What is UTI?
A urinary Tract infection (UTI) is an infection in any part of your urinary system- your kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra.
Women are at a greater risk of contracting UTI than men. Infections limited to the bladder can be quite annoying and painful. However, serious consequences can occur if UTI spreads to the kidneys.
1. Strong and frequent urge to urinate.
2. Cloudy, bloody or strong smelling urine.
3. Pain or a burning sensation when urinating.
4. Muscle aches and abnominal pains
5. Pelvic pain, in women especially in the center of pelvis and around the area of the pubic bone.
Types of UTI.
Urethritis – infection of the urethra.
Cystitis- infection of the bladder.
Pyelonephritis- infection of kidneys.
Vaginitis- infection of the vagina.
Causes of UTI.
The most common UTIs occur mainly in women and affect the bladder and urethra.
1. Infection of bladder.
This type of UTI is usually caused by Escherichia coil (E. Coil) a type of bacteria commonly found in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
Sexual intercourse may lead to cystitis but you don’t have to be sexually active to develop it. All women are at risk of getting cystitis UTI because of the short distance between urethra and anus and urethral opening.
2. Infection of the urethra.
Can occur when GI bacteria spread from the anus to the urethra.
UTI is most likely to affect those who have the following;
– Sexual intercourse, especially if more frequent with multiple or new partners.
– Poor hygiene.
– Having a urinary catheter.
– Use of spermicides and tampons.
– Kidney stones.
Prevention of UTI.
1. Wipe front to back.
It is best to wipe your genitals from front to back after using the washroom.
2. Avoiding holding in urine.
Avoid holding in urine as it can encourage bacterial growth more so when you are pregnant.
3. Urinate before and after sex.
Do so in order to flush out bacteria that causes UTI. It is also good to gently wash your genital areas before sex. This can help keep the area clean and reduce chance of bacteria spreading to the urethra.
4. Avoid scented products.
The vagina has a bacteria called lactobacillus which helps keep the vagina healthy and balance the PH. Scented feminine products can disrupt this balance causing harmful bacteria to grow.
5. Explore birth control options.
Some types of birth controls might promote an overgrowth of harmful bacteria. They include ; diaphragms, non lubricated condoms, spermicides and spermicide condoms.
Diagnosing of UTI.
This test will examine the urine for red blood cells, white blood cells and bacteria. The number of white and red blood cells found in your urine can indicate an infection.
2. Urine culture.
It is used to determine the type of bacteria in your urine. This test helps determine the appropriate treatment.
In this test sound waves create an image of the internal organs.
It uses a special instrument fitted with lens and light source ( cystoscope) to see inside the bladder from the urethra.
5. CT scan.
Another imaging test, CT scan is a type of X-ray that takes place across sections of the body.
Treatment of UTI.
Antibiotics are usually the first line treatment when it comes to UTI.
Drugs commonly recommended for simple UTIs include; Trimethoprim, Fosfomycin(Monurol), Nitrofurantoin ( macrodantin), Cephalexin(keflex) and Cetriaxone.
If you have frequent UTIs your doctor may recommend ;
Low does if antibiotics usually 6months but sometimes longer.
Self diagnosis if you stay in touch with your doctor.
A single dose of antibiotics after sex if your infection was sex related.
Vaginal estrogen therapy if you are postmenopausal.
You may need treatment with intravenous antibiotics in the hospital.