iCliniq logo

Ask a Doctor Online Now

HomeHealth articlesurinary tract infectionUrinary Tract Infection (UTI) - Symptoms |Treatment and Prevention

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) - Symptoms , Treatment and Prevention

Verified dataVerified data
0
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) - Symptoms , Treatment and Prevention

5 min read

Share

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is a common condition especially in women and it often remains undiagnosed and untreated. This article is aimed at providing basic knowledge about UTI, its symptoms and treatment.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At September 24, 2015
Reviewed AtMay 31, 2024

Introduction:

The urinary tract consists of kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder, and the urethra. Urine produced by the kidneys passes down the ureters and is stored in the urinary bladder until it is voided through the urethra.

Infection most commonly involves the lower urinary tract which includes the bladder (cystitis) and urethra (urethritis). Infection spreading up to the kidneys (pyelonephritis) can be a serious problem. Women are at an increased risk of developing UTIs compared to men.

UTI (Urinary Tract Infection) typically is caused by bacteria entering the bladder through the urethra. E. coli (Escherichia coli) is the most common bacteria responsible for UTI. E.coli is normally found in the gut and may gain access to the bladder, especially in women because the short length of the urethra and its proximity to the anus makes it easy for bacteria to enter the bladder.

Sexual activity may also introduce bacteria into the bladder through the urethra. Once inside the bladder and/or urethra the bacteria multiply and cause signs and symptoms of UTI.

What Are the Types of UTIs?

More particular symptoms may be associated with each form of UTI. Which urinary tract segment is impacted determines the symptoms.

  • Kidneys:

    • Side or back pain.

    • High temperature.

    • Chills and shaking.

    • Queasy feeling.

    • Passing out.

  • Bladder:

    • Pressure on the Pelvic floor.

    • Lower abdominal pain.

    • Uncomfortable and frequent urination.

    • Urine with blood in it.

  • Urethra:

What Are the Symptoms of UTIs?

Symptoms of UTI Include

  • Frequent and insufficient urination.

  • Burning sensation or pain while passing urine.

  • Fever and chills.

  • Nausea or vomiting.

  • Change in the color or smell of urine.

  • Urgency to void.

  • Pain in the lower abdomen or lower back, pain in the flanks.

If any of these symptoms appear the patient must consult a physician. It is pertinent to note that UTIs may exist without overt signs and symptoms. So, mild fever without any symptoms especially in women should prompt a suspicion of UTI. A routine urine test will reveal the presence of infection. Physicians may also advise a Complete Blood Count (CBC) to see the severity of the infection, a urine culture to determine antibiotic sensitivity, and an ultrasound scan to visualize and rule out any source of obstruction or spread of infection to the kidneys.

Recurrent UTIs in children may be caused by an anatomical defect that may require surgical intervention. Studies have shown that untreated recurrent UTIs in children may lead to scarring of kidneys and eventually CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease).

What Are the Causes of UTIs?

The most common cause of urinary tract infections (UTIs) is the passage of bacteria from the urethra into the bladder. The urinary system is meant to keep microorganisms out. However, defenses do not always work. When that occurs, germs may settle in and develop into a urinary tract infection. The majority of UTIs are primarily found in women and impact the urethra and bladder.

  • Bladder Infection: Escherichia coli is typically the source of this kind of UTI (E. coli). One kind of bacteria that is frequently discovered in the Gastrointestinal (GI) tract is E. coli. However, other microorganisms can also be the source. The patient does not need to engage in sexual activity to get a bladder infection, but having sex can increase the risk. Due to the anatomy of women, bladder infections are a common occurrence. The urethra and anus are near in females. Additionally, the bladder and the urethral entrance are near. This facilitates the entry of bacteria surrounding the anus into the urethra and subsequent passage to the bladder.

  • Urethral Infection: This kind of UTI is caused by GI bacteria that go from the anus to the urethra. Sexually transmitted infections can also result in an infection of the urethra. They consist of mycoplasma, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and herpes. Women's urethras are located close to the vagina, which makes this possible.

What Are the Risk Factors of UTIs?

In women, UTIs are common. A lot of women get UTIs more than once in their lifetime. Particularly for women, risk factors for UTIs include:

  • Anatomy of women. Compared to men, women's urethras are shorter. Bacteria have to travel less distance to reach the bladder as a result.

  • Engaging in sexual activity. The risk of UTIs appears to increase with sexual activity. Risk also rises when one partners sexually.

  • Certain birth control methods. Diaphragm use as a method of birth control may raise the risk of UTIs. Additionally, using spermicidal drugs may raise risk.

  • Menopause. Urinary tract alterations result from a decrease in circulating estrogen after menopause. The modifications may make UTIs more likely.

Additional UTI risk factors are as follows:

  • Urinary tract issues. Urination difficulties may be experienced by newborns who are born with urinary tract issues. UTIs can result from urine backing up in the urethra.

  • Obstructions in the urinary system. Urine might become stuck in the bladder due to kidney stones or an enlarged prostate. The risk of UTIs is increased as a result.

