Urinary tract infection in women occurs when bacteria enters the urinary tract and begin to multiply. It can affect the kidneys, bladder, ureter and urethra. The risk of Urinary tract infection is high in women than men due to their anatomy. Usually, the infection affects the bladder and urethra.
Infection of the bladder (cystitis) caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli) which is found in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Sexual intercourse can lead to cystitis.
Infection of the urethra (urethritis) caused when GI bacteria spread from the anus to the urethra.
Symptoms of UTI in Women
Though the infection don’t always cause signs and symptoms, but when they do it includes:
Mostly Urinary tract infections are caused by the bacterium Escherichia coli which can infect the urethra. The infection vary depending on the site:
A bladder infection is called cystitis.
A urethra infection is called urethritis.
A kidney infection is called pyelonephritis.
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The best treatment for UTI in females is medication or antibiotics. However, the type of medication and urinary tract infection women treatment duration depends on the symptoms and medical history.
Drinking lots of fluids help flush out urinary tract infections and lowers the risk of future infection.
It is always recommended to complete the full course of medication to clear the infection fully and to reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance.
Recurrent infections in women
Those women who have recurrent bladder infections are advised to take a:
Dose of an antibiotic after sex
Daily dose of an antibiotic for at least 6 months
Vaginal estrogen therapy
There are home remedies that can help those suffering from UTI:
Drinking fluids and frequent urination can help flush bacteria from the body and help to relieve discomfort.
Cranberries extracts may help prevent UTI development. It contains compounds that prevent E. coli from sticking to the walls of the digestive and urinary tracts.
Regular use of probiotics may help reduce the risk of UTIs.
Nearly fifty percent of women experience at least one UTI during their lifetime and remaining experience recurrent UTIs.
As UTI in pregnancy can be dangerous for both mother and baby, so pregnant women are tested for the presence of bacteria in their urine, and treated with antibiotics to prevent spread.
Though people of any age and sex can develop a UTI. There are some people who are more at risk than others. The following factors can increase the likelihood of developing a UTI:
poor personal hygiene
problems emptying the bladder
having a urinary catheter
suppressed immune system
UTI if left untreated for long can have serious complications.
Following few steps can help reduce the risk of urinary tract infections:
Drink plenty of liquids.
Wipe from front to back after urinating and after a bowel movement.
Empty your bladder soon after intercourse.