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Last Updated: May 20, 2020
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Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) - Symptoms, Treatment And Causes

About Types Symptoms Causes Risk factors Treatment Medicine Complications Prevention Home remedies

What is UTI?

UTI or Urinary Tract Infection happens when bacteria enter our urinary tract through the urethra and begin to spread & multiply inside the bladder. When this happens, bacteria take hold of our body and then grow into a full-blown infection inside the urinary tract. UTI, most commonly occur among women.

What are the different types of uti infections?

UTI is of two types like:

  • Cystitis or infection of the bladder:

    Cystitis is usually caused by E. coli (Escherichia coli) bacteria which are commonly found in the GI (Gastro-Intestinal) tract. Although you don’t have to sexually active to develop this disease, many times sexual intercourse can be held responsible for this infection. In fact, all women are at risk of this condition, more because of their anatomy, whereby they have a short distance from the urethra to the anus.

  • Urethritis or the infection of the urethra:

    Urethritis occurs when GI bacteria spread from the anus to the urethra. Sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea, herpes, chlamydia and mycoplasma also enhances the possibility of this disease.

What are the early symptoms of UTI?

The early symptoms of UTI are passing a frequent and small amount of urine, a strong urge to urinate, feeling a burning sensation while passing urine, cloudy appearance in the urine, muscle aches, abdominal pain, strong-smelling, pelvic pain in women especially in the center of the pelvis and around the pubic area.

The symptoms of UTI vary according to the type of infection. In the case of acute pyelonephritis, a patient may suffer from nausea, vomiting, flank pain, high fever and chills. In urethritis, discharge from the vagina, burning sensation while urinating, abdominal discomfort, pelvic pressure, blood traces in urine, along with frequent painful urination are experienced.

What causes UTI?

UTI is one of the most common infections in both males and females. However, women get more affected by UTI than men as their genital anatomy is quite intricate. Bacteria are the main cause of urinary tract infections and severely affect the kidney, bladder, and ureters in the body.

UTI is divided into upper and lower urinary tract infections. In the upper urinary tract, ureters and kidneys are present, whereas in the lower urinary tract bladder and urethra are located. E. Coli is the main bacterium for urinary tract infection and Chlamydia & mycoplasma bacteria can taint the urethra but not the urinary bladder.

Depending on the infected site, UTI is called in different names such as cystitis, urethritis, and pyelonephritis.

What are the risk factors that affect the UTI?

  • Babies born with urinary tract abnormalities which don’t allow the urine to leave the body in a normal way, causes the urine to go back in the urethra have an increased risk of developing this disease.
  • Enlarged prostate or kidney stones can trap urine in the bladder, which can increase the risk of this illness.
  • Diseases that impair our immune systems like diabetes, AIDS, cancer and others, which reduces our body’s defense against germs and bacteria can increase the risk of developing a UTI.
  • Examination of the urinary tract that involves the use of medical instruments or a recent urinary surgery, both can even increase the chance of falling prey to this disease.

How to treat a UTI?

UTI Treatment for Child:

UTI in children requires immediate medical treatment to protect the kidneys from damage. If the infection is simple, oral medicines will be advised. Generally, children are given amoxicillin and clavulanic acid, cephalosporin, sulfamethoxazole-Trimethoprim, doxycycline (over 8 years), and Nitrofurantoin. Hospitalization and/or IV fluids will be administered if the UTI is severe.

UTI Treatment for Male:

Usually, men’s UTI is complicated. The treatment aims to prevent the infection spreading to the kidneys and the upper urinary tract. Normally, antibiotic drugs will be prescribed to kill bacteria along with pain killers to reduce bladder pain and other symptoms. The minimum antibiotic treatment plan is 7 days. The antibiotic course may be extended in some cases if required.

UTI Treatment for Females:

Female have high chances of getting frequent UTIs as they have shorter urethra and complicated genital anatomy. Females are treated with antibiotics for both uncomplicated and complicated UTIs and they are advised some do’s and don’ts to prevent recurrent UTI.

What is the best medicine to treat urinary tract infection?

Antibiotics help in treating UTI infections by killing the bacteria causing infections. However, a patient should start the antibiotic cycle with a doctor’s prescription only. If the condition is left untreated, UTI can even damage kidneys.

The medicines are usually prescribed on the basis of the severity of the infection. A urine culture report can show the type of bacterium. Generally, best antibiotic for a treating uti includes Ciprofloxacin, Amoxicillin, Levofloxacin, Nitrofurantoin and Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole are prescribed.

Fluoroquinolones, a group of antibiotic medicines such as Levofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, and others are not usually recommended for simple UTIs. The side effects of these medicines overshadow the benefits of treating uncomplicated UTIs. In case of complicated UTIs such as kidney infection, you may be prescribed a fluoroquinolone drug.

What are complications associated with uti?

UTI can cause permanent kidney damage from pyelonephritis (chronic kidney infection) which occurs because of an untreated UTI. Pregnant women with UTI can give birth to premature infants, with low birth weight. Urethral stricture or narrowing can happen in men who suffer from recurrent urethritis. According to experts, women who have experienced three or more UTIs are susceptible to recurrent UTI infections. Sepsis can also happen when this infection is left untreated and can create life-threatening complications under such circumstances.

How to Prevent UTI(Urinary Tract Infection)?

  • The easiest way to prevent UTI is by flushing out the bacteria from urethra before it spreads. Drinking plenty of water helps to eradicate the growth of bacteria.
  • Scented powders, sprays, douches, deodorants, and other products should be avoided to keep away the UTIs.
  • Always cleaning the genitals before or after sex helps to keep you refrained from bacteria.
  • Using spermicide and lubricated condoms can cause UTIs as they contribute to bacterial growth.

What are the home remedies for the treatment of UTI?

Home remedies for the treatment of UTI are :

  • Try to urinate as soon as possible because holding urine can develop bacteria in the bladder and would worsen the condition.
  • Drinking cranberry juice helps in preventing UTI as the presence of proanthocyanidin in this juice has the ability to prevent bacteria from sticking to the cells lining of the urinary tract.
  • If the urine is more acidic, then there is a lesser chance of bacterial growth. So, ward off your UTI by taking vitamin C that contains ascorbic acid.
  • Stay away from caffeine, spicy food, alcohol, nicotine, artificial sweeteners, and carbonated drinks as these can act as bladder irritants.
  • Taking Probiotics can help in the growth of healthy bacteria in the vagina.
  • Applying a hot pad at the abdomen or the pelvic area can help to relieve pain.

Popular Questions & Answers

I have been feeling some pain at my lower belly anytime i’m about to finish peeing, it feels like there’s some sort of pressure on my bladder could this be uti ?please help it’s urgent.

CCEBDM, PG Diploma In Clinical Cardiology, MBBS, certificate course in rheumatology and joint disorders.
General Physician, Ghaziabad
1.Pass urine whenever you feel a desire, empty bladder completely. 2.Wipe from front to back after toilet 3.Take lots of water so as to have clear urine 4.Do not use any spray, scented bath products 7.Keep genital area dry- wear cotton, loose unde...

Any home remedies for uti? Have pain and burning sensation while passing urine. Thanks.

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Sexologist, Pune
Take ayurvediy medicine for uti problem. Drink dhaniya siddha water for drinking purpose. Correct your diet and lifestyle also for quick recovery. Avoid overeating of salty spicy diet curd udada dal maida products bakery products fermented food pa...

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