A urinary tract infection (or UTI) is an infection that is caused by micro organism. Most commonly UTI is caused by bacteria. But infection can also be caused by fungus and Viruses.
UTIs are the most common form of infection in humans. The UTI can happen anywhere in the urinary tract. The urinary tract is the passage of the urinary system. Hence, it is comprised of the kidneys, the ureters, the bladder and the urethra. Most of the UTIs only involve the lower tract that is bladder and urethra. The upper tract UTIs are rare but they are usually more severe.
What are the symptoms of UTI?
The kidneys are affected by the upper tract UTIs. The condition can be life threatening. Bacteria might spread from infected kidney into the blood. It is known as urosepsis and can cause low blood pressure. Shock and death can result. The symptoms include:
What are the risk factors of UTI?
The risk factors that might aid in developing the condition include:
How can UTI be treated?
Treatment of the UTIs depends on the cause, severity and site of infection. Urine culture and sensitivity will determine the type of organism and suitable antibiotics that can be used. Bacteria are the most frequent cause. Viral UTIs are treated with antiviral medications, while the fungal UITs are treated with medications called antifungals.
The treatment of the UTIs should be done at the earliest. The untreated ones can become more severe and results in Urosepsis. UTIs in the lower tract is usually easier to treat with oral antibiotics. Upper tract infection and urosepsis needs hospitalization and intense treatment. If necessary surgery needs to be done. In chronic infections causative factors like stricture urethra, prostate and stones, are treated by surgery.
How can UTIs be prevented?
Preventing UTIs should be one of the main objectives. The following steps can help
UTIs are much more common in women than men at an estimated ratio of 8:1. Preventive antibiotics might be recommended after intercourse or topical oestrogen in postmenopausal women. Vaginal probiotics or cranberry supplements might also help in its prevention as it would decrease the occurrence or the recurrence of UTIs. Females generally needs prolonged treatment to prevent reccurence.
Dr Mahendra Jain is an eminent and an extremely experienced Urologist ...Read More
I had undergone treatment for my prostate in Germany 5 years back. Now I developed urethral stricture, I had lot of problem passing urine.
Mr Alexis is aged 72 yrs from East Africa was treated for his long standing urinary problem with a complex surgery. Now he is back in his country