  • A weakened defense mechanism. The body's protection against pathogens, and the immune system, can be weakened by diabetes and other illnesses. The chance of UTIs may rise as a result.

  • Use of catheter. Individuals who are unable to urinate independently frequently need to use a catheter, which is a tube. UTI risk is increased when using a catheter. Those who are hospitalized may utilize catheters. Those who are paraplegic or have neurological conditions that make it difficult to control urination may also use them.

  • A recent operation on the bladder. A urinary tract infection (UTI) can be more likely to occur after a urinary surgery or a medical instrument-assisted urinary tract check.

What Is the Treatment Plan For UTIs?

Treatment involves a course of antibiotics usually taken for 5 days. Recurrent UTI may require an extended course of antibiotics. Apart from that, drinking plenty of fluids, especially cranberry juice helps flush out the bacteria. Proper hygiene of the external urethral opening is important in prevention of UTI.

How Can UTIs Be Prevented?

  • Consume a lot of liquids, primarily water. Urine can be diluted by drinking water. This causes more urination, which helps to remove bacteria from the urinary tract before an infection starts.

  • Consider cranberry juice. Research into whether cranberry juice shields against UTIs is ongoing. On the other hand, cranberry juice is probably safe to consume. Experts recommend purchasing cranberry juice for its beneficial effects on UTIs.

  • From front to back, wipe. Follow up with this after a bowel movement and after peeing. It aids in halting the transfer of bacteria from the anus to the urethra and vagina.

  • Not too long after having sex, empty your bladder. To further aid in the removal of bacteria, sip a full glass of water.

  • Steer clear of feminine products that could irritate. They may irritate the urethra when used in the genital area. Deodorant powders, douches, and sprays are some of these products.

  • Modify the way you use birth control. Bacterial growth can be facilitated by diaphragms, unlubricated condoms, or condoms coated with spermicide.

Conclusion:

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can cause significant discomfort and inconvenience, but prompt recognition of symptoms, appropriate treatment, and preventive measures can greatly reduce the impact of these infections. By maintaining good hygiene practices, staying hydrated, and seeking medical attention when needed, individuals can take proactive steps to minimize the occurrence and severity of UTIs, promoting overall urinary health and well-being. Remember, early intervention and consistent preventive measures are key to mitigating the risk of UTIs and maintaining a healthy urinary system.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.

What causes urinary tract infection?

Urinary tract infection is most commonly caused by the bacteria Escherichia coli (E.coli), which is found in the digestive tract. Bacteria like Chlamydia and Mycoplasma can cause urethritis (infection of the urethra), and not cystitis (infection of the bladder).

2.

How does a male get rid of a urinary tract infection?

Treating urinary tract infection in men is more difficult. Depending on the cause of infection, antibiotics like Nitrofurantoin, Fluoroquinolones, or Aminoglycosides are prescribed. For fever, Paracetamol or Acetaminophen is given, and analgesics are prescribed to treat pain and burning while peeing.

3.

Is a urinary tract infection curable?

Yes, UTI can be cured. With the right kind of antibiotic and painkiller, UTI can be cured.

4.

Is it possible to control recurrent urinary tract infections?

Recurrent urinary tract infections carry the risk of kidney damage. Antibiotics and behavior modification usually help people who are prone to urinary tract infection. Some tips to prevent recurrent infections are urinating after sex, drinking plenty of water, avoid wearing tight-fitted underpants, wipe properly after urinating, and drinking cranberry juice.

5.

Are urinary tract infections contagious?

UTI is not contagious and does not spread through sex.

6.

What are urinary tract infection home remedies?

Home remedies for UTI are:
- Drinking plenty of water helps flush out bacteria from the body.
- Consume vitamin C rich food.
- Drink cranberry juice.
- Taking probiotic helps balance bacteria in your gut.

7.

How do you know if you have a urinary tract infection?

Signs and symptoms of UTI are burning sensation on urination, frequent urination, frequent urge to urinate, cloudy or dark urine, pelvic pain, abdominal pain, fever, chills, and feeling of incomplete bladder emptying.

8.

Will a UTI go away on its own?

It is possible that a UTI will go away on its own, but it not always the case. To prevent the spread of bacteria, it is best to take a course of antibiotics after consulting your doctor.

9.

What happens if a UTI goes untreated for a week?

Untreated UTI can result in the spread of bacteria to one or both kidneys. This results in infection of the kidneys, which might result in permanent damage to kidney functions.

10.

How much water should you drink with a UTI?

It has been found that drinking more than 2.2 liters of water every day helps prevent UTI. And drinking plenty of water during a UTI helps flush out bacteria.
Dr. Pir Muhammad Siddique
Dr. Pir Muhammad Siddique

General Practitioner

Tags:

urinary tract infection
Community Banner Mobile
By subscribing, I agree to iCliniq's Terms & Privacy Policy.

Source Article ArrowMost popular articles

Ask your health query to a doctor online

Urology

*guaranteed answer within 4 hours

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. iCliniq privacy policy