Urinary tract infections are very common infections that can affect anyone, including men, children and older adults, even though they are mostly seen in women. It has been reported that 1 out of 5 women have suffered from a UTI at least once in their lifetime.
UTIs occur when the bacteria from either the skin or the rectum, enters the urethra and affects the organs in the urinary tract. The infections can be seen in the bladder and even the kidneys. Pyelonephritis is a kidney infection caused by a UTI.
Symptoms of urinary tract infection
Different symptoms of UTI are seen when the infection reaches different organs.
Symptoms of a bladder infection are:
- Increased frequency of urination
- Constant feeling of needing to pee despite having an empty bladder
- Burning or pain while urinating
- Cramps in the lower abdomen
- Blood in urine
Symptoms of a kidney infection are:
- High-grade fever
- Chills and tremors
- Pain in the lower back and on the side of the back
- Nausea and vomiting
Symptoms of a urethral infection are:
- Burning and pain while urinating
- Discharge along with urination
Who is more prone to get a UTI?
The reason women are more prone to UTIs than others is that the tube which carries urine out of the body, medically called a urethra, is shorter and closer to the anus in case of females. Since the anus is the reservoir of E. coli bacteria, there are more chances of this bacteria travelling to the urethra, bladder or kidneys of a woman than a man.
Older adults are also at a higher risk for developing UTIs as they are unable to empty their bladder completely.
Common medical conditions that can lead to urinary tract infection
A UTI usually occurs when the bacteria from the anus enters the urinary tract. The following conditions can lead to UTIs:
- When kidney stones block the urinary tract
- When an enlarged prostate in men makes it difficult for them to empty their bladder completely
- When children are suffering from constipation
- When someone has a systemic disease such as diabetes
- When someone has a weak immune system due to cancer or HIV
Prevention of urinary tract infections
There are certain dos and don’ts that can help you prevent urinary tract infections:
- Drink plenty of water, at least two litres every day, to keep yourself hydrated.
- Do not hold your urine as it can increase the risk of getting UTI.
- Do not rush when urinating as it prevents you from emptying your bladder completely, thus increasing your risk of getting the infection.
- Do not douche, spray or put powders in your genital area.
- Maintain proper hygiene of your genital area.
- Try avoiding the use of public toilets if possible.
- You can consume cranberry juice or tablets as they help in maintaining urinary health.
- Consume probiotics (either supplements or naturally available), as they help in preventing UTIs.
For more information, read our article on Urinary Tract Infection.
Health articles on News18 are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.