Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is an infection in the urinary tract i.e. the body’s drainage system for removing wastes and extra water. Infections are caused by microbes like fungi, viruses, and bacteria. Bacteria are the most common cause of UTIs. Urinary tract infections are the second most common type of infection in the body. Women are especially prone to UTIs. Recurrent urinary tract infection (UTI) refers to ≥2 infections in six months or ≥3 infections in one year.
What are the symptoms of UTI?
Urinary tract infections don’t always cause signs and symptoms, but when they do they may include:
A strong, persistent urge to urinate that cannot be delayed (urgency). As urine flows, a sharp pain or burning(dysuria) is felt.
Passing frequent, small amounts of urine (frequency).
A burning sensation when urinating.
Urine that appears cloudy or has a strong smell
Urine that appears red or bright pink— a sign of blood in the urine
Pelvic pain, in women — especially in the centre of the pelvis and around the area of the pubic bone.
If the bacteria enter the uterus and spreads to the kidneys, symptoms also may include
Fever with chills
How is UTI diagnosed?
A midstream sample of urine is collected and sent to the laboratory for the presence of bacteria and white blood cells. For people with recurring infections and patients in the hospital, the urine may be cultured along with kidney and bladder ultrasound.
How is UTI treated?
Since most UTIs are caused by bacteria, so they are treated with bacteria-fighting medications called antibiotics. The choice of medication and length of treatment depends on the patient’s history and the type of bacteria causing the infection. Pain killer medications help relieve any abdominal cramps, back pain, or discomfort you may feel while urinating.
Can UTI be prevented?
Drink plenty of water every day
Urinate when the need arises and avoid resisting the urge to urinate
Urinate after sexual intercourse
Switch to a different method of birth control if recurring UTIs are a problem
Wear loose fitting and cotton clothing
Avoid using douches, powder, and deodorant sprays.