UTI - Know Reasons Behind It!
MNAMS - Urology, MCh - Urology, DNB - General Surgery, MS - General Surgery, MBBS
Women have a higher risk of suffering from a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) as compared to men. This is because women have a much shorter urethra. This makes it easier for bacteria to enter the bladder. These infections typically affect the urethra and the bladder. It can be the cause of great discomfort and pain, but the good news is that UTI can be easily treated. But what is more important is the UTIs can also be prevented. To do this, one must first understand the factors that can cause UTIs which include:
- Sexual Intercourse: During the course of having sex, bacteria may be transferred from the vaginal cavity or bowels to the urethra. This can lead to cystitis. To reduce the risk of catching a UTI during the intercourse, women are advised to urinate within half an hour of having sex. It is also advisable for both partners to wash the genital area after having intercourse.
- Constipation: A person suffering from constipation will be unable to completely empty their bladder. This encourages the growth of bacteria and can cause an infection. The easiest way to prevent constipation is to eat plenty of fibrous foods and drink plenty of water. After passing stool, always wash the area from front to back and not the other way around.
- Urinary Tract Abnormalities: Some babies may be born with an abnormal urinary tract. If this prevents urine from leaving the body, it could be the cause of recurring urinary tract infections. In this case, surgery may be needed to correct the abnormality. If there is stasis in any part of the urinary tract then this can promote UTI.
- Diabetes: It is a myth that eating too much sugar causes UTIs. However, in the case of diabetic patients, high sugar levels could promote the growth of organism in urine. This is because excess sugar is removed from the body through urine.
- Bad Hygiene: Not keeping the genital area clean can also contribute towards urinary tract infections. Hence, always wash well after urinating and passing stool. If possible, have a shower instead of a bath. Avoid using feminine washes and douches as they can increase the irritation. Keep the genital area dry and favour cotton underwear. This allows the skin to breathe and does not allow bacteria to grow.
- Dehydration: Not drinking enough water affects the body in a number of ways. It can also cause UTIs. This is because water helps flush toxins from the body. Without enough water, bacteria and toxins remain in the body and multiply. Ideally, one must drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day to stay hydrated. Aerated drinks may satiate thirst but cannot be included in the daily water intake. Rather than hydrating the body, these drinks aggravate dehydration. Instead, one may infuse water with herbs and fruits to improve its flavour.
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