A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in the urinary system such as the kidneys, ureters, urethra and bladder. This infection usually affects the lower urinary tract which is the urethra and the bladder. Women are more susceptible to develop UTI than men. In most cases, the bladder causes pain and irritation. Once it becomes severe, it can spread to the kidneys.
Urinary tract infection is also known as cystitis which is a bacterial infection that can develop during childhood to adulthood and has a tendency to recur any time. Escherichia coli are bacteria that cause the infection and usually found in the digestive system and around the area of the rectum.
- Pain and burning sensation while urinating
- A frequent urge urinate but there is lessened flow of urine
- Increased in night-time urination
- Low back pain
- Presence of blood in the urine
- Cloudy and foul-smelling urine
- Nausea, fever and chills usually occur when the infection has spread to the kidneys
- UTI can be caused by using certain types of contraception such as diaphragm or using spermicides.
- Sexual activities such as intense or frequent sex and first time sex.
- During pregnancy, it can cause lowering of the immunity and can make the woman prone to infections
- Menopausal women are more susceptible to UTI where the low levels of estrogen affects the immunity and cause thinning of the walls of the urinary tracts and become susceptible to infections.
- Men are also prone to urinary tract infection caused by the enlargement of the prostate gland.
- Men and boys who are not circumcised are susceptible to UTI.
- Vesicoureteral reflux can cause urinary tract infections among children.
- Increase the intake of fluids at least 2-4 quarts of liquids every day. If possible, avoid drinking caffeinated drinks and alcoholic beverages in order to prevent irritation of the lining of the bladder.
- Apply a hot water bottle to the lower abdomen to help lessen the pain caused by urinary tract infection. Another way is using a warm moist facecloth to minimize the discomfort.
- A warm bath also lessens the pain. Just make sure not to add fragrances and soaps to the bath to prevent the condition from getting worse.
- Mix ½ tablespoon of baking soda to a glass of water. Combine it well and drink it at the first sign of a urinary tract infection.
- Drink cranberry juice is known to help in flushing out bacteria found in the urinary tract that causes the infection. In case cranberry is too sweet, it can be diluted with apple juice or a little water. Regular consumption of cranberry juice helps women who are suffering from recurrent infections caused by the urinary tract infection.