The majority of us will experience UTI, or urinary tract infection, at some point or another in our lives. It is an infection that impacts any part of your urinary system – whether that’s your kidneys, ureters, bladder, or urethra.
The vast majority of UTIs will affect the lower urinary system, namely your bladder or urethra. Generally speaking, women are at a greater risk of developing a UTI than men. This condition can be uncomfortable or even painful at times, and if the infection spreads to your kidneys, you could find yourself with a more serious medical situation on your hands. It’s important that you know how to identify a UTI, how to treat a UTI, and how to prevent UTIs in the future. Here’s everything you need to know!
Keep an eye out for symptoms of UTIs so you can identify the problem and treat it sooner rather than later. Common symptoms include, but are not limited to:
- A strong, persistent urge to urinate
- A burning sensation when urinating
- Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
- Cloudy urine
- Urine that appears red, bright pink, or cola-colored (this is indicative of blood in the urine)
- Strong-smelling urine
- Pelvic pain, in women, particularly in the center of the pelvis and around the area of the pubic bone
So, what causes a UTI? Generally, the infection occurs when bacteria enters the urinary tract through the urethra and begins to multiply in both the urinary tract and the bladder. As we have highlighted before, the most common cases of UTIs are infections of the bladder and the urethra.
- Infection of the bladder (also known as “cystitis”) – this type of UTI is usually caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli). This bacteria is commonly found in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, but does not belong in the urinary system. Often, the cause of cystitis is sexual intercourse. However, this isn’t always the case. All women are at risk of cystitis because of the way their bodies are arranged. There is only a short distance between the urethra and the anus.
- Infection of the urethra (also known as “urethritis”) – this type of UTI can occur when gastrointestinal bacteria spread from the anus to the urethra. Sexually transmitted infections can also cause urethritis.
If you are experiencing symptoms of a UTI, visit a doctor. They’ll be able to officially diagnose you and provide you with everything you need – from uti pain relief to further treatment.
Chances are, you want to prevent instances of UTIs. This is possible. The steps are simple and things that you should be doing for the sake of your health and wellbeing anyway. Perhaps the most important is to stay hydrated and drink plenty of fluids. It’s recommended that you drink eight glasses of water a day!
Hopefully, you don’t experience a UTI any time soon. But if you do, the above information should help you along the way!