Urologic Diseases
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Overview:
Urinary tract infections affect the lower urinary tracts up to the kidneys.
Women are more likely than men to get UTIs.
UTIs are usually caused by bacteria from rectum entering the urinary tract.
Kidney stones and certain types of birth control may cause UTIs.
If treated properly, complications rarely show.
Drinking plenty of fluids is key to  prevent UTIs.

Introduction:
The urinary tract has two parts: the lower and upper tracts. The upper part involves the kidneys and the ureters, while the lower is made up of the bladder and urethra. 

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs):
UTI is a bacterial infection that affects the lower urinary tracts. Sometimes, it affects the whole urinary system up to the kidneys. It affects all age groups. Yet, women are more likely than men to get UTI.

Types of Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs):
  • Only urethra.
  • The bladder.
  • The kidney.

Causes:
UTIs are usually caused by bacteria from rectum entering the urinary tract.

Symptoms:
Urinary tract infections don't always cause signs and symptoms, but when they do they may include:
  • A strong, persistent urge to urinate.
  • A burning sensation when urinating.
  • Passing frequent, small amounts of urine.
  • Urine that appears cloudy and strong-smelling.
  • Pelvic pain (in women).

Symptoms may differ based on UTI stype:
Urethra.
Bladder.
Kidney.
Burning with urination with discharge.
  • ​Pelvic pain.
  • Lower abdomen discomfort.
  • Frequent, painful urination.
  • Blood in urine​

  • Upper back and side (flank) pain.
  • High fever.
  • Shaking and chills.
  • Nausea and vomiting.​


When you must see a doctor?
  • If you have signs and symptoms of a UTI (bladder and upper urinary tracts)..
  • If symptoms are acute and aggravate.
  • If you have frequent UTIs.

Diagnosis:
  • Diagnosis involves reviewing the patient's medical history and clinical tests. Medical procedure may be needed to exclude other illnesses than UTIs, including urine analysis and urine culture to identify infection bacteria.
  • This may also involve creating images of your urinary tract to ensure urinary health and exclude the presence of stones.
  • Using a scope to see inside your bladder.

Risk Factor:
  • Blockages in the urinary tract such as kidney stones.
  • Obstructive urinary tract problems.
  • Birth control diaphragms (for women).
  • Use of urine catheter.
  • Enlarged prostate (for men). Obstructive urination and abnormal urine direction.

Higher Susceptibility Groups:
  • Pregnant women.
  • Diabetic persons.
  • Persons with immunological disorders.
  • Children (mainly with urinary tract defects).
  • Kidney transplant patients.
Complications: 
When treated promptly and properly, lower urinary tract infections rarely lead to complications.But left untreated, a urinary tract infection can have serious consequences, including:
  • Recurrent infections.
  • Permanent kidney damage.
  • Increased risk in pregnant women of delivering premature infants.
  • Urethral narrowing (stricture) in men from recurrent urethritis.
  • Sepsis.

Treatment:
based on doctor's decision, antibiotics and pain killers are the first line treatment for urinary tract infections.

Prevention:
  • Drink plenty of liquids.
  • Keep the area clean and sterilize with non-scented wipes. 
  • Pee as soon as you feel like to urinate.
  • Change your birth control method.
  • Wipe from front to back.
  • Pee as soon as possible after sex.

FAQs:
Can drinking cranberry juice cure a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
Cranberry make urine more acidic. So, some opine that bacteria are less likely to thrive in a more acidic milieu. Some monogrpahs stress that it hep reduce infections, though with little or no scientific evidence so far. 

Misconceptions:
Only women are affected by the UTIs.
Truth: Both men and women of all ages can be affected by UTIs, though women are more likely to get UTIs.

Clinical Education General Department
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Last Update : 21 September 2021 10:38 PM
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