Urinary Tract Infection or UTI is an infection in any part of the urinary tract, comprising the urethra, urinary bladder or the kidneys. Such an infection is caused when microbes enter the body through the opening of the urethra and begin to multiply. These microbes can further move up towards the bladder and kidneys and may be the reason behind kidney stones. A Urinary Tract Infection not only leaves you extremely irritated and in great discomfort, but may also be a cause for concern if not treated quickly and correctly. So, here we have made a list of a few things that you must know in order to recognize and treat your UTI.
Maintaining good health of the urinary tract is far more important in women than men, since they are more defenseless against contracting UTI as compared to men. Unlike men, women have shorter urethras, which reduces the distance the bacteria have to travel to reach the bladder. Women, who have an increased sexual appetite and frequent between multiple partners or those who use diaphragms are more susceptible to acquiring this infection. Moreover, menopause lowers the estrogen levels in the body, thereby making the urinary tract more vulnerable to infection. Besides, with the added risk of constantly exposing women to plausible infections while on their periods through soiled pads and tampons, UTI can be a constant cause of worry for women.
Symptoms of UTI:
It’s important to know the symptoms of UTI before seeking treatment. A few symptoms include:
- The most common indication of a UTI is a burning sensation while peeing, since the bacteria causing the infection irritates the thin lining of the urinary tract.
- A cloudy or extremely smelly pee, which means that bacteria has started its working, making the urine smell unpleasant. You may also have yellowish, pinkish or brown-colored urine, which indicates that there is blood.
- A persistent urge to pee more frequently than normal. This happens because the brain keeps sending signals to your urinary system to pee and get rid of the foreign substances, aka the UTI causing bacteria.
- Pains in the vaginal, lower abdominal or pelvic regions, accompanied by fever and nausea can be other warning signs that your UTI has reached the upper levels of the urinary tract. Experiencing soreness and cramps are also signs that you need to seek treatment quickly.
Treatment of UTI and Prevention:
Urinary tract infections are common and often seen in children as well. However, the treatment plan for children isn’t quite as tedious.
If you have UTI, consulting a doctor is perhaps your best bet and better than taking home remedies in order to avoid the infection from escalating unnecessarily. Antibiotics (prescribed and taken as per doctor's instructions) kill the bacteria causing infections and help relieve the sensations of burning, pains and the constant urge to pee. Drinking water is also a good exercise to cure your UTI, since it helps eliminate the infectious bacteria, by flushing them out. Eating berries like cranberry or blueberry also promote good urinary tract health, since they have compounds that reduce the adhesion of certain bacteria to urinary tract walls.
It’s often stated that prevention is better than cure, and here are 5 ways you can prevent a UTI from occurring.
- Wipe from front to back: One of the ways to make sure your infection doesn’t come back is to make sure you clean it constantly. So, right after you pee, tilt your body forwards and start wiping from your buttocks to your urethral opening using a clean, gentle cloth or tissue.
- Wear breathable underwear: Synthetic fibres can trap moisture and heat, thereby creating the perfect breeding ground for infections. Therefore, wearing a nice, breathable, cotton underwear that allows air flow makes you less prone to a UTI.
- Try Probiotics: Probiotics found in yoghurt and nutritional supplements help in maintaining the digestive and urinary tract health and prevents the growth of bad bacteria that causes UTI.
- Use Condoms: Using condoms can not only prevent the spread of STDs but also the transmission of UTI causing bacteria during sexual intercourse. However, it’s important to know that flavored condoms and lubricants are infused with sugar that can cause infections and the flavorings can irritate the skin, thereby making it more prone to infection.
Be careful while using soap: Having a bath can alter the vaginal pH by introducing soap and other chemical residue near the lower regions of the body. It’s best to use a washcloth and clean the genital area first before using soaps or any harsh chemicals. You can also try a mild, intimate cleanser like the one that Carmesi provides for a safe, cleaner intimate hygiene. It’s 100% natural, made from olive leaf extracts, having antibacterial properties and does not upset the pH of the vagina, and keeps it away from allergies, vaginal infections and UTIs.