A UTI is often characterised by frequent trips to the bathroom and a burning sensation every time you urinate. Besides these signs, you may also experience:
The most common cause of UTI is bacteria. As the urinary system is naturally able to protect against bacteria, most cases of infections are not serious. However, the defence can fail for a variety of reasons:
Escherichia coli, or E. coli, is a bacterium that causes infection in the gastrointestinal tract. The bacterium can spread from the anus to the urethra.
Women are anatomically built with a shorter urethra. As a result, the bacteria that enters the urinary tract travels a shorter distance to reach the bladder where infection occurs.
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Sexually transmittable diseases, such as herpes, gonorrhoea, chlamydia, and mycoplasma, can result in UTI.
Other factors that increase your likelihood of contracting UTI include a previous infection, pregnancy, changes in the vaginal flora, which could be due to medication, menopausal, or the use of spermicides, and structural issues with the urinary tract like an enlarged prostate.
More general factors include age and poor hygiene.
While UTI alone can be easily treated, a bigger concern is when the infection is associated with other untreated infections that could have spread from the bladder to neighbouring organs. There is also a tiny possibility of the infection entering the bloodstream and infecting organs further away from the primary site of infection.
Although less common, when UTI occurs in men, it tends to be more complex as the infection could be related to more complicated conditions such as enlarged prostate, kidney stones, diabetes, incontinence, and more.
The first step to recovering from a UTI is to seek treatment for it.
Depending on the severity of the infection, our doctors may prescribe a round of antibiotics. Antibiotics are often prescribed in the first line of treatment but they can cause side effects like rashes, dizziness, nausea, diarrhoea, or yeast infection.
If antibiotics alone is sufficient, you will recover easily. Otherwise, you may have to undergo further tests or evaluation. If the origin of the infection is traced back to a sexually transmittable disease, more tests will be carried out to determine the root cause of the illness in order to find a suitable treatment for it.
Of course, prevention is better than cure. Here are some tips to help you avoid a UTI:
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