Jun 15, 2014
Urinary Tract Infection or UTI for short. Cystitis.
Incidence: Urinary tract infection or UTI is very common in women particularly for those who are sexually active. Indeed it would be most unusual for a woman to go through life without having had at least one attack of UTI. The majority of women will have UTI several times during their lives.
In young men the condition is much rarer than in their female cohorts. If a young man presents with UTI this usually alerts the doctor into investigating it to rule out an underlying cause like kidney infection or pyelonephritis. The reason why men contract UTI less than do women is thought to be because men, having a much longer urethra, are protected from bacteria entering the bladder. However, in later life older men may start getting UTI as a consequence of having prostate disease and urinary stasis.
Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection: The symptoms of UTI are the same of men and women and are:
• Urinary frequency and a feeling of needing to pass water even when the bladder is empty.
• Burning pain on passing water. This may be particularly acute at the start of urinating. This is called dysurea.
• Fever and flu-like symptoms.
Causes of Urinary Tract Infections: In the main the cause of UTI is bacteria entering the bladder and setting up an infection of the bladder lining. This is also called cystitis. This is sometimes facilitated in women by sexual activity and in older men by urinary stasis due to BPH. Not all UTI is bacteriological in nature. Viruses can also cause similar symptoms although viral UTI is not as common as bacterial.
Treatment of UTI: In the main UTI is treated with antibiotics. However it is very important that the type of infection is ascertained first before antibiotics are commenced. Just giving antibiotics without testing for the sensitivity of the bug is poor practise. The test that is carried out is call Urine Culture and Sensitivity. This usually identifies the bug and tells the doctor to what antibiotic it is sensitive and to which it may be resistant.
Not all UTI will require an antibiotic. Some women learn to distinguish between cystitis that may require an antibiotic for those that may not. Often by simple drinking a great deal of fluids and taking cranberry juice the bacteria can be flushed out of the bladder and symptoms made to disappear. Studies have shown that cranberry juice does in fact have mild antiseptic properties and is therefore always useful in the management of cystitis.
Prevention of UTI or Recurring Cystitis: Here are some measures that may reduce to incidence of recurring UTI:
• After using the toilet always wipe from front to back to avoid introducing bacteria from rectum to vagina or urethra.
• Showers should be favored over baths. Sitting for long periods in hot baths is conducive to bacteria entering the bladder.
• Tampons should be used rather that sanitary pads.
• Keep the bladder empty. Do not go for long hours without emptying the bladder.
• Do not wear tight clothing or underclothing made from non-breathing material like nylon. Cotton is probably best.
• Drink lots of fluids including regular cranberry juice.
If you are concerned about UTI or recurring cystitis then we are here we are here to help you. If you need any help, support of advice about this topic please contact us now.