UTI or urinary tract infection is a common infection of the urinary system that happens when microscopic organisms from the skin or rectum, enter the urethra and contaminate the urinary tract. A UTI can include any part of your urinary system, including the urethra, ureters, bladder, and kidneys. Symptoms of UTI usually include a strong urge to pee frequently, feeling pain while urinating, and feeling pain in your side or lower back.

Women are more at risk of contracting this urinary tract infection than men. Approximately 25-40% of women in the United States within the age range of 20-40 years have had a UTI. Infection restricted to your bladder can be annoying and painful. However, there are severe consequences when a UTI spreads to your kidneys.

Physicians commonly treat UTIs with antibiotics. However, you can still do whatever it may take to diminish your possibility of getting a UTI. Or you can approach any UTI Clinical Trials near you to learn more about potential treatment options for UTIs.

What is the cause of UTI?

Urine normally doesn’t contain microorganisms (germs). Urinary tract infections normally occur when microorganisms enter the urinary tract through the urethra and begin to duplicate in the bladder. Although the urinary system is designed to prevent these microscopic invaders, sometimes these defenses fail. When that happens, bacteria may take hold and grow into a full-blown infection in the urinary tract causing problems like infection and inflammation. This is known to cause a urinary tract infection (UTI).

6 Common Symptoms of UTI:

Among many others, there are some common symptoms of UTI:

  • A frequent and strong urge to urinate.
  • A burning sensation while urinating.
  • Passing small quantities of urine.
  • Urine that seems shady, red, dazzling pink, or cola-colored — an indication of blood in the urine.
  • Strong smelling pee.
  • Pelvic discomfort, especially in the region of the pelvis and around the pubic bone, is common in women.

Risk factors:

UTIs are more common in females on the grounds that their urethras are short and nearer to the rectum. This makes it simpler for microscopic organisms to enter the urinary tract.
Risk factors specific to women that can exacerbate the symptoms of UTI include:

  • Sexual activity: Sexually active women will often have more urinary tract infections than women who are not sexually active. If one has multiple sexual partners, they are more prone to contracting UTIs.
  • Anti-conception medication: Women who use anti-conception medication might be at greater risk.
  • Menopause: After menopause, a decrease in circulating estrogen causes changes in the urinary tract that make you more susceptible to contamination.
  • Anatomy: Women have a shorter urethra than a man does, which reduces the distance that microbes travel to arrive at the bladder.

Other risk factors for UTIs include:

  • Urinary tract anomalies: Infants born with urinary tract anomalies, that don’t allow urine to leave the body regularly or make urine accumulate in the urethra have an increase of UTIs.
  • Blockages of the urinary tract: Kidney stones or an enlarged prostate can trap urine in the bladder and increase the risk of UTIs.
  • A weak immune system: Diabetes and different illnesses that weaken the immune system  — the body’s defense system against microbes — can increase the risk of UTIs.
  • Catheter use: Individuals who can’t urinate in a normal way and have to use a tube (catheter) to urinate have an increased risk of UTIs. This might include individuals who are hospitalized, individuals with neurological issues who might have trouble controlling their ability to urinate and people who are paralyzed.
  • A previous UTI: History of UTIs during premenopause or in youth, and family history are valid risk factors for recurrent uncomplicated UTIs.
  • Poor hygiene: Poor hygiene maintenance, poor aseptic techniques, incline towards symptoms of UTI. Overlong catheterization is a further risk factor, with poor urethral opening asepsis an inclining factor.

How are UTIs diagnosed?

Following are the tests to diagnose a urinary tract infection:

  • Urinalysis: This test will analyze urine for red blood cells, white blood cells, and microorganisms.
  • Urine culture: A urine culture is done to identify the type of bacteria causing UTI. This is an important test as it helps determine the appropriate treatment.

On the off chance that your infection doesn’t subside with treatment or assuming that you continue to get the infection again and again, your physician might ask for the following tests to analyze your urinary tract for infection or injury:

  • Ultrasound: A painless procedure that doesn’t need any preparation, and involves sound waves that create an image of your internal organs. This test is done on top of the skin.
  • Cystoscopy: This test utilizes an exceptional instrument fitted with a lens and a light source (cystoscope) to see inside the bladder from the urethra.
  • CT scan: Another imaging test, a CT scan is a kind of X-ray that takes cross-sections of the body (like cuts). This test is considerably more exact than regular X-rays.

Complications caused by UTI:

When treated immediately and properly, urinary tract infections rarely lead to complications. But if left untreated, a urinary tract infection can have severe consequences i.e.,

  • Increased risk in pregnant women of giving birth to underweight or premature babies.
  • Recurrent infections, two or more UTIs in a six-month period, or four or more within a year.
  • Urethral narrowing (stricture) in men from recurrent urethritis (inflammation of the urethra).
  • Permanent kidney damage due to acute or chronic kidney infection (pyelonephritis) due to untreated urinary tract infection.
  • Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening complication of a UTI.

Ways to prevent UTIs:

You can take these steps to reduce your symptoms of UTI:

  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water. Drinking water helps dilute your urine and ensures that you’ll urinate more frequently, and your urine will be expelled from the urinary tract before an infection can begin.
  • Clean from front to back. Doing this after urinating and after a bowel movement helps prevent the spread of bacteria from the anal area to the vagina and urethra.
  • Empty your bladder soon after coitus. Drinking a full glass of water can help flush out bacteria.
  • Avoid irritating feminine products that have a scent. Using feminine products with perfume, in the genital area can irritate the urethra. These include certain feminine washes and powders.
  • Change your birth control method. Diaphragms or condoms that are not lubricated or treated with spermicide can all contribute to the growth of microbes like bacteria.
  • Try not to hold back your urine, as this can encourage bacterial accumulation. Try not to hold off on urinating by more than 3 to 4 hours, and completely empty your bladder each time. This is significantly more important assuming that you’re pregnant as pregnancy puts you at an increased risk for a UTI. Holding in your urine can additionally increase the risk.
  • Take probiotics. Probiotics are live microorganisms that can enhance good gut bacteria in the gut. They may also assist in promoting the growth of good bacteria in the urinary tract. This could also reduce your chances of getting a UTI.

Bottom line:

Urinary tract infections are a frequent occurrence that can be aggravating, especially if they reoccur. There are multiple ways to reduce your risk of contracting a UTI. Staying hydrated, practicing healthy habits with a healthy lifestyle, and staying away from certain products that can enhance the risk are good ways to lower your risk of getting these infections in the future. There might be various Clinical Research in Michigan near you that has the option to help you and countless others experiencing this crippling infection.

Also Read: Can an Internist Care for My Asthma?

Moin Tabish

Moin Tabish is a Software Engineer and a Digital Content Producer And Marketer Particularly related to medical technology, software Development and More.

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