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A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection of one or more components of the urinary system. Most infections occur in the lower portion of the urinary tract. Women and girls are much more prone to UTI than men. One in every two women suffers from it once in their lifetime.
The most common reasons for UTI are:
Bladder infection: Bladder infection is usually caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli), a bacteria commonly found in the gastrointestinal tract. Sexual intercourse may also cause a bladder infection.
Urethral infection: The spread of GI bacteria from the anus to the urethra can cause urethral infection. Other sexually transmitted diseases like herpes, chlamydia, and gonorrhea can cause urethral infection.
- Burning sensation while urinating.
- Frequent urge to urinate.
- A sharp pain or pressure in the lower abdomen
- Strong smelling urine.
- Cloudy urine.
- Bloody urine.
- Fever or chills might indicate that the infection has reached the kidneys.
Antibiotics are used to treat urinary tract infections. The drugs prescribed and the time period of the treatment varies from person to person. Drugs commonly prescribed for simple UTIs include:
It is important to complete the course of the antibiotics to prevent reoccurrence. The doctor may also prescribe a painkiller to relieve burning while urinating. In the case of frequent infections, the doctor may prescribe low-dose antibiotics for three months but sometimes longer. For severe UTI, treatment with intravenous antibiotics is recommended.
Reduce your risk of urinary tract infections by taking the following steps:
Keep hydrated: Drinking water dilutes the urine, ensuring frequent urination and enabling bacteria to be flushed out of the urinary tract.
Cranberry juice: Although no study has definitive result linking cranberry juice to treat UTIs, it is the most common home remedy for UTI.
Wiping technique: Wiping from front to back after urinating and bowel movements prevent bacterial exchange between the anal region and the vagina.
Birth control method: Diaphragms, unlubricated or spermicide-treated condoms, can easily contribute to infections. Switching to another contraceptive will decrease the chance of infection.