Bladder infection or Urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection with your urinary system including kidney, bladder, and urethra. Women are more unguarded to this UTI than men. The infection starts with acute pain in the lower abdomen and troubles with urinating. But when untreated it can cause kidney issues. Usually, UTI is treated by suggesting antibiotics.
Causes of UTI
Bacteria enter your bladder through the urethra and start the infection by multiplying inside the bladder. Your body system has natural defense to foreign microorganisms, but some times the defense system fails. Due to this, bacteria enter and start growing in the urinary tract. It is most prone to women as the urethra is located very near to the anal and vaginal regions.
Cystitis: A type of bacteria that is commonly found in the GI tract(gastrointestinal) is escherichia Coli (E-Coli). It is most responsible for UTI and some other bacterias are also included with UTI. Sexual intercourse may develop these infections but even though if you are not sexually active you can develop this bacteria with poor hygiene and maintenance of genital areas.
Urethritis: When GI bacteria enter your bladder from your anal region it is called urethritis. It could be from sexually transmitted diseases like herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and mycoplasma.
As women experience more UTI in their lifetime, the risk factors included are
- The urethra size of women is shorter compared to men, which makes the bacteria to easily enter the tract
- Being sexually active increases the risk of UTI than who doesn’t. Change in the sexual partner can also cause UTI
- Usage of a certain type of birth control by women like a diaphragm, spermicidal agents can trigger UTI.
- In women, after their menopause stage estrogen level decreases and makes you more unsafe to the infection.
Other factors causing UTI are,
- Some babies have an abnormal urinary tract in their birth. This causes urine to get stagnant and left in urethra risking UTI.
- There will be Urinary tract blockage due to kidney stones, abnormal urinary tract structure, or enlarged prostate gland in men. This will cause irregular or slow flow of urine or feeling heavy bladder even after urinating.
- Some medical conditions like diabetes, cancer, HIV can weaken your immune system
- Catheters are tubes used in surgical procedures to drain urine. This can cause some infections and affect your urinary tract.
Symptoms of UTI
The symptoms will be very mild or increase gradually as the infection grows. Symptoms of UTI are,
- Persistent urinating urge
- Burning sensation while urinating
- Frequently passing a small amount of urine
- Blood in the urine like cola-colored or red in color
- Abdomen pain and back pain
- Pelvic pain
- Discharges that smells foul
UTI’s can be treated with proper medications. But when left untreated it can give you serious medical complications like,
- The frequency of UTI will be high and gives you more discomfort. Sometimes it occurs many times within a span of 6 months.
- Untreated UTI can give a major blow on your kidneys causing permanent kidney damage.
- Increases risk of delivering premature babies with pregnant women
- Urethral narrowing will be seen in men with continual UTI or urethritis.
- Sepsis, a life-threatening complication as the infection spreads to your blood from the kidney.
- Drink plenty of water as water flushes out toxins from the body.
- Empty your bladder after having intercourse
- Avoid chemical-rich products in your genital areas and maintain good hygiene.
- Although scientifically not proven, cranberry juice treats UTI.
- Avoid using birth control method like diaphragms, spermicide treated condoms as it can possibly welcome the bacteria.