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UTI in Women: Everything you should know

Women are at greater risk of suffering from Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) than men. Let's know it about more.

UTI (Urinary Tract Infection)

What's UTI (Urinary Tract Infection)?

UTIs are infections in any part of the urinary system caused by microbes. Most UTIs are caused by bacteria, but some are caused by fungi and, in rare cases, by viruses.

While UTIs can happen to anyone, they are most common in females. Nearly 1 in 3 females can have a UTI. The infection can occur at different parts of the urinary tract system.

Since women's urethras are shorter and closer to the anus, they tend to get UTIs more often than men. Due to this, women are more likely to get an infection after sexual activity or when using a diaphragm for birth control. The risk of a UTI increases during menopause as well.

Parts of the urinary system and associated UTIs:

The urinary system includes the ureters, bladder, kidneys, and urethra. The urinary system filters your blood to filter out waste and excess fluid from the body as urine . Urine comes from the kidney and travels through the ureters into the bladder, and urine leaves the body through a tube called the urethra. The urethra is located near the rectum in women.

Bacteria from the rectum travel up to the urethra and cause the infection. Most UTIs are caused by bacteria that enter the urethra and then the bladder. Generally, the infection begins in the bladder, but it can spread to the kidneys as well. Most of the time,your body is able to get rid of these bacteria. However, certain conditions increase the risk of developing UTIs. UTIs during pregnancy can cause high blood pressure and premature delivery, and during pregnancy the infection is more likely to spread to the kidney.

Common Types and Symptoms of UTIs :

Urinary tract infection involves different sections of the urinary tract including the followings:

1. Lower urinary tract infection

Lower urinary tract infections occur when bacteria enter the urethra and cause bladder infections. These types are

  • Urethritis ( Infection of the urethra, tube which empties urine from the bladder )

  • Cystitis ( Infection limited to the urinary bladder)

These types of UTI will have characteristic symptoms, including:

  • Pain and burning while urinating

  • Low grade fever in some people

  • Frequent Urination

  • Strong urge to urinate often despite having an empty bladder

2. Upper urinary tract infection

When a bladder infection spreads to the kidneys, it is usually considered serious and requires immediate medical attention. Pyelonephritis causes systemic symptoms that are not only more apparent but frequently debilitating. If the infection spreads to the kidneys, symptoms may include:

  • Chills and shaking or night sweats

  • Back pain

  • Nausea and vomiting

Factors causing UTIs most?

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is usually caused by bacteria in the anus entering the urinary tract. The bacteria enter through the tube that carries urine out of the body (urethra). Women have a shorter urethra than men. As a result, bacteria are more likely to infect the bladder or kidneys.

Following cases have a high risk of UTIs,

  • The risk of UTI increases with age

  • Women may get a UTI from sexual intercourse

  • The risk of UTI is increased by a few medical conditions, like diabetes.

  • Certain medications suppress the immune system raise UTI risk

  • Low estrogen increases the risk of UTI

  • Abnormalities of the urinary tract

Tips for preventing UTIs

  • Sometimes a UTI cannot be prevented, but lifestyle changes can lower the chances of getting a UTI.

  • Antibiotics and drinking lots of liquids to help flush bacteria from your urinary tract are two possible treatments for bladder infections and other UTIs. Adding yogurt with live probiotics like Lactobacillus, helps to prevent UTIs.

  • To prevent bacteria from entering the urethra, women should always wipe from front to back when cleaning themselves.

  • Alterations to one's routine, cleanliness, or method of birth control may help prevent future infections. Adequate water intake is key in preventing UTIs in some women. Experts disagree that eating, diet, and nutrition play a role in preventing or treating bladder infections.

  • The majority of UTIs are uncomplicated and can be treated at home with some basic self-care. If you experience recurrent UTIs, you should speak with your doctor. If you have symptoms of UTI you have to make an appointment with a health care provider who can advise you to treat any symptoms of UTI.


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