Published on Nov 04, 2017 and last reviewed on Feb 22, 2023 - 5 min read
This article discusses the common reasons for recurrent urinary tract infections (UTI) in women and presents some easy-to-follow suggestions to avoid getting the infection in the first place.
Urinary tract infection is one of the most common illnesses that increase morbidity in patients. Females are more prone to UTI than males. Antibiotics are generally prescribed to treat the infection. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) normally respond well to the treatment. It can be uncomfortable before you start the treatment, but once proper treatment is provided, the symptoms improve well. Learn more about urinary tract infections, symptoms, treatment, and ways to prevent them.
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is typically an infection in any part of the urinary system. It can be in the kidneys, ureters, bladders, or urethra. Most UTIs occur in the lower urinary tract, which involves the bladder and the urethra. This urinary tract infection occurs when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra and later multiplies in the bladder. Even though the urinary tract is designed in such a way to keep these microorganisms away, sometimes it may fail in such conditions.
The commonly seen symptoms of urinary tract infections are:
Frequent and a strong urge to urinate.
Burning sensation while urinating.
Passing small amounts of urine frequently.
Strong smelling urine.
Birth control methods.
Certain abnormalities of the urinary tract.
Blockage in the urinary tract.
Weakened immune system.
Use of catheter.
Any recent surgical procedure.
There are three various types of UTIs depending on the location, and they are:
1. Acute Pyelonephritis:
If UTIs occur in the kidneys, then it is called acute pyelonephritis. Some of the signs and symptoms of acute pyelonephritis are:
Nausea and vomiting.
If UTIs occur in the bladder, then it is known as cystitis. The signs and symptoms of cystitis are the following:
Frequent and painful urination.
Blood in the urine.
Lower abdominal pain.
Pressure in the pelvic region.
UTIs in the urethra are called urethritis. The common sign of urethritis is:
Burning sensation while urinating.
Women are at a higher risk of developing UTI than men because of the anatomical structure of the genitourinary system. Women have a short urethra, meaning a shorter distance for the infection to climb to the bladder. Also, it is located in close proximity to the anus, where the bacteria causing UTI dwell, making them prone to infections. It is common in sexually active females due to the trauma encountered by the urethra during the act.
Pregnancy is an important cause. During pregnancy, women encounter hormonal and vulvar changes causing urinary reflux, urinary stasis, and increased pressure on the urinary bladder because of the increased size of the uterus.
2.Urinary Stones and Diabetes:
Urinary stones and diabetes also predispose to urinary infections. Urinary catheters inserted to drain the bladder can cause the germs to travel along the tube and infect the bladder and the kidneys.
3.Holding Urine For a Long Time:
Many women have the habit of holding their bladder for too long while traveling or outside to prevent using public toilets, fearing UTI. Holding urine by itself will cause stasis of urine, making the bacteria multiply.
4.Using Dirty Public Toilets:
Using dirty public toilets might also cause UTI, but the chances are meager as most bacteria causing UTI do not survive for longer periods on the toilet seats.
5.Improper Use Of Toilet Paper:
Using the toilet paper in the wrong direction. This causes microbes from your anal area to enter the urethra. Remember to always wipe from the front to the back.
Not emptying your bladder before and after intercourse is also a predisposing factor for UTI.
7.Wearing Tight-Fitting Clothes:
Women tend to wear tight-fitting clothes during a workout. The moisture from their sweat causes the yeast normally present in the vaginal flora to multiply in large amounts, causing an infection. Preferably choose cottonwear, which will soak away the moisture. Change into loose garments as quickly as possible after your workout.
A urinary tract infection can be diagnosed by the symptoms narrated by the patient, and the doctor may recommend few other tests to confirm the diagnosis, which includes:
This test is used to determine the urine for red blood cells, white blood cells, and bacteria. Increased number of red blood cells and white blood cells indicates an infection.
A urine culture is performed to check the type of bacteria in the urine.
This test helps in diagnosis by picturizing the internal organs.
Cystoscopy is done by using an instrument with a lens and a light source to check the inside of the bladder from the urethra.
If urinary tract infections (UTIs) are left untreated, it can result in a number of complications such as:
Recurrent urinary infections.
Permanent kidney damage.
Sepsis, a life-threatening complication.
Increased risk of premature infants and low birth weight babies in pregnant women.
Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. By doing so, the urine gets diluted, and it helps you to urinate frequently, letting the bacteria flush out from the urinary tract before an infection can occur.
Try to always have cranberry juice or capsules as it helps fight UTI.
Try emptying your bladder soon after your sexual intercourse.
Avoid using feminine products like deodorant spray or powders in the genital area as it can potentially irritate the urethra.
Maintain proper genital hygiene. Try wiping from front to back after a bowel movement to prevent the spread of bacteria to the vagina and urethra.
Even though urinary tract infections (UTI) are painful, there are multiple steps to ease the discomfort caused and also to prevent the recurrence of urinary tract infections (UTIs).
For more information, consult a urologist online --> https://icliniq.com./ask-a-doctor-online/urologist
Last reviewed at:
22 Feb 2023 - 5 min read
I have dull pain in my testicle. Can it be blue balls?
Query: Hi doctor, I have a dull pain in my testicle for the past three weeks. It is not very severe. I can ignore it. I have performed a TESE. I noticed no lump and no swelling. The testicles are normal to see. I am worried that it could be something serious. Can it be blue balls? Read Full »
How to treat vaginal dryness and pain following a UTI?
Query: Hi doctor, A few months ago, I was suffering from UTI and followed by vaginal dryness. Right now, I feel occasional sharp pain in my vagina, which subsides after a while. Also, I am getting pain during intercourse. I wanted to know the ways to treat this vaginal dryness. I had urine and culture t... Read Full »
Antibiotics for urinary tract infection treatment
Query: Hi doctor, I am suffering from urinary tract infection. I get these once in every couple of years. I need to get an antibiotic to get rid of it. Please help. Read Full »
Most Popular Articles
Do you have a question on Urinary Tract Infection or Urinary Stones?Ask a Doctor Online