A Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) or bladder infection is a bacterial infection affecting the parts of the urinary tract. UTI is caused by bacteria invading the bladder and multiplies in the urine. Cystitis is the most common type of UTI. Cystitis means bladder inflammation. Pyelonephritis is another type of UTI which is a kidney infection. This type of infection should be taken seriously because it can lead to kidney malfunction. But if it is treated quickly, the kidney usually heals and it may be stopped from permanent damage.
There are various symptoms that can be experienced when a person has UTI. Bladder infections are usually characterized by an urgency to urinate or empty the bladder. Other symptoms include dysuria or pain during urination, frequent urination, bladder spasms, and the feeling of wanting to urinate though no or little urine comes out. In other cases, foul-smelling, bloody, and cloudy urine with fever are some symptoms.
Symptoms for severe kidney infection include chills, fever, and nausea. Abdominal pain, bloody or cloudy urine, frequent urination and sometimes pain at the back above the waist are some of the symptoms.
To confirm that a person has a UTI, the doctor instructs you to give a urine specimen that is clean-catch. You will be instructed to wash the genital area using disposable wipes and urinate in the sterile cup. If an infection is found in the examined specimen, antibiotics are usually given. There are many antibiotics available so the doctor cultures your urine to identify the specific bacteria invading your urinary tract. The urine culture takes 48 hours before the results are released so you may be changing antibiotics depending on the result.
Antibiotics alone can’t stop the symptoms though it is fighting the bacteria. For instance a patient is experiencing pain, a pain reliever may be given to relieve pain. It is important to follow the doctor’s order on until when you should be taking the antibiotics to prevent bacterial resistance.
During the treatment you should drink a lot of water because this helps in cleansing the urine. Even after the treatment is done, you should continue drinking a lot of water because this prevents further infection. Drinking of cranberry juice has been found to be helpful in UTI because it has an acidic effect which prevents the bacteria from adhering to the bladder walls. Vitamin C is also recommended.
Usually, UTI clears up within 10 days if treated is sought right away. Avoiding sexual intercourse for 2 weeks is advised to allow healing of inflammation.
Upon urination, with the use of toilet paper, females must wipe from front to back. This also applies in bowel movement. Wiping from front to back prevents the spread of bacteria from rectal area into the urethra. Avoiding of holding the urgency to urinate in long periods also prevents UTI. One should go to the comfort room immediately. Females should also avoid using bubble baths when taking a bath because it causes irritation to the vaginal area.
After every intercourse, you should urinate within 10 minutes and wash your genital area gently to eradicate any bacteria present especially to the sexually active individuals. Use water-soluble lubricant if you need lubrication while having sex.