What women need to know about urinary tract infections

Carol RoachStarred Page By Carol Roach, 26th Nov 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/7d8qshm4/
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Women's Health

Urinary tract infections are common in women, the elderly, during pregnancy, after menopause and more. Recognize the signs for these UTIs and learn how to prevent them.

Urinary tract infections

Urinary tract infections are quite common in women. The UTI is caused by bacteria which invade the bladder, kidneys or connecting tubes. Unlike other parts of the nether areas, bacteria do not grow naturally in the urinary tract. It is always introduced by another source. Urine is actually sterile.

Symptoms of urinary tract infections

Bladder infections can create complications if not attended to. The common symptoms of bladder infection include:



  • Burning or pain when urinating,

  • Urinating frequently,

  • Pain in the lower abdomen,

  • Foul-smelling or cloudy urine

  • Some women don’t have any symptoms at al


  • If untreated the bacteria can spread to the kidneys causing

    • Pain on either side of the lower part of the back

    • Nausea and vomiting

    • Fever and chills.



    • Who is at risk?



    • Pregnant women

    • Men or women with diabetes

    • People with a weakened immune system

    • The elderly

    • Women who are sexually active

    • '*]Taking too many baths

    • Holding in your urine (when you are out in public and so on)

    • Not enough fluid intact

    • Kidney stones

    Other diseases or disorders that may mimic a UTI are

    • Chlamydia,

    • Gonorrhea,

    • Trichomoniasis

    Diabetes and other conditions which contribute to a UTI

    Honeymoon cystitis

    Some women get UTIs every time they have sex, it doesn’t have to be because they contracted a venereal disease. It happens with the first intercourse with some women thus the reason for the honeymoon cystitis.

    Using birth control or a diaphragm can also bring on the condition.

    Complications

    The main complication comes about when an untreated UTI bacterium reaches the kidneys. If this happen there could be permanent damage to the kidneys or kidney affected. People who already have kidney problems may go into kidney failure.

    Diabetics

    Diabetics frequently have UTIs and this is because they have a weakened immune system. Nerve damage caused by diabetes can prevent the bladder from emptying properly, and the high levels of sugar content can enter the urine. Sugar provides a haven for bacteria.

    Occasionally the bacteria may enter the blood stream and then spread to other body organs.

    Stealth pathogens

    When bacteria such as E coli are present but there are no symptoms. In most cases no treatment is necessary. However, pregnant women, the elderly, and kidney transplant recipients must still be treated as a cautionary measure. The bacteria are usually detected through a urine test.

    Pregnancy

    Because pregnant women have many hormones activated during this time, certain hormones can change the chemical balance in the urinary tract. The uterus may put pressure on the bladder, kidneys or ureters. If left untreated the baby may arrive pre-term.

    Menopause

    The lower levels of estrogen which occurs after menopause contribute to more UTI. Estrogen actually protects the vagina and urethra from contracting bacteria.

    Older adults and hospital stays

    Catching a urinary infection in a hospital is common for older people who have had to have a catheter inserted to release urine flow.

    The elderly

    “UTIs are among the most common infections in the elderly. But the symptoms may not follow the classic pattern. Agitation, delirium, or other behavioral changes may be the only sign of a UTI in elderly men and women. This age group is also more likely to develop serious complications as a result of UTIs.”

    Babies

    It is hard to know when a baby has a UTI but you must look for signs of:

    Strange urine smell

    Poor appetite

    Vomiting

    Fever and fussiness

    Children

    Children (3% in girls, 1% in boys) can get urinary tract infections. Make sure they go to the bathroom frequently, they don’t hold it in, and they drink plenty of fluids. They may also have a structural malformation which causes the urine to flow back into the kidney which will cause kidney damage.

    Urine tests

    Urine tests can be done at home. They are not as accurate as clinical tests. The hospital can detect exactly which bacterium is present through a urine culture.

    Treatment for UTI

    Drinking lots of fluid and or oral antibiotics is the usual treatment. If the UTI is a severe kidney infection the patient may be hospitalized and given antibiotics intravenously.

    Some women get frequent UTI’s and the doctor may prescribe a low dose of antibiotics on a continual basis, antibiotics after intercourse, or taking antibiotics immediately after realizing there is a UTI infection.

