will be a question and answer where you will be asked about your symptoms. You will also be asked about your history of infections.
  • After that, a doctor will perform a physical exam to diagnose you.
  • Considering the finding, tests may be carried out – a urine test to determine the problem.

Treatment for Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary Tract Infection

If you feel like you might have an infection, please, do not assume it because something could possibly be wrong. Consider scheduling an appointment with your doctor to be sure there is nothing wrong. A UTI is totally curable with the right medication prescribed by a doctor or gynecologist.

Note: Try to avoid self-medication every time you feel like you might have an infection. Visit a doctor and refrain from all sexual activities until when you are done with treatment.

Treatments for UTI include;

  • Antibiotics prescribed by a qualified physician.
  • Probiotics for people who are antibiotic-resistant.

Purpose to adhere to the doctor’s prescription/direction of use and finish the dosage to ensure a full recovery.

When To See a Doctor During and After UTI Treatment.

See a doctor if;

  • The pain becomes unbearable to the extent of disrupting your day-to-day activities and sleep.
  • You do not feel any positive impact even after taking using the medication.
  • The symptoms are getting worse even when you are on medication.
  • The symptoms of a UTI come back again after having intercourse- this may indicate recurrence.

Prevention Measures for Urinary Tract Infection.

Urinary tract infections can be prevented by avoiding different habits or adjusting to new lifestyle changes. Some of the helpful prevention measures for UTI include the following;

  • Observing proper feminine and bathroom hygiene.
  • Ensure you pee immediately after sex.
  • Make it a habit to clean your genitals with clean water every day.
  • Wash your hands before intercourse to wash off all bacteria and germs.
  • Practice safe sex.
  • Always wipe from front to back especially if you are a woman to avoid transporting feces and other dirt to your vaginal area.
  • Ensure you have your bottled water handy – hydrate properly and adequately always.
  • Talk to your doctor if you feel uncomfortable(itching, rash) after using condoms, diaphragms, or lubricants.
  • Talk to your doctor about probiotics to get more informed about them.
  • If you use toys, avoid sharing them and clean them accordingly before and after intercourse.
  • Go for regular checkups if you are sexually active.
  • Avoid bad habits like douching and steaming(women).

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Risk Factors of UTI?

The risk factors for UTI include gender(more prevalent in women), previous UTI(recurrence), sexual activity, hormonal changes in the bacteria that live in the vagina, use of spermicides, and pregnancy.

Other risk factors for UTIs include age and issues, such as an enlarged prostate.

Will a UTI Go Away On Its Own?

A UTI may go away on its own but it is always a good idea to seek proper treatment to ensure it does not reoccur. If you are concerned, speak to your gyne or doctor for proper treatment and prevention.

People with a UTI that keeps coming back need proper treatment to ensure it stops.

Can a UTI become a Health Emergency?

UTIs are not always severe but if they affect the kidney(Pyelonephritis), it might become a health emergency because lack of treatment, in this case, might even lead to death.

Symptoms of severity include a bad fever and chills.

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