Urinary tract infections are a common infection, for example, every year 8 to 10 million people see a doctor each year for a urinary tract infection-related problem. It is more common among women, with one in every five women infected.
The infection can affect many parts of the urinary system, but bladder infection is the most common.
Urinary tract infection causes
Urine is the product of waste and extra water removed from the blood by the kidneys, and usually does not contain bacteria. However, it is possible for bacteria to enter the urinary tract, causing a UTI. The following factors increase the risk of bacteria infecting the bladder:
- Having sex.
- Conditions that cause urinary tract blockage, such as kidney stones
- Conditions that make it difficult to completely empty the bladder, like an enlarged prostate gland.
- Urinary catheters.
- Having a weakened immune system, such as those with diabetes or those undergoing chemotherapy.
- Not drinking enough fluids.
- The genital area is unclean and wet.
Some people are more likely to get UTIs, which are more common in women, but other conditions can raise the risk, including:
- Having a urinary tract infection in the past.
- Changes in the bacteria that live in the vagina, as occurs during menopause.
- The elderly, and children are more susceptible to infection.
- Poor hygiene, for example, children who are toilet trained.
Urinary tract infection symptoms
- Pain or burning sensation when urinating.
- Frequent urination, especially at night.
- Feeling the need to urinate most of the time.
- Cloudy urine.
- The urgent need to urinate more frequently than usual.
Symptoms of a urinary tract infection in kids include:
- A high temperature.
- Being nervous and not feeding properly
- Wet the bed or wet himself
Although fever is the most common symptom of UTI in newborns and young kids, there are other causes of fever, therefore it is important to visit a doctor for an accurate diagnosis.
First, the doctor will ensure that the infection is diagnosed well, as he will:
- Ask you about your symptoms.
- Perform a physical examination.
- Request urine tests if necessary.
Treatment includes drinking plenty of water or other fluids and following and adhering to your doctor’s antibiotic dosage, because urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria. Your doctor may also advise you to use pain relievers such as paracetamol.
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You should consult a doctor immediately if you or your kid suffers from:
- Very high temperature or feeling hot and shivering.
- Very low temperature less than 36°C.
- Feeling restless, drowsy, or difficulty speaking.
- Not going to pee all day long.
- Lower abdominal or back pain, just below the ribs.
- The presence of blood in the urine.
These symptoms indicate a kidney infection, which can be serious if not treated.
The following tips can help you in preventing UTIs:
- Urination after intercourse.
- Keep your body hydrated.
- Minimize the use of douches or vaginal sprays.
- Wiping from front to back after peeing.
- Maintaining a clean and dry genital area.
- Drink lots of water and fluids.
- If your diapers or incontinence nappies are unclean, change them immediately.
- Avoid using perfumed soap.
- Going to restroom whenever you feel the need to.
- Avoid wearing tight, synthetic underwear like nylon.
- Limit alcoholic beverages, as they may irritate the bladder.
- Reducing sugary foods or drinks because they may stimulate bacterial growth.