Urinary tract infections (UTI) is a common and treatable condition which is experienced by men and women of all ages. Having UTI can make you feel quite uncomfortable due to more frequent visits to the bathroom and can make it painful for you to urinate. UTI can be easily treated and prevented, provided that you get the right medical attention.
What is UTI?
Urinary tract infections or UTI is a bacterial infection that usually requires antibiotic treatment. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the most common form of UTI is a bladder infection (also called cystitis) which starts in the lower urinary tract area that is made up of the urethra and bladder. Bacteria from the bowel thrive around the anus and vagina which can lead to infection if it reaches the urethra.
Having UTI may cause you to urinate more frequently. You may also feel a sharp or burning pain (dysuria) in the urethra area while you urinate. UTI may also cause your urine to have traces of blood, look cloudy, and to have a strong odor.
As mentioned, women are more at risk of getting UTI, most especially when they begin engaging in sexual intercourse. Infections may also occur when your bladder doesn’t empty completely which may be caused by several factors like:
- Problem with your pelvic muscles or nerves
- Presence of stones that may interrupt the flow of urine
- Narrowed tube in the urinary tract
A woman’s anatomy puts them at risk since the vaginal area is nearer to the anus. Women are also more likely to contract UTI since their urethra is shorter compared to men, hence making it easier for bacteria to reach the bladder area. Other factors which may affect your risk level include:
- Having previous cases of UTI
- Having several children
- Urinary incontinence
- Kidney stones
A simple urinalysis is required for your doctor to accurately diagnose your condition and to rule out other possible illnesses. Once your urine is collected, it will undergo a series of tests to determine the presence of any bacteria and/or red/white blood cells. A healthy person should not have any of the mentioned substances in their urine. Aside from a urinalysis, your doctor may also perform a sensitivity test to see what kind of bacteria is present in your sample and to test what kind of antibiotic is suitable for your condition.