What Is a Urinary Tract Infection?

A urinary tract infection or UTI is a general term for an infection that affects the urinary tract. The urinary system includes the kidneys, ureters, urethra and the bladder. Although any part of the urinary system can be infected, a majority of them happens on the urethra and bladder.

Causes of urinary tract infection

One of the vital functions of the urinary system functions is to remove waste from the body. Infections may occur when bacteria enters into the urinary tract from the urethra and then start to settle and multiply in the bladder. It will come to a point where the bacteria have multiplied and have taken over the bladder, causing an infection in the urinary tract.

Symptoms of urinary tract infection

Different levels of urinary tract infections may or may not show recognizable signs or symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms that may show include a burning sensation when urinating.

Some people will experience the strong urge to urinate more often than usual but will only pass small amounts of urine when doing do.

Some people will find that their urine gets cloudy or has that unlikely strong smell. Blood can sometimes also mix with the urine and bacteria may be present in people with urinary tract infections.

How urinary tract infection is diagnosed?

Doctors diagnose a urinary tract infection by having a patient submit a urine sample for testing. Doctors look for any presence of pus, bacteria or red blood cells present in the urine in order to determine if a person has a urinary tract infection.

Doctors usually take the very recent urine sample that is taken midstream in order to prevent potential contamination.

How to prevent urinary tract infection?

There are certain measures that people can observe in order to prevent the occurrence of a urinary tract infection. Drinking plenty of liquids can greatly help avoid infection. For women, washing their genital areas properly can help avoid possible infection.

There are cases where bacteria from the anal area can find themselves spreading into the vagina and the urethra. Women should practice proper washing by starting from the front and going toward the back. Avoiding potentially irritating feminine products may also help prevent infection.

How to treat urinary tract infection?

The primary treatment for a urinary tract infection is the use of antibiotics. The type of antibiotic used for treatment would depend on a person’s own health condition as well as the type of bacteria found to be causing the infection.

Aside from antibiotics, doctors may also prescribe pain relievers to help relieve pain and the burning sensation experienced when urinating.