Urinary Infection - Ways to Prevent
Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) are one of the most painful illnesses across the world. Ways to prevent UTI happens to be the topmost priority for those who suffer from its frequent attacks because of the associated irritating symptoms. UTIs are caused by the entry of bacteria (like Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus saprophyticus) into the urinary tract. They subsequently bind to the urinary wall. Sometimes, certain viruses and fungi can also cause UTI. This infection can affect the kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder and urethra (the connecting tube that carries urine).
Though the probability of UTI occurrence in equal in both males and females, women are more prone to its attacks. UTI risk factors specific to ladies include their anatomy (urethra is shorter making it easy for bacterial entry into the bladder), sexual activity, some birth control devices and menopausal changes in the body. Since there is a tendency for frequent recurrence of UTIs, it is advisable to take the correct preventive steps to break the infectious cycle
Bladder Infection Symptoms
For any of the symptoms of urinary bladder infection entailed below, it is recommended to consult the Urology Doctor for treating UTI –
- Increased frequency of urination
- A constant and repeated urge to urinate
- Feeling of discomfort, pain or burning while urinating
- Discolouration of urine-dark, cloudy appearance or presence of blood
- Unusual or strong odour in urine
- Episodes of pelvic pain
- A sensation of incomplete or partial emptying of the bladder
- Fever with chills and shivering
Treatment of UTI
Typically, doctors prescribe certain antibiotics for urinary tract infection cure after confirming its occurrence through urine sample using diagnostic tests. Women with recurrent UTIs are often given repeated doses of low dose antibiotics. Severe infections need hospitalization for administering intravenous antibiotics. When treated properly, UTIs rarely lead to complications. However, left untreated, UTI can cause permanent kidney damage, the chances of delivering premature or low weight babies in pregnant women, urethral narrowing and even sepsis which is life-threatening!
UTI can also cause Urinary Incontinence. Here there is involuntary leakage of urine due to loss of control in the urinary sphincter. Usually, incontinence is treated with pelvic floor exercises, bladder training, medications like antidepressants or sedatives, radiofrequency therapy and some medical devices for women like pessary and sacral nerve stimulator. Surgical procedures for urinary incontinence are inevitable when other methods fail. Surgery options include Sling Procedures for urinary incontinence ,Colposuspension and insertion of Artificial Sphincter.
Prevention of UTI
Here are some simple ways of preventing UTI through natural methods and home remedies-
- Increasing fluid intake for the body, particularly water. Taking unsweetened Cranberry juice, natural foods with Vitamin C and Probiotics can aid in avoiding UTI.
- Maintaining proper hygiene after bowel movements by wiping front to back prevents bacterial entry. Taking showers instead of normal baths also aids in washing away the germs.
- Urinating at periodic intervals prevents urine retention and avoids invading bacteria from causing full-fledged infection.
- Ensuring proper urination and washing before and after sexual intercourse flushes out bacteria. For recurrent UTIs, changing the sexual position can aid in reducing friction in the urethra.
- Avoiding harmful feminine deodorants that cause inflammation and irritation in the genital areas. Likewise douching should be avoided by females as it disturbs the natural balance in the vagina and irritates the urethra.
- Using cotton underwears to prevent moisture retention and avoiding tight-fitting clothes.
- Preventing vaginal dryness in women by using water-based lubricants during sexual intercourse. Creams with estrogen may be used in post-menopausal age after appropriate consultation with the doctor.
In short, following some healthy habits, maintaining sufficient hydration and taking certain dietary supplements can easily lower the risk and frustration of suffering from UTIs.