What is Urinary Tract Infection?
Urinary tract infections (UTI) , also called urinary tract infections, are infections in any part of the urinary tract, from the kidneys and ureters to the bladder and urinary tract. There is no bacteria (germ) in the urine of a healthy person.Sometimes, bacteria outside the body enter the urinary tract and cause an infection. The infection can affect the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the bladder), the kidneys, or the bladder. Cystitis, an infection of the bladder, is one of the most common UTI .
A UTI can affect any part of the urinary tract:
It is an infection of the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body.
It is an infection in the bladder.
It is an infection of the kidneys, it may occur due to an anatomical defect in the urinary tract and back flow of urine from the bladder towards the kidneys.
What are the symptoms of urinary tract infection?
Symptoms of UTI are:
- frequent urination
- pain or burning when urinating
- Urine that is dark, cloudy, or reddish in color, indicating that blood may be present in the urine
- foul-smelling urine
- Pelvic (lower abdomen) pain, especially in women
- Pain in the back or side under the ribs
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Urinating only a small amount despite the feeling of constriction
Urinary tract infections are one of the most common diseases in women. Many women will have more than one urinary tract infection in their lifetime. The main reason for this is that the tube-shaped structure called the urethra, which carries urine from the bladder to the external environment, is shorter in women than in men.
Bacteria in the external environment can reach the bladder by traveling a shorter distance in women. In addition, urinary tract infections were found to be more common in sexually active women and women using diaphragm and spermicidal (spermicidal) creams as birth control methods. In addition to these, urinary tract infections are also common in the postmenopausal period.
UTI Diagnostic Methods
Normal urine is sterile. It does not contain any bacteria, viruses or fungi, often a urinary tract infection occurs when microbes from the digestive tract enter the urinary tract and begin to multiply. Infections that occur in this way are usually caused by the bacteria coli (Escherichia coli) naturally found in the digestive tract.
In addition, sexually transmitted infections such as herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia and mycoplasma can also cause urinary tract infections, especially urethritis. Some tests used to diagnose urinary tract infections are as follows:
It detects bleeding, defense cells, microbes (bacteria), various proteins and properties of the urine that may be present in the urine.
It allows to identify the bacteria or fungi causing the infection and to determine the appropriate treatment for them.
If a urinary tract infection becomes a recurring problem, other tests may be used to see if the urinary tract is normal. Some of these tests are:
In this examination, the doctor examines the inside of your bladder and urethra. It is also often used to diagnose and evaluate urinary tract conditions such as urinary tract infections, kidney or bladder stones, and bladder tumors.
Kidney and Bladder Ultrasound
Using high-frequency sound waves, it shows the size and shape of the bladder and kidneys. It checks for masses, stones, cysts, obstructions and abnormalities that may cause recurrent urinary tract infections.
Computed Tomography (CT)
X-rays are used to make detailed imaging of the urinary tract.
Urinary Tract Infection Treatment Methods
Antibiotics are often the first-line treatments for urinary tract infections. Which drugs will be prescribed and for how long will be determined by your doctor according to your health condition and the type of bacteria found in your urine.
Apart from this, increasing your water consumption may be recommended by your doctor as a part of your treatment. The measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of urinary tract infection are as follows:
- consuming lots of water
- avoiding urinating
- Doing post-toilet cleaning from front to back
- Cleaning the genital area before and after sexual intercourse
- Urinating after sexual intercourse
- Avoiding the use of soap in cleaning the genital area
- Changing sanitary pads frequently
- Wearing cotton underwear and avoiding tight, fitting clothing.