Urinary tract infections occur in any part of the urinary tract that includes the two kidneys, both ureters, urinary bladder, and the urethra.
The function of each part can be explained as:
- Kidneys- your body has two kidneys that perform the function of excreting out waste material and forming urine. It also saves the minerals and electrolytes your body needs.
- Ureters- they are tubes that arise from each kidney and transfer the urine to the urinary bladder.
- Urinary bladder- it stores the urine for some time. Once it gets filled, you have a sudden urge to urinate.
- Urethra- it is a tube that arises from the urinary bladder and takes the urine out from the body.
Microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, or fungi can cause infections of the urinary tract. However, most commonly, it is caused by bacteria.
Urinary tract infections are more common in women as compared to men. It happens because women have shorter urethras and bacteria can enter the urinary tract with ease.
To treat it, your healthcare provider mostly gives you antibiotics. Along with it, home remedies can also help.
What are the symptoms of urinary tract infections?
Urinary tract infections do not show any symptoms in the initial stages. But they may occur as the infection progresses.
The signs and symptoms of urinary tract infections generally are:
- A persistent urge to urinate
- Pain in the lower abdomen
- Burning sensation while urinating
- Strong smelling urine
- Passing a frequent and small amount of urine
- A change in urine color to red or brown
What are the causes of urinary tract infections?
Urinary tract infections occur when a microgram enters your body through the urethra to the urinary bladder. Generally, your urinary tract can get rid of germs on its own. But sometimes, when your immunity is low, it can take hold of your urinary tract, resulting in an infection. Mostly, urinary tract infections occur due to bacteria. The most common bacteria that causes UTIs is E.coli.
Your stool contains E.coli because it is present in your digestive system and aids in the healthy digestion of food. If you wipe from back to front, the E.coli can reach your urethra and enter the body.
What are the risk factors of urinary tract infections?
Factors that can put you at risk of urinary tract infections are;
- Using public washrooms
- Not washing your genitals after urinating
- Being sexually active
- Drinking too little water
- Not changing tampons or pads for a long time
- Being immunosuppressed due to corticosteroids intake, such as dexamethasone, prednisolone, or betamethasone
- Wiping from back to front
- Having kidney stones
- Female gender
- Using certain contraceptives that alter the normal flora of the urinary tract
How can you prevent urinary tract infections?
Urinary tract infections sometimes occur repeatedly. Therefore along with antibiotics intake you should follow home remedies too. You should exercise the following tips to prevent urinary tract infections.
- Drink plenty of water- you should make a goal of drinking at least eight to ten glasses of water in a day, especially if you are prone to urinary tract infections.
- Urinate after sex.
- Keep your genitals clean.
- Avoid the use of harsh chemicals containing spermicides and contraceptives.
- Do not wipe your genitals from back to front. Instead, wash them from front to back so that no contamination of E.coli bacteria occurs.
To prevent urinary tract infection, you should make a habit of drinking plenty of water as it helps flush out the bacteria. The color of your urine can indicate your hydration levels. When you are dehydrated, the urine color becomes dark yellow. Therefore, if you notice it, you should drink more and more water until the color of your urine becomes transparent. If you have a complaint of recurrent urinary tract infections, you should visit the Best urologist in Islamabad.