Urinary Tract Infection

What is Urinary Tract Infection?

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection that occurs in any part of the urinary system which includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. In most cases, these infections are seen in t...

Symptoms

Symptoms of urinary tract infections include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Burning sensation when urination
  • Cloudy urine
  • Blood in urine
  • Pain in the pelvic area

Causes

Urinary tract infections typically occur when bacteria enter into the urinary tract through the urethra and begin to multiply in number. The most common causes of UTIs include.

  • Infection of the bladder or cystitis: This disease is usually caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli), a type of bacteria commonly found in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
  • Infection of the urethra or urethritis: This type of UTI is caused when GI bacteria enter the urethra. Sexually transmitted infections, such as herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia and mycoplasma, may also cause urethritis.

Risks

The following factors increase the risk of Urinary tract infections in people:

  • Sex: Females are more prone to UTIs as compared to men as a woman has a shorter urethra than a man does which shortens the distance that bacteria must travel to reach the bladder
  • Use of a catheter: People who are unable to urinate on their own and use a tube or a catheter to urinate have an increased risk of UTIs.
  • Sexual activity: People who are sexually active women tend to have more UTIs than people who aren't sexually active.
  • Certain birth control measures: Use of diaphragms and spermicidal agents for birth control may increase the risk of UTIs in women.
  • Menopause: Women who have had menopause experience a decline in circulating estrogen that makes them more vulnerable to infection.
  • Urinary tract abnormalities: Certain urinary tract abnormalities that restrict the urine within the body or cause it to flow back up into the urethra increase the risk of UTIs.
  • Blockages in the urinary tract: Kidney stones or an enlarged prostate can create blockages in the urinary tract and increase the risk of UTIs.

Prevention

Urinary tract infections can be prevented by staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water, emptying the bladder soon after intercourse and switching to safer birth controlling methods. 

How is it diagnosed?

The doctor conducts the following tests and procedures to diagnose urinary tract infections:

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How is it treated?

The choice of treatment for urinary infections depends upon the type of bacteria found in the urine, the health of the patient and the extent up to which the infection has spread.

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  • Medication

    Treatment through medications is used to treat simple as well frequent urinary infections. If the patient has simple urinary infections, the doctor may recommend drugs like antibiotics, analgesics, Trimethoprim, Fosfomycin, Nitrofurantoin and Ciprofloxacin to relieve the symptoms. However, if the infections are frequent, the doctor recommends low-dose antibiotics or Vaginal estrogen therapy if the patient is postmenopausal.

When do I contact the doctor?

One should consult a doctor if one experiences severe problems while urinating or if other prominent signs and symptoms of urinary tract infections are observed.   

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How does Medanta provide care?

Medanta ensures expert care for its patients who are diagnosed with urinary tract infections at the Institute of Kidney and Urology. The institute is a unique resource for patients who are suffering from any disorder associated with the urinary sy..

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