Urinary Tract Infection

A urinary tract infection, or UTI, is an infection in any part of your urinary system, which includes your kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra.

Causes of Urinary Tract Infection

  • UTIs are a key reason why doctors tell women to wipe from front to back after using the bathroom.

  • The urethra which is the tube that takes pee from the bladder to the outside of the body is close to the anus.

  • Bacteria from the large intestine, such as E. coli, can sometimes get out of your anus and into your urethra.

  • From there, they can travel up to your bladder and, if the infection isn’t treated, can continue on to infect your kidneys.

  • Women have shorter urethras than men. That makes it easier for bacteria to get to their bladders.

  • Having sex can introduce bacteria into your urinary tract, too.

Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection

  • A burning feeling when you pee

  • A frequent or intense urge to pee, even though little comes out when you do

  • Cloudy, dark, bloody, or strange-smelling pee

  • Feeling tired or shaky

  • Fever or chills (a sign that the infection may have reached your kidneys)

  • Pain or pressure in your back or lower abdomen

Diagnosis of Urinary Tract Infection

  • If you suspect that you have a urinary tract infection, go to the doctor.

  • You’ll give a urine sample to test for UTI-causing bacteria.

  • They might also use a long, flexible tube called a cystoscope to look inside your urethra and bladder.

  • Ultrasound - In this test, sound waves create an image of the internal organs. This test is done on top of your skin, is painless and doesn’t typically need any preparation.

  • Cystoscopy - This test uses a special instrument fitted with a lens and a light source (cystoscope) to see inside the bladder from the urethra.

  • CT scan - Another imaging test, a CT scan is a type of X-ray that takes cross sections of the body (like slices). This test is much more precise than typical X-rays.

Treatment of Urinary Tract Infection

You will need to treat a urinary tract infection. Antibiotics are medicines that kill bacteria and fight an infection. Antibiotics are typically used to treat urinary tract infections.

Your healthcare provider will pick a drug that best treats the particular bacteria that’s causing your infection.

Some commonly used antibiotics can include:

  • Nitrofurantoin.

  • Sulfonamides (sulfa drugs).

  • Amoxicillin.

  • Cephalosporins.

  • Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim).

  • Doxycycline.

  • Quinolones (such as ciprofloxacin [Cipro]).

It’s very important that you follow your healthcare provider’s directions for taking the medicine.

Don’t stop taking the antibiotic because your symptoms go away and you start feeling better. If the infection is not treated completely with the full course of antibiotics, it can return.

diseases treatments health prevention urinary-tract-infection excretory-system

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