Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) Causes | preventions
Urinary track Infection causes , preventions
A person of any age or gender can develop UTI. However, there are certain factors which makes some people more prone to UTI than others. These factors include sexual intercourse, poor personal hygiene, kidney stones, blocked flow of urine, menopause and pregnancy.
Some common symptoms of UTI are a strong urge to urinate, burning sensation while urinating, passing frequent, small amounts of urine, cloudy urine, a sign of blood in the urine, strong smelling urine and pelvic pain in women. UTI is a recurring condition, and in order to prevent it from happening, people can drink lots of water, stay away from scented bath products and hygiene sprays and clean their genitals before sex.
Though UTI is more common in women than men. Men can also suffer from it. UTI’s are rare in males who are younger than 50 years of age. The reason of UTI in males can be many including prostatitis, epididymitis, orchitis, pyelonephritis, cystitis, urethritis, and urinary catheters. It’s important to know that STD’s (sexually transmitted disease) in males can have similar symptoms as that of UTI.
Urinary Tract Infection Causes
An infection usually occurs when bacteria enters the otherwise sterile urine and begins to grow. It usually develops at the opening of the urethra and then spreads upward to the urinary tract. Close to 90% of these infections are caused by Escherichia coli, or E. coli, a type of bacteria. These bacteria are usually found in the bowel or around the anus. But the bacteria can move from the anus to the opening of the urethra and this can cause UTI. The various factors involved in the same are:
1. Sex: In women, sexual activity is the cause of up to 90% of bladder infections. The risk also relates to the frequency of sexual intercourse. This has led to the term “honeymoon cystitis” because of an increase in the incidence of the infection during early marriage.
In men, UTI is rare as compared to women. This is because women’s urethra is much shorter and is placed closer to the anus. Post-menopausal women may experience a higher risk of UTIs due to the loss of protective vaginal flora and decrease in circulating estrogen.
2. Improper wiping: Using toilet paper from anus to opening of urethra (back to front) instead of from opening of urethra to anus (front to back) can also lead to UTI.
3. Suppressed immune system: A weak defence mechanism of the body can increase the risk of UTIs.
4. Urinary catheters: Catheters are medical devices that are inserted into the body for treatment of various diseases. Urinary catheters can cause UTIs. Improper insertion technique, not maintaining closed drainage of the catheter, catheterizing when not necessary, are factors that can lead to infections.
5. Others: Other factors include a family history of urinary infections, diabetes, women who use a diaphragm for birth control or having a large prostate.
UTIs present to us with fever, urinary pain, discomfort, frequency, urgency, leakage and bloody urine. In such cases, detection is straightforward with blood/urine tests, imaging, uroflow and clinical examination. Treatment involves a definite course of antibiotics and supportive measures. Simple preventive measures can obviate and help in cure of UTIs too. Have a good amount of fluid intake (approx. 3 litres in healthy adults in India), hygiene of the perineal / penoscrotal area is must, avoidance of constipation, proper toilet training and control of diabetes. Removing obstruction of the urinary stream by surgery or medicine should be done. Regular urological checkups, after 45 yrs of age can detect, cure and help in prevention,” Dr. Shilpi Tiwari (Head of Department – Urology at Nayati Multi Super Specialty Hospital, Mathura.