Urinary tract infection brings aboutnot only discomfort but also dangerous health risks. So how can we prevent as well as treat this infection?

What is urinary tract infection (UTI)?

Urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection which occurs in the urinary system. Normally, the urinary system includes:

  • One urethra
  • One bladder
  • Two ureters (ureter is the tube which connects the kidney to the bladder)
  • Two kidneys

Infection can take place in places such as the urethra (urethritis), kidneys (pyelonephritis), bladder (cystitis) or a combination of the above.

Urinary tract infection can be caused most commonly by a bacterium found in the gut named Escherichia coli (or also known as E.coli). Infection brought about by E.coli normally spread to the urethra from the anus.

Groups at risk

For some people, the chance of having urinary tract infection is higher compared to others:

  • Men who have prostate problems as an enlarged prostate gland is the cause of the bladder to be empty partially
  • Women in general as their urethra is only approximately 4 cm long, the bacteria just travel this short distance and get from outside the body to the inside of the bladder.
  • Children, especially infants and babies whose urinary systems are congenitally abnormal.
  • People who have urinary catheters, especially those who are very ill due to the inability to empty their bladder.
  • People who have diabetes.

Signs and symptoms

Common symptoms of urinary tract infection include:

  • Fever
  • Urine that smells foul or fishy
  • Urine which has a cloudy, bloody or dark color
  • Full feeling in the bladder after having urinated
  • Unsual urinate pattern
  • The need to urinate, but unable to do so, or only have a few drops
  • Painful, burning or scalding feelings in lower abdominal when passing urine

People who have kidney infection may also experience symptoms:

A child with UTI need to go to hospitals as the infection can cause severe consequences.

How to prevent, or lower the risk if having urinary tract infection?

You can apply the steps below to decrease the probability of urinary tract infection:

  • Drink plenty of liquids, mainly water, as water has the ability to dilute your urine. Besides, make sure that you will urinate more frequently. That in turns ensures that bacteria will be flushed from your urinary tract infection.
  • Remember to wipe or cleanse from front to back. Doing this after urinating or after bowel movements prevents bacteria existing in the anal area from spreading to the urethra and vagina.
  • Empty your bladder after having sexual intercourse.
  • Avoid using feminine products which contains chemicals, such as deodorant, sprays, wax, cream, powders and so on in the genital area. Using those as well as douching can irritate the urethra.

Having urinary tract infection is very irritating. Thus, if you suspect that you have this infection, go to the doctors for further medical advice, diagnosis and treatment.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources
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