November 28, 2022

What is Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)?

Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common bacterial infection in any part of the urinary system, that includes ureters, kidneys (kidney infection), urethra (urethritis), and bladder (cystitis). Majority of the infections occur in lower urinary track- the urethra and bladder. Most of the UTIs are treated with antibiotics, however, sometimes they are not required, and only precautionary measures can help.

As women’s urethra is shorter as compared to men’s, they are more likely to suffer from UTIs. According to studies, some women might get UTIs few times in a year, and hence UTI is more concerning for women as compared to men.

As women’s urethra is shorter as compared to men’s, they are more likely to suffer from UTIs. According to studies, some women might get UTIs few times in a year, and hence UTI is more concerning for women as compared to men.

UTI Symptoms

The most common symptoms of UTI include

  • Strong and frequent urge to urinate
  • Burning feeling while urinating
  • Passing small amounts of urine frequently
  • Cloudy looking urine
  • Feeing tried
  • Signs of blood in urine- bright pink, red or cola colored urine
  • Strong smell of urine

Although majority of the UTI symptoms female are same as UTI symptoms male, the major difference is moderate to strong pelvic pain in women- specifically around the area of pelvic bone and in the center of pelvis. Besides this, UTI symptoms female and UTI symptoms male are exactly the same, as mentioned above.

Different types of UTIs also have some distinct symptoms, depending on the part of urinary tract they are affecting. The most common types are:

  • Kidney Infection (kidneys)- high fever, nausea, side or back pain, chills and shaking, vomiting
  • Urethritis (urethra)- discharge and burning with urine
  • Cystitis (bladder)- lower belly discomfort, pelvic pressure, blood in urine, frequent and painful urination

UTI Causes

Urethra, the tube responsible for taking urine from bladder to outside the body, is close to anus. Sometimes because of washing from back to front, bacteria E. Coli and others from anal canal transfer to urethra. If untreated, they can go on to affect kidneys as well. Having shorter urethra as compared to men, women are at higher risk of UTI, as it is easy for bacteria to enter bladder in women.

Sometimes women also get UTI because of their genes, multiple sclerosis hormonal changes and anything else that might affect urine flow, like stroke, kidney stones and spinal cord injury. Diabetic women are also at higher risk of UTI, as their weakened immune system is less able to fight infections and bacteria.

Other UTI causes include:

  • Previous UTI
  • Changes in bacteria living inside vagina- also known as vaginal flora. Menopause or use of spermicides can be the cause of these bacterial changes.
  • Pregnancy
  • Age (young children and older adults are more likely to get UTIs)
  • Enlarged prostate and other structural problems in urinary track that can cause blockage in urinary track
  • Poor hygiene conditions- for instance children who are potty training
  • Use of catheter
  • Recent urinary procedure
  • Sexual activity
  • Some types of birth control- specially diaphragms

How to prevent UTI

If you are searching for ‘How to prevent UTI’, you need to take the following measures:

  • Drink plenty of water and other liquids– it helps in diluting urine, causing more urination, and allowing bacteria to be flushed out of urinary track before they cause infection.
  • Wipe yourself from front to back– after urination and bowel movement wipe from front to back, as it prevents spread of bacteria from anus to vagina and urethra.
  • Empty your bladder after sexual activity– drinking a glass of water also helps in flushing bacteria
  • Avoid feminine products that might cause irritation– including douches, deodorant sprays, and powders, as their use in genital area can irritate urethra.
  • Change method of birth control– unlubricated condoms, diaphragms or condoms with spermicides can also cause bacterial growth.

UTI prevention diet

UTI prevention diet mainly contains

  • Cranberry Juice– some studies show that cranberry juice assists in reducing the recurrence of UTIs. However, as most of cranberry juice have high sugar content, using cranberry concentrate mixed with water is usually recommended.
  • Broccoli– high in vitamin C, it helps in making urine more acidic and hampers growth of UTI causing bacteria.
  • Cinnamon– it has antibacterial properties, and is rich in compounds that reduce inflammation, while hampering growth of bacteria and other pathogens.
  • Papaya– like broccoli, it is also loaded with vitamin C, and supports immune system while increasing acidity of urine and hampering bacterial growth.
  • Kefir– it is a beverage made with fermented milk. Rich in probiotics, it helps preventing UTI by keeping harmful bacteria from growing inside vagina (from where they travel to urinary track and cause infections)
  • Garlic– it is high in allicin and some other compounds having antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. It also enhances immunity of body and protects against variety of bacteria including E. Coli.

Urinary Tract Infection Treatment

Antibiotics are most common treatment for UTIs. However, Urinary Tract Infection Treatment, in addition to medication, also includes drinking plenty of water. However, if UTI is chronic, the treatment consists of using antibiotic over longer period and the patients need further investigation to rule out any underlying causes. The use of medication is also required after sexual intercourse, for a few days, after appearance of UTI symptoms.

Al Hilal Hospital Bahrain, Department of Urology

If you are having symptoms of UTI, you need to consult a urologist for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Al Hilal Hospital Bahrain, Department of Urology has both male and female urologists, high-end equipment, state-of-the-art laboratories, and professional staff, to provide outstanding healthcare services to all the patients. Our healthcare professionals are highly qualified and trained, with proven record of accurate diagnosis and effective treatment. Contact Al Hilal Hospital Bahrain, Department of Urology today, and get consultation with the best Urologist in Bahrain for treatment of UTI and other issues.

Written By: Dr. Shabeena Naz