    How to prevent UTIs

    According to MedMD to avoid UTIs you must:

    Drink plenty of water

    Go to the bathroom before and after sex, wipe from front to back

    Take showers instead of baths

    Avoid feminine hygiene sprays

    Drinking cranberry juice is actually better as a prevention method than a cure. There is something in cranberry juice that prevents E coli from attaching to the walls of the urinary tract. There are cranberry capsules or tablets available for people who do not like the taste of cranberry juice.

    Bottom line

    Don’t take recurrent infections for granted consult with your doctor./b]

    Some women get UTIs every time they have sex, it doesn’t have to be because they contracted a venereal disease. It happens with the first intercourse with some women thus the reason for the honeymoon cystitis.

    Using birth control or a diaphragm can also bring on the condition.

    Complications


    The main complication comes about when an untreated UTI bacterium reaches the kidneys. If this happen there could be permanent damage to the kidneys or kidney affected. People who already have kidney problems may go into kidney failure.

    Diabetics


    Diabetics frequently have UTIs and this is because they have a weakened immune system. Nerve damage caused by diabetes can prevent the bladder from emptying properly, and the high levels of sugar content can enter the urine. Sugar provides a haven for bacteria.

    Occasionally the bacteria may enter the blood stream and then spread to other body organs.

    Stealth pathogens

    When bacteria such as E coli are present but there are no symptoms. In most cases no treatment is necessary. However, pregnant women, the elderly, and kidney transplant recipients must still be treated as a cautionary measure. The bacteria are usually detected through a urine test.

    Pregnancy

    Because pregnant women have many hormones activated during this time, certain hormones can change the chemical balance in the urinary tract. The uterus may put pressure on the bladder, kidneys or ureters. If left untreated the baby may arrive pre-term.

    Menopause

    The lower levels of estrogen which occurs after menopause contribute to more UTI. Estrogen actually protects the vagina and urethra from contracting bacteria.

    Older adults and hospital stays

    Catching a urinary infection in a hospital is common for older people who have had to have a catheter inserted to release urine flow.

    The elderly

    “UTIs are among the most common infections in the elderly. But the symptoms may not follow the classic pattern. Agitation, delirium, or other behavioral changes may be the only sign of a UTI in elderly men and women. This age group is also more likely to develop serious complications as a result of UTIs.”

    Babies

    It is hard to know when a baby has a UTI but you must look for signs of:



    Children

    Children (3% in girls, 1% in boys) can get urinary tract infections. Make sure they go to the bathroom frequently, they don’t hold it in, and they drink plenty of fluids. They may also have a structural malformation which causes the urine to flow back into the kidney which will cause kidney damage.

    Urine tests


    Urine tests can be done at home. They are not as accurate as clinical tests. The hospital can detect exactly which bacterium is present through a urine culture.

    Treatment for UTI

    Drinking lots of fluid and or oral antibiotics is the usual treatment. If the UTI is a severe kidney infection the patient may be hospitalized and given antibiotics intravenously.

    Some women get frequent UTI’s and the doctor may prescribe a low dose of antibiotics on a continual basis, antibiotics after intercourse, or taking antibiotics immediately after realizing there is a UTI infection.


    All photos taken from the public domain


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    How to prevent UTIs

    According to MedMD to avoid UTIs you must:

    • Drink plenty of water

    • Go to the bathroom before and after sex, wipe from front to back

    • Take showers instead of baths

    • Avoid feminine hygiene sprays

    Drinking cranberry juice is actually better as a prevention method than a cure. There is something in cranberry juice that prevents E coli from attaching to the walls of the urinary tract. There are cranberry capsules or tablets available for people who do not like the taste of cranberry juice.

    Bottom line

    Don’t take recurrent infections for granted consult with your doctor.

    moderator Mark Gordon Brown moderated this page.
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    Comments

    author avatar spirited
    27th Nov 2015 (#)

    That's a very thorough in-depth discussion there Carol.

    It all sounds very nasty if the infection is allowed to run away and move to other parts of the body.

    Reply to this comment

    author avatar Stella Mitchell
    27th Nov 2015 (#)

    Thank you for this well documented account of UTI Carol.
    Bless you
    Stella ><

    Reply to this comment

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