Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) – Symptoms and Causes | Medcare

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Symptoms and Causes

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) – Symptoms and Causes

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) – Symptoms and Causes

Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common infection that can affect any part of your urinary system, including your kidney, urethra, bladder and ureter. These types of infections are especially common in women, though they can occasionally occur in men. UTIs can be severe, but are often easy to treat. Here is a look at the symptoms and underlying causes of urinary tract infections.

Symptoms of urinary tract infections

The symptoms of a urinary infection can vary depending on the specific area of the urinary tract that is affected. Some common symptoms can include a strong, persistent urge to urinate; a burning feeling when you pass urine; discolored or strange-smelling urine; fatigue; fever; chills; nausea; vomiting; back or abdominal pain; and pressure or discomfort in the pelvic area.

Underlying causes of urinary tract infections

E. Coli Bacteria

The most common cause of a urinary infection is bacteria from the bowel that is transferred to the urinary tract, affecting the kidneys, ureters, bladder and the urethra. The bacteria Enterococcus, Proteus, or Klebsiella can also cause a urinary infection. The symptoms of a bladder infection are usually more general than a kidney infection, and typically consist of pain in the bladder or lower back pain.

Sexual Causes

For women, sexual intercourse can increase the risk of a urinary infection, as it can transfer germs into the urethra and cause bladder infections. Additionally, using a diaphragm or spermicide for birth control can also sometimes promote UTI development.

Dehydration

Dehydration can reduce the amount of bacteria-fighting substances in urine and make it harder for the body to flush out bacteria from the urinary tract, increasing the risk for a urinary infection. Dehydration can be caused by vomiting, diarrhea and fever.

Urinary Obstruction

An obstruction in the urinary tract, such as a kidney stone, may cause a UTI. The obstruction can block the flow of urine, which, in turn, can cause bacteria to become trapped in the body. Additionally, anyone who has a urinary incontinence or the use of a catheter is more likely to develop an infection.

Preventing urinary tract infections

The best way to prevent a urinary infection is by practicing good hygiene. In addition to wiping front-to-back after using the toilet, additional steps for preventing a UTI include:

Staying hydrated

Drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day is crucial to diluting the urine and aiding the body in the flushing out of bacteria.

Urinating frequently

Urinating as soon as you feel the need can keep you from getting backed up.

Wearing cotton underwear

Wearing cotton underwear, as opposed to synthetic materials, will keep the skin around the vagina cool and dry and allow it to breathe, making it harder for bacteria to grow.

Avoiding chemical irritants

Feminine products, deodorants, sprays and douches can all cause the body’s normal balance to be disrupted and make a urinary infection more likely.

Treating urinary tract infections

While there is no specific home treatment for a urinary infection, you can help alleviate some of the symptoms by drinking plenty of water, taking over-the-counter pain relievers and using heating pads to alleviate any discomfort. As far as medical treatments go, it often entails taking antibiotics, usually for a week, which can help to clear up the infection.

Urinary tract infections can be painful and disruptive to your everyday activities, but they are typically easy to treat. Practice good hygiene habits and stay vigilant for any potential signs of a UTI and visit your doctor any time you think one may be present.

Book an Appointment with our doctor in Port de Sóller, we are here to help you. 👇

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