UTI: signs, causes, and treatment
When bacteria enter and grow in the urinary system it is referred to as Urinary tract infection (UTI). Women are more vulnerable to UTIs compared to men.
UTIs occur when the urinary tract is infected by various bacteria. Your urinary system is designed to keep out bacteria however, sometimes it fails. Some of the infections are sexually transmitted.
UTIs are treatable however if they go untreated for long, they can cause kidney infection which is more serious, for pregnant women this can lead to low birth weight or premature infants.
How do I know that I have UTI?
You have a UTI if:
- You start having a strong, persistent urge to urinate
- You have a burning sensation when urinating
- You have urine that appears cloudy or bloody (red, bright pink, or cola-colored)
- Have smelly urine
- Pass small amounts of urine
- Have pelvic pain especially in women
Risk factors in women include:
- Female anatomy. A woman has a shorter urethra than a man does, which shortens the distance that bacteria must travel to reach the bladder.
- Sexual activity. Sexually active women tend to have more UTIs compared to women who aren’t sexually active. Having multiple sexual partners also increases your risk of UTIs.
- Certain types of birth control. Women who use diaphragms and spermicidal agents for birth control may be at higher risk of getting UTI.
- Menopause. After menopause, a decline in circulation of estrogen may cause changes in the urinary tract creating a favorable environment for bacteria to invade and grow resulting in UTI
Risk factors in men
- An enlarged prostate gland
- Certain diseases e.g. Kidney stones, Diabetes
- Any health condition that affects the immune system
- Unprotected anal intercourse
Treatment for UTIs
Of course, there’s the worry of whether and how UTIs are treated? Do I stay with it my entire life? UTI is treatable. Doctors treat and care for urinary tract infections with antibiotics. Remember to seek medication as early as possible if you experience any signs and symptoms.
We can equally reduce the chances of getting UTI by drinking plenty of liquids( water), wiping from the front backward (vagina), urinating immediately after sex especially for women, avoiding the use of deodorants, or perfumes on the genital areas, and practicing good sexual intercourse hygiene.