Some of us are more prone to a Urinary Tract Infection, aren’t we? That was too abrupt a start, right? I know. But I want to address (direct and straight) all those women out there who have had just too many episodes of UTI. I know how debilitating this problem is. I remember not being even able to sit in the class as a child, and I couldn’t even express my discomfort. We all learn without being taught that it is a big taboo to talk about our private parts, and so did I. But I urge each one of you to stop tolerating anything like this. I am not going to just give a lecture on why you should not keep it a secret. Instead, I am here to tell you all I can about Urinary Tract Infection and make you self-sufficient enough to decide the course of action when a UTI hits you. So, let’s begin with the basics.
Q1) What Exactly Is A Urinary Tract Infection?
I always had fun as a child when I was asked to pronounce Escherichia.coli. I fancied the name of this nasty bacterium until I knew this is the culprit behind urinary tract infections. It is primarily bacteria, but sometimes, it could be fungi causing the infection. Also, the UTI we all are acquainted with precisely is only the bladder infection. UTI is a sort of an umbrella term for infections anywhere in the urinary tract – the ureters, the urethra, and even the kidneys. Bladder infections are the most rampant and biggest pains in the neck, or maybe pain in the urinary tract.
Q2) Why Are Women More Prone Than Men To Developing A UTI?
This question, in fact, indirectly gives an answer to the question, “Does UTI occur only in women?” I mean, come on, anyone with a urinary tract can get a UTI. Now, coming back to the question, it is the anatomical feature of the female body that is to be blamed for the increased vulnerability to UTIs. The urethral opening in the female body is smaller than in the male genitals, which makes it easy for microbes to enter the urinary tract (1). Also, some bacteria from the anus also find it convenient to get into the vagina because of the way women parts are constructed. How sad! But, anyway, remember that the mere presence of bacteria is not going to cause infection because our urinary tract always contains a population of good bacteria that don’t cause any harm. It is only the harmful pathogens that cause the infection.
Q3) Why On Earth Did I Get UTI?
- You might not be drinking enough fluids, specifically water. An acidic environment in the vagina helps to multiply the bad bacteria.
- You are holding your pee in for a long time. Again, it helps the bacteria to thrive.
- You aren’t maintaining proper hygiene down in the south.
- Your sugar levels might not be under control. A high sugar level in the body, quite often than not, reflects in your urine, and sugar is a very conducive substratum for dear E.coli to breed and enlarge his family.
- This one’s not a very happy thing you’d want to listen to, but yes, frequent penetrative intercourse could also be a reason.
- You have been on a heavy dose of antibiotics recently.
- You sit in a place for a very long time. Yes, immobility is a cause too.
- Pregnancy, menopause, kidney stones, and catheter use are other possible reasons.
Q4) What Are The Inconveniences I Should Expect When I Get A UTI?
- One major issue, which I needn’t tell if you have had UTI many times, is that there is a recurrent urge to pee, but ironically, you just can’t pee. This is a strange and the most difficult symptom to deal with. Such a confused soul! Like, pee if you want to, why give the urge and not trickle? Whatever!
- You might have to deal with the back and pelvic pain that come with this infection.
- Don’t be too scared if there is a little blood in the urine even when you are not having your period. Also, your urine could appear a bit cloudy.
- Plus, since there’s an infection in the body, there are chances you develop a fever.
- Be ready for frequent urges and urination and pain while urinating. Yes, UTI is an awful thing.
Q5) Are There Any Diagnostic Tests That I Can Get Done?
If the problem is too severe and recurrent, you could go in for ultrasound scans, an X-ray scan, a CT or an MRI depending on what your doctor suggests, obviously. Also, sometimes, a cystoscopy is done, where a camera is sent into the urethra to know what exactly is causing the infection. Sometimes, knowing your medical history, along with doing a simple physical examination, can give the doctor an insight. He might ask for further tests if he senses some abnormality. If you experience other symptoms, like sudden urges to pee or urine leakage, you might want to get the urodynamic test done. It is a procedure that examines how your lower urinary tract is working, particularly the tract’s ability to hold urine.
Q6) How Can I Prevent Frequent UTIs?
- The first step is to stay hydrated. Drink lots of water. This has personally helped me a lot. Just gulp down as much as even two liters of water, and then all you do is urinate frequently – but this is what flushes the harmful bacteria out of the tract when you pee. Also, drinking water helps in neutralizing the pH.
- Do not hold your pee in for a long time.
- Also, make sure you use decently hygienic washrooms. Plus, develop hygienic habits like wearing clean and washed panties. Avoid sharing intimate wear with your girl BFFs.
- Keep the genitals dry.
- If your menopause is around the corner and that is causing recurrent UTIs, talk to your doctor if he wants to put you on some estrogen therapy, for, estrogen reduction that happens in menopause causes loss of good bacteria.
- Reduce having penetrative sex and confine it to not more than twice a week if that is the trigger. Switch to safer positions that will not cause the anal bacteria to move into the vagina during intercourse.
- Also, avoid using lubricants that have sugar in them. Keep your fasting sugar levels under control. Yeast and bacteria breed and multiply quickly if there’s too much sugar in the urine.
That was a long list! But staying informed and conscious is the best way to avoid illness. However cliched it may sound, try to prevent a UTI than struggle to cure it. Mothers, since you know that it is a herculean task to combat a UTI, please stay safe and also teach your young girls to stay safe. And, PLEASE teach them that it is okay to discuss vaginas and urine. Of course, also let them know the appropriate person and circumstances where it is okay to discuss. I’d like to hear back from you people. Comment below and tell me what according to you is the most difficult part of dealing with a UTI.
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