Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are most likely the result of germs entering the bladder, which is a component of the urinary system. Urinary tract infections are also known as bladder infections. UTIs are quite common, especially among women. More than 50% of all women will have at least one UTI during their lifetime. Let us look at why women are more susceptible to UTIs and whether or not there is anything else that might help prevent them.
First Off, What are UTIs?
UTIs most often affect any part of the urinary system (which includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra). UTIs are most prevalent in the bladder. Cystitis is a condition that most commonly affects the bladder. Bladder infections may spread to both the upper urinary tract and the kidneys. Pyelonephritis or "pyelo" is a type of kidney infection caused by an infection in the bladder.
What Are Common UTI Symptoms?
- When you urinate, there is a sensation of pain or a burning feeling.
- Urination is often, yet little comes out when you go.
- Your lower belly is feeling the pressure.
- Urine that has an unpleasant odor, a milky or hazy appearance, or appears cloudy is cause for concern.
- Urine has blood in it. This is more typical among young women. If you discover blood in your urine, go immediately to a physician or nurse.
- Feeling weary, shaky, confused, or faint. This is more typical in women over the age of 60.
- If you have a fever, it's possible that the infection has spread to your kidneys.
UTI Statistics, Why Women More Than Men?
Women are 30 times more likely than males to acquire UTIs. Also, as many as four in ten women who contract a UTI will develop another within six months.
Because a woman's urethra (the tube from the bladder to the point where urine exits the body) is shorter than a man's, causing women to be more prone to urinary tract infections and germs invading the bladder. A woman's urethral opening is also closer to her Vagina and Anus, two of the main sources of pathogens that cause UTIs, which make it easier for germs to enter.
When Does Risk Grow For Woman
You may be at greater risk when:
- Sexually active, you should be tested. Germs that cause UTIs can spread from other areas of the body, such as the vagina, to the urethra during sex.
- Use a diaphragm for birth control or combine spermicides (creams that destroy sperm) with a diaphragm or condoms. Spermicides might wipe out beneficial bacteria that keep you from getting UTIs.
- You are pregnant. Pregnancy hormones can alter the bacteria in the urinary tract, making UTIs more likely. Many expectant moms have difficulties completely emptying their bladders because their wombs (wombs) house the developing kid during pregnancy. Bacteria-infested urine that hasn't been fully eliminated can cause a UTI.
- After menopause, the hormones estrogen and progesterone have largely vanished. Vaginal tissue becomes thin and dry after the loss of the hormone estrogen in menopause. This can allow infections to develop more easily and cause a UTI.
- Diabetes. It is possible that your immune (defense) system and nerves are damaged, making it difficult to completely empty your bladder.
- Suppose you experienced any kind of illness or condition, such as a kidney stone, which prevents urine from flowing between your kidneys and bladder.
- You have or have recently had a catheter inserted. A catheter is a tiny tube that is inserted into the bladder through the urethra. Catheters are used to drain urine when you are unable to do so on your own, such as during surgery.
When To See A Doctor, Diagnosis & Treatment?
Your doctor or nurse will examine a clean sample of your urine to see if you have a UTI. This entails first cleaning your genital region with a designated wipe. Then you will collect your urine in the middle of the stream in a cup. Medical personnel will check your urine for germs to determine whether you have a UTI, which can take up to two weeks.
If you have previously had a UTI, your doctor may demand more tests to confirm that it is not something else. These procedures might be done include:
- A cystogram is an x-ray of your urinary tract performed to evaluate the health of your kidney. This is a specific type of x-ray of the urinary system. These x-rays can reveal any issues, including edema or kidney stones, among other things.
- The cystoscope is a tiny instrument that the physician inserts into the urethra to inspect the inside of it for any issues.
Antibiotics are used to cure UTIs. You might feel better in one or two days. Make sure you finish taking all of your antibiotics as directed, even if you feel better after a day or two.
What If Your UTI Continues To Come Back?
Women who have recurrent UTIs get two or three within six months, and three or more in a year, are said to have persistent UTIs. Your doctor or nurse may do tests to discover why. If the test results are okay, you may need to take a low-dose antibiotic every day to prevent infection.
UTI Prevention Tips
Even with excellent hygiene, women are more vulnerable to bladder infections than males, as demonstrated in the preceding section. However, there are some basic hygienic measures you may take to avoid UTIs.
- It's been common knowledge for decades that cleaning back to front after going makes it more likely to develop a UTI because of germs like E. coli. Wiping front to back, on the other hand, spreads disease. Instead, try the blotting method. Using clean folded toilet paper (preferably unscented and undyed), softly blot the outer or top section of the vagina, also known as the urethra. Blotting, unlike wiping, prevents bacteria from entering the urethra by avoiding contact with the outside or top area of the vagina.
- Bathing also receives blame for UTIs. While unclean and soapy bath water might induce a UTI, there are methods to avoid it from happening. To avoid irritation and subsequent infections, if you like soaking in the tub, rinse out in the shower after your bath to prevent problems.
- Avoiding douching and utilizing other feminine hygiene options is important.
- Use the bathroom after intercourse to help flush any bacteria away from the urethra.
- Daily, use soap and water to wash the front and back.
- Drink a lot of water, causing more frequent urination and keeping bacteria flushed out.
- When you feel the need to urinate, empty your bladder as completely as possible.
Many women get UTIs at some point in their life. If you are one of them, speak with your doctor about the potential causes and treatment options. Some infections fade on their own, but others need medicine.
Mississippi Urology Clinic Can Help
Mississippi Urology Clinic provides diagnosis and treatment whether you're a man or a woman; please contact us for an appointment with one of our professional Urologists.