• Urinary tract infection or simply UTI is an infection on any part of the kidneys, bladder and urethra.
• Females are advised to wipe from the front to the back to help avoid spreading the germs from the rectum to the vagina.
Have you had a strong urge of urinating that does not go away or a burning feeling when urinating?
Well, you may be forced to seek medical attention immediately because these are some of the signs of an infection in your urinary system.
Urinary tract infection or simply UTI is an infection on any part of the kidneys, bladder and urethra.
It occurs when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra and begin to spread in the bladder.
The urinary system is designed to keep out bacteria but the defences sometimes fail.
Pees that look cloudy, dark or have a strong smell and blood in your pee are also signs of the infection.
Studies have shown that women and older people are at a greater risk of developing a UTI than men; this is because they have a shorter urethra meaning bacteria have less distance to travel to the bladder.
Sexually intercourse, poor hygiene, difficulty in fully emptying the bladder, having a condition that causes a blockage in the urinary tract, such as kidney stones and having diabetes have been cited as the major causes.
According to a report by Medical News Today, a 2021 research showed that males and females share the same symptoms but males have a higher chance of experiencing symptoms that affect the lower urinary tract.
“It is worth noting that this study involved 1,256 people from a single community in Japan, so the findings may not apply to other populations,” reads the report.
In older adults, general symptoms include wetting themselves, new shivering, new shaking, agitation and confusion.
To prevent such infections, medics recommend that you drink 6–8, 8-ounce glasses of water per day, urinate after sexual intercourse, empty the bladder fully when urinating and wear loose-fitting clothing.
Wearing cotton underwear, keeping the genital area clean and avoiding the use of perfumed products on the genitals are other preventive measures.
The UK’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention also suggests taking showers instead of baths and avoiding douching.
“Females should also wipe from the front to the back to help avoid spreading the germs from the rectum to the vagina,” the reports says.
It adds, “Individuals should contact a doctor if they develop UTI symptoms, especially if they have developed symptoms of a potential kidney infection.”
You are also advised to always complete the full course of treatment to make sure that the infection is fully clear and reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance. UTI symptoms can disappear before the infection has completely gone.
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