Women's Health: Top 5 FAQs on UTIs [Urinary Tract Infections]
Also know as Honeymoon Cystitis, urinary tract infections take place in many women who are newly introduced to sexual intercourse. Accompanied by a painful burning sensation during urination, urinary tract infections are often ignored. But, fret not. This problem is as simple as acne and there is no need to be ignorant of its possibilities or suffer in silence. Today, we present to you the top 5 FAQs on urinary tract infections...
#1 What is a urinary tract infection and what causes it?
It is generally seen that a woman experiences a urinary tract infection at least once in her lifetime. It essentially occurs when germs infect the bladder, kidneys or tubes, in other words the tract that carries urine out of a woman's body. UTI is not a serious threat if treated well in time. However, if the infection spreads to the kidney it can be lethal and can even cause death in some unfortunate cases. When a woman’s uterus has a short urinary passage (urethea) and attracts bacteria from elsewhere, one suffers from urinary tract infections. The vagina of a woman has enough anti-bacterial secretion to protect itself from such infections, but when the urethra is not protected during the initial days of sexual activity, the colonic bacteria is transferred more commonly to the urethra.
#2 Who is at risk of catching urinary tract infections?
It is most common in sexually active women. Women with diabetes or immune deficiencies are also prone to this bacterial infection. Approximately 5% women in the age group 25-40 may also develop stones in their kidney due to the infection. Women who are overweight are extremely prone to urinary tract infections. Apart from this, women who drink less amounts of water, take inadequate amounts of salt, and/or are careless about their personal hygiene, have a chance of suffering from at least one UTI attack in their lifetime. Very saturated urine, which is a result of drinking less water, especially in the summer months, leads to stone formation in kidneys. Furthermore, a small stone in the kidney also attracts bacteria and can lead to more stone formation.
# 3 What is the relationship between pregnancy and urinary tract infections?
At the onset of pregnancy, many factors can tick the risk of UTI, in particular a kidney infection. Many hormones can cause change in the urinary tract, putting extra pressure on the bladder, making urine extremely difficult to pass through kidneys. As the uterus grows, it presses against the bladder which can hamper its basic functioning. Thus, this stagnant urine becomes a source of infection in women. It is a must to consult your gyne immediately, if you suspect an infection.
#4 How do I know if I have a urinary tract infection?
You know you have a urinary tract infection if you have pain in the lower abdomen, increased frequency of urination and a burning sensation while passing urine with or without fever and blood in the urine.
#5 Help! What should I do, if I have already witnessed a symptom of urinary tract infection?
If you have already recognised a symptom or two of urinary tract infection, then consult a doctor immediately. There is no need to feel ashamed of it or suffer it in silence behind closed doors. If you are not comfortable going alone, then talk to a trusted source, like your spouse or a female friend and then go to the doctor. Depending upon the type of bacteria infestation, the doctor generally prescribes an antibiotic. Make sure you complete the whole antibiotic dosage.
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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