A urinary tract infection, popularly called UTI, refers to an infection in any part of the urinary system. The infection may take place in the urethra, the bladder, kidneys, or ureters. Most of the infections generally surface in the lower urinary tract, that is, the urethra and bladder.
Dr. Cletus Georges is an esteemed urologist based in Oakland in Florida. He is currently affiliated with several hospitals in the region and has successfully practiced urology for over 20 years.
He says women are generally at a higher risk of developing it than men when it comes to urinary tract infections. The infection restricted to the bladder is annoying and even painful. However, if the infection is not treated, one will face serious consequences if it spreads to the kidneys.
He says doctors commonly treat these infections with antibiotics. However, you can reduce the chances of contracting an infection in the urinary tract in the first place by taking precautions.
Symptoms of urinary tract infections
There are some infections in the urinary tract that may not display any signs or symptoms. However, the following are the primary symptoms of urinary tract infections, if they occur-
- There is a strong and a persistent need to urinate.
- There is a burning sensation in the pelvic region when urinating.
- Frequently passing small amounts of urine.
- The appearance of urine is cloudy.
- If the color of the urine is bright pink or resembles the color of cola, this a sign of blood present in the urine.
- If the smell of urine is very strong.
- Pelvic pain, especially in the case of women, in the center and around the region of the pubic bone.
For older adults, the urinary tract infection might be mistaken for any other health condition.
What are the risk factors?
Urinary tract infections are more common in women, and several women experience more than a single infection at least once in their life. The following are the risk factors of urinary tract infections-
- Anatomy of females- Women have shorter urethra over a man, which makes the distance shorter for the bacteria to travel to reach the bladder.
- Sexual activity- Sexually active Women have more urinary tract infections. Suppose you have a new sexual partner, the risks for a UTI increases.
- Birth control- There are specific types of birth control techniques that increase UTI in women. For example, women that use diaphragms for birth control are at greater risk than women that use spermicidal agents.
- Menopause- Post menopause, there is a decline in the circulation of estrogen. This results in changes in the urinary tract making a woman more vulnerable to infection.
According to Cletus Georges MD other reasons could also result in a urinary tract infection like catheter use, abnormalities in the urinary tract, an immune system that is suppressed, like in the case of diabetes, etc. He says that if you face any issue when it comes to urological health, you should immediately consult a doctor for a medical check-up.