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 Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Urinary Tract Infections are infections in the urinary tract.

Symptoms of UTI may include:

·   Dark or bloody urine

·   Urge to urinate,increased frequency, often in small amounts

    and burning sensation when urinating.

·   Cloudy urine (possibly pus in urine)

·   Unpleasant urine odour

·   Pelvic pain, side or back pain (kidney infection)

·   Fever, chills (usually with kidney infection)

·    Bloating, vaginal discharge

·    Rectal pain, penile discharge,testicle pain,abdominal    pain, 

 Other symptoms with newborns and infants may include         hypothermia, diarrhoea, poor feeding and in some                   children,bedwetting, vomiting and jaundice.

Pregnancy

Urinary tract infections are more concerning in pregnancy due to the increased risk of kidney infections. Which may result in: a premature birth,high blood pressure, and kidney dysfunction sometimes leading to seizure for the mother.

Urinary tract infections occur more commonly in women than men by a ratio of 4:1 in many cases because of their anatomy, sexual intercourse and family history. Their urethra is much shorter and closer to the anus than men’s.

Also women's estrogen levels decrease with menopause and the risk of urinary tract infections increases because of loss of the protective vaginal flora.

This form of beneficial bacteria present has a significant implication for a women's overall health. It is associated with fluids secreted during sexual arousal greatly responsible for the characteristic scent associated with the vagina.

Types of UTI

A urinary tract infection may involve only the lower urinary tract, in which case it is known as a bladder infection or may involve the upper urinary tract, in which case it is known as pyelonephritis



Causes

Some families may have a tendency to have a higher incidence of UTIs than others , but diabetes, an enlarged prostate ,being uncircumcised, long stays in hospital and urinary catheters increases the risk for urinary tract infections particularly with spinal cord injured people because of long term use of them.

The main cause of upper and lower urinary tract infections (about 80%) is the bacteria known as : Escherichia coli (see above), but it can sometimes be caused by other bacteria, viruses or fungi that are less well known.

Sexually active younger women with UTIs may generally attribute 80% of their infections to a higher than normal frequency of sex.

Prevention

Personal hygiene after urinating or defecating and sex may assist in minimising UTIs. Women when wiping preferably need to wipe away from the vagina to avoid contamination. Topical creams or pessaries have had limited use however several vaccines may shortly be available to help with those who are chronic sufferers.

Misdiagnosis

It is not uncommon for the symptoms of UTI to be similar to other conditions such as: inflammation of the cervix, vagintis,urethritis, yeast infection, interstitial cystitis and inflammation of the prostate. It is recommended a visit to your GP for urinalysis and culture swabs to define the condition suspected particularly if it has not improved within a short time.

Treatment

In uncomplicated cases, urinary tract infections are easily treated with a short course of antibiotics, although resistance too many of the antibiotics used to treat this condition is increasing.

This may be attributable to the high level of hormones used in the accelerated production of chicken, beef and pork production.

Depending on the severity of the condition anti biotic treatment may be taken orally or in more severe cases intravenously particularly with upper urinary tract infections (pyelonephritis).


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