Urinary Infections

Urinary infections are one of the most common infections in human beings. These can occur anywhere in the urinary tract, including the urethra, bladder, ureters, and kidneys. Women are more affected by a urinary infection than men with a ratio of 8:1. This means when eight women have urinary infections, only one man has it. This infection can be annoying as well as painful. You can treat a urinary infection by consulting your doctor and taking proper medication for it.

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A urinary infection or urinary tract infection (UTI) is caused by microbes that cannot be seen from the naked eye. Most of the urinary infections are caused by bacteria. Others are caused by fungi and very few are caused by viruses.

A majority of urinary infections take place in the lower tract, including the bladder and urethra. Nevertheless, they can also occur in the upper tract, including the ureters and kidneys. Moreover, lower tract infections are more common as compared to upper ones, which are generally more severe.

UTIs generally take place when bacteria go into your urinary tract via the urethra and grow in the bladder. And, albeit our urinary system is designed so as to hold back these microscopic attackers, sometimes the system fails to do so. This leads to a urinary infection as such bacteria make their place and grow in the urinary tract.

Most commonly, UTIs take place in women and affect the urethra and bladder. Anything that irritates your urinary tract or diminishes your bladder emptying can result in a urinary infection. Some risk factors can increase your chances of getting a UTI. Some of these factors include:

  • A weak immune system
  • An abnormal urinary tract structure from birth
  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes, particularly if it’s not controlled well
  • Extended utilization of urinary catheters that can make it easier for the bacteria to enter your bladder
  • Blockages or obstructions in the urinary tract like kidney stones, an enlarged prostate, and some cancer forms

Apart from these, one major cause of urinary infections in men is having an enlarged prostate. When it comes to women, the major causes include having a shorter urethra, sexual intercourse, spermicides, and low estrogen levels such as after menopause. Also, the use of non-lubricated latex condoms and diaphragms can lead to a UTI.

Treating a urinary infection depends on the cause of it. Therefore, you first need to consult your doctor so that they can inform you about the organism that has caused this infection in your body. The doctor will conduct a test, the results of which will prove the diagnosis.

A lot of urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria. If this is the case with you, then you can treat it by taking an antibiotic. However, sometimes urinary infections can be caused by fungi or viruses. For these also, there are medications. Fungal urinary infections can be treated by antifungals and viral urinary infections can be treated by antivirals.

When it comes to taking antibiotics, you first need to determine which part of your urinary tract is infected. Intravenous antibiotics are used to treat upper urinary tract infections. These antibiotics are directly put into your veins. Oral antibiotics are used to treat lower urinary tract infections.

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