UTI ( meaning – Urinary Tract Infection) is a bacterial infection that affects the urethra, the bladder, and the rest of the organs in the urinary system.

More than 8.1 million people see a health care provider every year because they have a urinary tract infection. About 60% of women and 12% of men will get at least one urinary tract infection in their lifetime.

Some ladies have them on a regular basis (called recurrent UTIs).

Although urinary tract infections may be painful and annoying, they often go away on their own within a few days and are simple to treat with antibiotics

Symptoms 

Lower UTIs are referred to as infections of the bladder (cystitis) or urethra (the tube that expels urine from the body). 

These may lead to:

  • Urine that is murky, 
  • foul-smelling, or includes blood, 
  • a desire to urinate more often than normal,
  •  pain or discomfort while urinating, 
  • unexpected impulses to urinate, 
  • or feeling as if you can’t empty your bladder completely.

Upper UTIs are infections of the kidneys or ureters (tubes that link the kidneys to the bladder). These may result in the symptoms mentioned above and also:

  • a fever that is 38C or higher, 
  • discomfort in the sides or back, 
  • chills,
  •  a sense of being unwell, 
  • disorientation, 
  • anxiety, or 
  • restlessness

Lower UTIs are prevalent and often not a serious worry. If left untreated, upper UTIs may cause catastrophic kidney damage or spread to the bloodstream.

UTI
Urinary Tract Infection, UTI in Males.

What To Do

If you suspect a urinary tract infection, it’s a good idea to see your doctor, especially if:

  • You are displaying the symptoms 
  • You regularly get UTIs, the symptoms are severe or growing worse, and they haven’t begun to get better after a few days.

By investigating a urine sample, your doctor can rule out other potential explanations of your symptoms and, if an infection is found, may recommend medication.

Since if left untreated, it can spread and create major issues, antibiotics are often advised.

A brief course of antibiotics is often used to treat urinary tract infections.

A three-day course of antibiotic pills or capsules is often prescribed for women. 

Men, women who are pregnant, and those with more severe symptoms could need a somewhat longer course.

Following the commencement of therapy, your symptoms will often go away in three to five days. However, even if you feel better, make sure you finish the whole course of antibiotics that your doctor ordered.

Paracetamol and other over-the-counter pain relievers may assist with any kind of pain. You could feel better if you drink a lot of liquids.

If your symptoms persist after therapy, worsen, or return, see your doctor again.

Causes of UTIs

They are brought on by bacterial infections of the urinary system. Most of the time, the urethra is the route through which gut bacteria reach the urinary system.

This could happen, for instance, when you wipe your bottom or engage in sexual activity, but often it’s unclear why.

The following things might make you more likely to get a UTI:

  • Problems like kidney stones that cause obstructions in the urinary tract
  • Trouble adequately emptying your bladder when wearing a spermicide-coated condom or contraceptive diaphragm, diabetes, a weakened immune system brought on by chemotherapy or HIV, for instance, a urinary catheter (a tube in your bladder used to drain urine)
  • Prostate gland enlargement
  • Because a woman’s urethra is shorter than a man’s and is located closer to the anus, she may be more susceptible to get UTIs

How To Prevent UTI

There are certain things you may do if you regularly have this condition, thus –

  • Avoiding using scented soap, talcum powder, or bubble bath near your genitalia utilize basic, unscented varieties, 
  • Take a shower instead of a bath, 
  • Use the bathroom as soon as you need to urinate,
  •  always empty your bladder completely, 
  • Drink enough of water.
  • In the bathroom, wipe your bottom from front to back.
  • Using condoms without spermicidal lubricant 
  • Emptying your bladder as quickly as feasible following sexual contact – 
  • Wearing cotton underwear rather than synthetic ones like nylon and 
  • Avoiding wearing tight clothing 
  • Go to your doctor for proper treatment

There is presently no proof that taking probiotics or drinking cranberry juice substantially lowers your risk of developing UTIs.

References:

https://www.urologyhealth.org/urology-a-z/u/urinary-tract-infections-in-adults#:~:text=When%20should%20I%20be%20worried,health%20care%20provider%20right%20away.

https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/kidneys-bladder-and-prostate/urinary-tract-infection-uti