Women’s Urinary Tract Infection (UTI): What are the causes, treatment and prevention of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)?
What is the Urinary Tract?
The urinary tract includes two kidneys, two ureters, the bladder and the urethra.
Kidneys – Make urine. They clean the blood and remove waste products in the form of urine
Ureters – Are long tubes attached to the kidneys which carry urine to the bladder Bladder – Collects and holds the urine until it leaves the body.
Urethra – The opening where urine leaves the body.
What causes UTI ?
Some groups of people are more prone to getting UTI’ s than others.
These include those:
- Kidney or bladder stones.
- Diabetes or any other disorder that can affect the immune system.
- Urinary catheters (a permanent tube in the urethra which drains the urine away from the bladder).
- Weak bladder muscle
The elderly are more prone to UTI, as are those who suffer with constipation or do not drink sufficient amounts of fluids.
Some women find they often get UTI’ s after sexual intercourse, especially those who use the diaphragm as a contraceptive.
How will I know if I have Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) ?
1.) Frequency: Passing urine (wee) more often than usual
2.) Dysuria: Burning pain when passing urine
3.) Urgency: Feeling the need to pass urine immediately
4.) Haematuria: Blood in your urine
5.) Nocturia: Needing to pass urine in the night
6.) Suprapubic pain: Pain in your lower tummy.
How do I check if I have Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)?
UTI can be checked by taking a sample of urine for a simple urine test in the clinic.
If you have had several UTI’ s in a short period of time, your doctor or specialist nurse may send you for a kidney ultrasound scan to check for any abnormalities within the kidneys, which may be causing the recurrent infections.
Your doctor may also refer you to the specialist for a flexible cystoscopy (camera test of the bladder) to check inside the bladder for any abnormalities.
What is the treatment for UTI?
UTIs are treated with antibiotics , medicines that kill the bacteria that cause the infection.
Your doctor will tell you how long you need to take the medicine.
Make sure you take all of your medicine, even if you feel better!
What can I do to prevent UTI ?
- Stay Hydrated!
- Urinate when you need to. Don’t hold it. This expels germs from the urethra.
- Practice good hygiene. Women should wipe from front to back after going to the bathroom and should pee soon after having sex..
- Don’t use douches or feminine hygiene sprays.
- Don’t wear tight-fitting pants, which can trap in moisture.
- Take showers instead of tub baths.
- Treat constipation (hard stools or bowel movements too infrequent) Constipation can cause pressure or blockage and the bladder may not empty properly.
If you are prone to getting UTI’ s after sexual intercourse:
If you are prone to dryness.
If you get a lot of UTIs and use spermicides, or creams that kill sperm, talk to your doctor about using other forms of birth control.
Why is UTI more common in women than men?
Transfer of infection along the shorter female urethra is easier, while the longer male urethra protects against the transfer of bacteria to the bladder.
Also, the prostatic fluid has antibacterial action.
(This article “Women’s Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)” is written by Our Guest writer Dr Mastura Shahrum)
Take care gals!
Dr. Mastura Shahrum
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Other Women’s Sexual Health Articles:
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- A Women Guide to Contraception
- STD Trichomoniasis and Green Fishy Smell Discharge
- STD Chlamydia Screening & Treatment
- STD Women’s Gonorrhoea Symptoms & Treatment
- STD Women’s Herpes Infection
- Urine Pain & Non-gonococcal urethritis (NGU)
- Bleeding After Sex
- Abnormal Vaginal Discharge
- Women’s STD Screening, Testing and Treatment Service