Are you having trouble while peeing? Is a burning sensation bothering you that you are not able to ignore? You might be suffering from Urinary Tract Infections (UTI). If the infection progresses, it might lead to some serious health issues. Here is all you need to know about the disease and how to know if you are suffering from one.
What is Urinary Tract Infections?
UTIs are infections that occur anywhere in the part of the urinary tract including the kidneys, bladder, urethra (a tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body) and ureters (the tubes that carry urine from each kidney to the bladder).
Urinary tract infections are characterized by uneasiness, fever, nausea, and a burning sensation while urinating. While both women and men are affected by UTI, women are more at risk of developing the infection as women have a smaller urinary tract. UTI can have a harmful effect on your overall health as well. It can affect some of the vital organs including the kidneys, liver, uterus and bladder. It can also lead to the development of pelvic inflammatory disease, which can damage the fallopian tubes. It can influence the process of fertilization by impacting ovulation.
What Causes It?
Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria, E. coli, enters the system from the urethra. The germs that lead to this infection generally breed in the large intestines and are also found in the stool. The bacteria stick to the bladder wall and proliferate, causing a bladder infection (cystitis).
Symptoms of UTI
- Constant urge to urinate even when the bladder is empty
- Cloudy urine
- A foul smell or unpleasant smell in urine
- Blood in urine (haematuria)
- Back pain
- Pain or discomfort while urinating
- Increased frequency of urination
- Pain in the lower abdomen
- A feeling of soreness or tenderness around the pelvis
Risk Factors of UTI
Female Anatomy: Women have a smaller urethra as compared to men, which allows the bacteria to easily enter a woman’s urinary tract.
Menopause: A decline in estrogen levels after menopause can lead to changes in the urinary tract, making you vulnerable to such infections.
Sexual Activity: Women who are sexually active are more at risk of urinary tract infections than those who aren't.
Not being able to empty your Bladder: Inability to urinate properly can promote such infections.
Catheter: People who use a catheter to urinate are more at risk of developing UTI.
Medical Procedure involving Urinary Tract: Use of medical instruments in a urinary surgery of the urinary tract can promote UTI.
Also read: Home Remedies for UTI in Women
- Keep in mind your hygiene while using public washrooms
- Have a sufficient amount of zinc and vitamin C foods to decrease bacterial growth
- Do not hold your urine
- Do not wear tight undergarments
- Drink lots of water to detoxify the body and dilute the urine by making it less acidic and lighter in colour
- If you have abdominal pain, apply a heating pad to ease the pain
Like any other infection, UTIs can resolve on their own. But if it progresses, then you must consult a doctor and get medication.
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