The urinary tract is a drainage system of the body through which urine is discharged that is made up of waste and extra fluid. The urinary tract consists of two ureters, two kidneys, a urethra and a bladder. Most of the urinary tract infection (UTI) can only involve the bladder and urethra in the lower tract. But, UTI may also involve the kidneys and ureters in the upper tract. Upper tract UTI are rarer as compared with lower tract UTI.
Now a days, urinary tract infection is becoming very common. It is estimated that about one crore cases occur every year in India. Most of the urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria, however, several are caused by fungi and in rare cases by viruses. Urinary tract infection is one of the most common disease in human beings and this infection may occur anywhere in your urinary tract.
Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) – The symptoms of urinary tract infection depend upon what part of the urinary tract is infected. Lower tract UTIs affect the bladder and urethra.
There are some of the symptoms of urinary tract infection (Lower tract) are as given below –
- Bloody or cloudy urine
- Pelvic pain in women
- Rectal pain in men
- Burning with urination
- Smell of urine strong
- Enhance urgency of urination
- Increased frequency of urination without passing only a small amount of urine
Upper tract UTIs affect the kidneys and can be potentially life-threatening if bacteria move from the infected kidney into the blood known as urosepsis that can cause hazardously low blood pressure, shock, and death.
There are some of the symptoms of an upper UTI are as given below –
- Pain and tenderness occur in the upper back and sides
Causes of urinary tract infection – It generally occurs when bacteria somehow or the other enter the urinary tract. Urinary tract infection is very common in women because a woman has a shorter urethra than a man. Sexually active women may be suffering from urinary tract infections.
It may occur when kidney stones trap urine, decreased immune system, due to other diseases like diabetes is also a risk factor.
There are different names of urinary tract infection that depending on where they occur are as given below –
- A urethra infection is called urethritis
- A kidney infection is called pyelonephritis
- A bladder infection is called cystitis
Diagnosis – The diagnosis of a urinary tract infection by testing a urine sample to assesses the presence of red blood cells, white blood cells, and bacteria.
Risk factors – There are some of the risk factors of urinary tract infection are as given below –
- Having a urinary catheter
- Blocked flow of urine
- Sexual activity, if more intense, frequent, and with several partners
- Kidney stones
- Poor personal hygiene
- Suppressed immune system
- Increased use of antibiotics may disrupt the natural flora of the bowel and urinary tract.
Prevention – There are some of the measures that lower the risk of developing urinary tract infection are as given below –
- Should drink a large amount of water and urinate frequently
- Urinate shortly after sex
- Avoids fluids including caffeine and alcohol that may irritate the bladder
- Keep the genital area clean
- Do not use any perfume products in the genital area
- Should wear cotton underwear with loose fitting-clothing to maintain the area around the urethra dry.
Important note – Urinary tract infections are rare in men and mostly occur under the age of 50 years. The risk of urinary tract infections increases with age.