Urinary tract infections (UTIs)

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Urinary tract infections are extremely common. They include cystitis (infection of the bladder/lower urinary tract) and pyelonephritis (infection of the kidney/upper urinary tract). In women, the pathogenesis of UTIs begins with colonization of the vaginal introitus by uropathogens from the fecal flora, followed by ascension via the urethra into the bladder and, in the case of pyelonephritis, to the kidneys via the ureters.

Who is at RISK?

Bladder infection is very common among women. The shorter distance from the anus to the urethra likely explains why women are at higher risk for urinary tract infections (UTIs) than men.

Among otherwise healthy women, risk factors for cystitis include recent sexual intercourse and a history of UTI. Use of spermicide-coated condoms, diaphragms, and spermicides alone are also associated with an increased cystitis risk.

Other co-morbidities, such as diabetes mellitus and structural or functional urinary tract abnormalities, can also increase the risk of cystitis.

Cystitis or Bladder Infection 

Signs and symptoms often include:

 A strong, persistent urge to urinate

 A burning sensation when urinating

 Passing frequent, small amounts of urine

 Blood in the urine (hematuria)

 Passing cloudy or strong-smelling urine

 Pelvic discomfort

 A feeling of pressure in the lower abdomen

 Low-grade fever

In young children, new episodes of accidental daytime wetting also may be a sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI). Nighttime bed-wetting on its own isn’t likely to be associated with a UTI.

Pyelonephritis

This is an infection that affects the kidney and it has similar symptoms to cystitis. In extreme cases, it can cause vomiting and high fever.

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Men too can get urinary tract infections. 

While men are not as susceptible to urinary tract infections as women, they too get it now and then. These infections should be investigated.

Preventing UTIs

 Drink plenty of fluids, particularly in hot weather

 Empty the bladder frequently

 Urinate promptly after sexual intercourse to prevent infection n

 Avoid using bubble baths and vaginal deodorants.

 Wipe yourself, after a bowel movement, from front to back.

 Avoid using a diaphragm and spermicide cream for contraception.

Dr.Paul’s approach to UTIs: 

He will first order Urinalysis. He might also consider urine culture in some cases.

If he sees signs of infection, he will prescribe an antibiotic like Bactrim, Ciprofloxacin, Nitrofurantoin etc.

If you have symptoms suggestive of a bladder infection, please visit our clinic. Our phone number is 814 424 2095.

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