Urinary Tract Infection - Health Center
Urinary Tract Infection
By Refadoc, Posted on : Tuesday, 22 September 2015 - 6:09 am IST
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) - Overview
Tract Infection is the kind of infection which attacks the urinary system of a person. This could be affecting any major organ of the urinary system such as the kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder or the urethra. Usually, the lower tract of the urinary system, comprising of the urinary bladder and the urethra are the ones which are affected by UTI (Urinary Tract Infections).
As compared to men, women are at a greater risk of contracting this kind of infection. If left untreated, the condition can lead to serious consequences such as kidney failure. Antibiotics are the best choice of medications which are used
for the treatment of the UTI.
However, by using some of the preventive measures, the infection can be avoided completely in the first place.
Causes for Urinary Tract Infection
One of the major reasons for UTI is the entrance of the bacterium through the urinary tract. As the bacterium enters the urinary bladder and begins to multiply, a full blown infection begins to take place in the urinary system.
Also, though the urinary system of the body has its own defence mechanisms in place for fighting any foreign organism, sometimes, these systems tend to fail and therefore cause the infection.
Some of the major reasons are as follows:
- Infection of the bladder: Also known as cystitis popularly, this is caused by the bacterium E. Coli. E. Coli is found in the gastrointestinal tract of a person. Sexual intercourse can also lead to this kind of cystitis. Women are at a greater risk of contracting this as compared to men because of their anatomy as the distance from the urethra to the anus is very short as compared to men.
- Infection of the Urethra: This is known as Urethritis. This is caused due to the infection of the GI infection which is spread from the anus to the urethra. Since the female urethra is nearby to the vagina, therefore, women are at a greater risk of contracting this disease as compared to men.
Signs and symptoms of UTI
Some of the major signs and symptoms for the infection are as follows:
- Persistent and strong urge to urinate
- Burning sensation while urination
- Passing of small and frequent urine
- Cloudy appearance of urine
- Signs of blood in the urine
- Pelvic pain is observed in women
- Rectal pain is observed in men
Specifically, when UTI hits the major parts of the
, then the following symptoms can be noted:
- Upper back as well as the side pain
- High recurring fever
- Shaking and chills
- Pelvic Pressure
- Pain in the lower abdomen
- Frequent and painful urination
- Passing of blood in the urine
- Burning sensation with urination
Tests and Diagnosis of UTI
Some of the most used tests and diagnostic procedures
are as follows:
- Analysis of the urine sample: Sometimes, the doctor may ask the patients for a urine sample in order to look for white blood cells, red blood cells or bacterium. The genital area is first wiped with the antiseptic pad and then the urine sample is collected.
- Growing of the UTI Bacterium in a lab: the lab sample is sent for an analysis and a urine culture. In this the sample is allowed to grow along with the bacterium in the lab and this allows the doctors to identify the bacteria which are causing the infection and thus determine which medication will be best suiting to the patient.
- CT Scans of the Bladder: Ultrasound and CT Scans are used in order to create the images of the urinary tract of the patient. The medical practitioner, in some of the other cases, may also be using the contrast dye in order to highlight the structures of the urinary tract. IVP (Intravenous Pyelogram) is another test which uses x rays along with dyes in order to create images.
- Using a scope: In this, doctor may diagnose the infection with the help of a Cystoscopy. This includes inserting long, thin tubes with a lens to see the inside of the bladder as well as the urethra of the patient. When the Cystoscopy is inserted in the urethra, it is passed all through the way of the bladder of the affected person.
Treatments for Urinary Tract Disorders:
Antibiotics are basically used in the treatment of the UTI’s. However, the drugs which are recommended by the doctors are greatly dependent on the health condition of the person as well as the bacterium which has caused the infection.
For simple infections, drugs such as Amoxicillin, Ampicilliin and Ciprofloxacin are recommended. With these drugs, the symptoms tend to clear out within a few days. However, the entire course of the medications needs to be followed in order to gain a complete respite from the infections.
In case of the uncomplicated UTI’s, shorter course of treatment can be recommended. This may vary from a period of one to three days. Sometimes, analgesics are also prescribed in order to numb the urinary bladder of the person as well as the urethra and to get rid of the burning sensation which accompanies urination. The most common side effects of the analgesics are the oranges – red tinge in the urine of the affected person.
In case a person is suffering from frequent infections in the Urinary tract, then a longer course of antibiotics is prescribed along with a urine test in order to check the person for an infection. However, in case of severe infections, treatments are provided with the help of the intravenous injection of antibiotics. For such severe cases, immediate consultation from a urologist must be sought.