Urine tract infection generally affects women. Every women once in her lifetime suffers from urine infection. Some women even face repeat infections. Good news is that urine tract infections can be avoided with proper care and hygiene.
Urinary tract is a part of excretory system. It can be divided into two parts- upper urinary tract and lower urinary tract. Upper urinary tract consists of uterus and kidneys. Lower urinary tract comprises of bladder and urethra. Urine is expelled from body through urethra. Urethra is a tube that connects with bladder. Kidneys excrete waste products from the blood along with excess water to form urine. This urine is stored in bladder and then expelled out through urethra. In females, opening of urethra is at the front of vagina.
What are the causes of urinary tract infection?
Urinary tract infections are mainly caused because of bacteria and other microbes. Escherichia is a type of bacteria responsible for urinary tract infections. If intimate parts are not cleaned regularly, infections can occur in them. Bladder infection is called cystitis, urethra infection is called as urethritis and kidney infection is referred as pyelonephritis. Infection in womb region is highly uncommon. Other common causes of urinary tract infection are enlisted below:
- Improper and poor personal hygiene
- Deep sexual intercourse or sex with different partners
- Bladder issues- problem in emptying bladder
- Kidney stones
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Inadequate fluid intake
- Heavy dose of antibiotics
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What are the symptoms of urinary tract infection?
Symptoms of urinary tract infection vary depending upon age. Let us have a look at some of the common symptoms.
- Strong smelling urine
- Remains of blood in urine
- Cloudy urine
- Experiencing pain while urinating
- Abdominal pain
- Strong and frequent urge to urinate
- urinating in unhygienic surroundings or unclean washroom
Diagnosis for urine tract infections:
To diagnose the presence of urinary tract infections, doctor will ask you few questions related to the topic. You will be asked to go for urine test. But before providing urine sample, you need to wash your genital area thoroughly. Urine sample will be analyzed to detect the presence of infection causing bacteria, red blood cells and white blood cells. If the person is suffering from repeated urinary tract infections, doctor will conduct further diagnostic tests such as urodynamics and cystoscopy. Urodynamics is a procedure that is used to examine function of urinary tract i.e. releasing urine. Cystoscopy is complete examination of bladder and urethra using a long, flexible, thin tube with attached camera. Cystoscopy is done in many Indian cities, list of hospitals and cost of cystoscopy are available in many websites.
Treatment and precautions for urinary tract infections:
Urinary tract infections can be cured on its own. Before you go for medications, it is recommended that you cure urinary tract infection using some home remedies. If the infection still continues, then you can try medications suggested by your doctor.
- Increase fluid intake. It will not only keep you well hydrated but also make you urinate frequently. Frequent urination will flush out bacteria and other toxic materials from your body. If you find frequent drinking of water monotonous, you can try out some variations. Try coconut water or go for juices. Sugarcane juice, fruit juices make up for excellent hydrating choices. You add some mild flavor to your everyday drinking water by infusing some herbs such as mint, basil, coriander etc. in it.
- Keep your genitals clean. After urinating, wash those private parts thoroughly with water. If bacteria are present around, it can accelerate the process of urine infection. Hence, looking after personal hygiene is of utmost importance.
- Change sanitary pads frequently while menstruation. It will help in reducing bacteria formation.
- Take appropriate precautions during pregnancy
- If urine infection persists, you can take a dose of antibiotics. Take an antibiotic daily for few days and observe the changes. If still infection does not get cured, you can opt for vaginal estrogen therapy.
- Avoid dehydrating fluids such as alcohol and caffeine
- Wear comfortable and loose clothing especially in summer. Use of cotton underwear is recommended during hot summers.
- If you are frequently taking birth control pills, do so after consulting with doctor.
- Do not rinse your private part with too hot water. Use lukewarm water to maintain warmth and moisture of your genitals.
- Avoid using oils on private parts
Above are few tips mentioned that can help in preventing occurrence of urinary tract infections. These infections are not a cause of major concern since treatments are available easily and time period required to cure infection is also less. Remember, enough fluid intake and taking care of personal hygiene are two key solutions to prevent occurrence of urinary tract infections.