Urinary Tract Infection - What Should Women Know?

A Urinary Tract Infection, which is commonly denoted as UTI is a bacterial infection that occurs when bacteria get into the urinary tract system and then multiplies itself throughout the system. Even though, most of the UTIs do not bring serious effects, they generally cause burning sensation and/or pain during urination. Reports state that women are more prone to this infection as against men.

The Urinary tract system is the filtering system of the body that is responsible for removal of wastes in the form of liquid. This comprises urethra, bladder and kidneys. Reports state that most of the women will have at least one UTI in their lifetime. However, there are women, who suffer multiple infections all through their life. The reason behind increasing incidence of UTI in women is that they have a shorter urinary tract as against men. However, the good news that awaits women is that this infection can be easily treated with antibiotics.

Causes of UTI:

• The most common cause behind this issue is bacteria from the bowel that live on the skin near the rectum or in the genital passage. The bacteria can easily enter the urinary tract through the urethra. Once they enter, they move upward, thereby causing infection in the bladder and even in other parts of the urinary tract as well.

• Reports state that lovemaking is an important contributor towards this infection. During lovemaking, the bacteria living in the genital passage are sometimes massaged into the urethra.

• Waiting too long for urinating is stated as another reason for UTI. Generally, the bladder stretches to hold the urine and it contracts once the urine is passed. When a woman does not urinate even after getting the feeling to urinate, the bladder will expand more than its normal capacity. When this happens very frequently, the bladder will become weak. When it becomes weak, it will not be in a position to completely empty the urine and when some urine is still left out it causes UTI.

• Other contributing factors include pregnancy, diabetes and menopause.

Symptoms:

Generally, women with this infection will feel strong urge to urinate and as and when they release the urine, they will experience sharp burning sensation or pain in the urethra. When there is infection, only small amount of urine will be released each time and there may be blood in the urine. Women with this condition will also experience soreness in the sides, back and abdomen and urge to urinate will be recurring. When the infectious bacteria travels to the kidneys, it may cause symptoms like vomiting, nausea, fever, chills and back pain. Proper diagnosis of this condition is essential as these symptoms can also be caused by a vaginal infection.

How is it diagnosed?

The basis for diagnosing this infection is the number of white blood cells and bacteria present in the urine sample. Generally, urine is cultured and examined under microscope and a pelvic exam may also be conducted for diagnosing.

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