A urinary tract infection (UTI), is an infection found anywhere along the urinary tract. Depending on what part of the urinary tract is infected, Urinary tract infections have different names,
Bladder infection is also called cystitis.
Kidneys one or both are called pyelonephritis or a kidney infection.
Urethra the tube that empties urine from the bladder to the outside is called urethritis
Bacteria are usually the cause of the urinary tract infection, it enters the urethra and crawls up to the bladder and lead to a bladder infection which can possible spread to the kidneys. Your body can get rid of these bacteria itself but certain conditions can prevent that to happen and increase the risk of having UTI.
Statistics shows that women are more prone to UTIs than men because their urethra is shorter than that of men.
The following also increase of developing a UTI:
* Diabetes Mellitus
* Urine retention – Difficulty in emptying your bladder due to other illness
* Urinary catheter – A tube used to assist people who can’t urinate by themselves.
* Bowel incontinence – uncontrolled bowel movement.
* Enlarged prostate, can block the flow of the urine
* Kidney stones
* Immobile – not moving from one place for a long period of time (for example, paralysed)
* Tight clothes
The symptoms of a bladder infection include:
* Cloudy or bloody urine with foul or strong smell
* Fever, tiredness and shaking (in most people)
* Painful and burning urination.
* Lower abdominal pain or pressure (usually where the bladder is) or back
* Strong urge to urinate more than usual, right after you just emptied the bladder.
In the case where infection has affected your kidneys, symptoms may include:
* High Fever above 40°C.
* Lower back, or severe groin pain
* Disorientation Mental changes or confusion (this happens more often in the elderly patients)
* Nausea, vomiting and some abdominal discomfort
How do you Prevent UTI
* Change pads regularly, don’t wait for it to be too full. Pads are better that tampons.
* Avoid using any perfumes containing products in the genital areas. E.g. powders and sprays.
* Avoid bath oils.
* Keep your genital area dry and clean at all times especially before and after sexual intercourse.
* Wipe from front to back after passing stool, it will prevent you from taking the bacteria from your anal area to the front.
* Avoid wearing tight-fitting pants.
* Wear cotton-cloth underwear and change them daily.
* Drink plenty of water
* Women should empty their bladder after sexual activity.
* Regular intake of cranberry juice seems to flush the residual of bacterial urine from the lining of the urinary tract.
* Avoid taking fluids that contains alcohol and caffeine as they irritate the bladder.
* Do not delay emptying the bladder until you can’t hold it any longer.
See the Doctor immedietly for treatment.