Women have a 50% infection risk of experiencing Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) in their lifetime and 20-30% of experiencing a recurrent infection. Do you know enough about to handle it when it comes? p.s.
Both men and women may develop UTI but the reason why women have a higher risk is due to a difference in body structure. As the name describes, UTI occurs when bacteria enters the urinary tract, which causes an infection in the urinary system. While there are many kinds of UTI, the most common is the lower urinary tract which affects the bladder and urethra.
Causes of Urinary Tract Infection
So where do these bacteria come from and how do they enter the urethra?
Well, from the diagram above, women are more susceptible to having bacteria entering our urethra due to our anatomy – we have a shorter distance between the urethra and anus. On the other hand, it is more common for men above the age of 50 to develop UTI as compared to young men. In general, the likelihood of developing UTI in both men and women are further increased in situations when bacteria is introduced.
- Kidney stones
- Poor personal hygiene
- Sexual intercourse – pushing of bad bacteria into the urinary tract
- Blocked urine flow – e.g. holding in of urine
- Certain contraception/birth controls – e.g. diaphragms, tampons, condoms with spermicidal foam
- Kidney stones
- Sexual Intercourse (rarer in men)
- Enlarged prostatic gland
- Poor personal hygiene
- Poor immune system – unable to fight against bacteria
Symptoms of UTI
It is easy to identify because IT CAN GET REALLY PAINFUL.
- Burning sensation when urinating
- Frequent/Persistent urge to urinate but only able to pass out small amounts
- Abnormal urine – blood in urine, cloudy, pungent smell
- Pelvic/Abdominal pain
However, if you still are unsure, do visit a doctor to get it properly diagnosed!
UTI Prevention Methods
If you have not experienced UTI before, or if you have but you don’t want to experience it again, here are some precautions which you should take!
- Drink sufficient water daily: Drinking eight cups of water daily is recommended for a reason. Drinking water helps to dilute and flush out bacteria from your body.
- Empty your bladder: Don’t hold your urine in for long period of time! Empty your bladder when you have to.
- Urinating after sexual intercourse: Helps to flush the urethra of any bacteria.
- Improved personal hygiene: For women, practice wiping from the front to back (urethra to anus) rather than the other way round to reduce the introduction of bacteria to the urinary system. Or use a water hose to wash after urinating and just simply dab dry. For men, ensure that your genitals are properly cleansed.
UTI Treatment Methods
While we all should strive to prevent developing UTI, some things are inevitable.
We have identified two ways to go about treating your UTI:
The most straightforward and obvious solution is to go visit the doctor. You will most likely be prescribed antibiotics medication that will help kill the bacteria that is causing the infection.
A few methods that will help treat UTI by yourself (note: do this only if you feel that it is mild and the doctor is not needed) are those mentioned in the prevention methods. But apart from those, here are some other ways:
- Consume/Drink pomegranate juice
In comparison to its cranberry peer, pomegranates are packed with a load of vitamin C and antioxidants that help to flush out the bacteria while boosting your overall immune system. Hence, providing a faster recovery from your UTI.
- Use a heating patch (like MenstruHeat)
Helps to promote blood circulation to the abdomen/bladder area which reduces bladder pressure or discomfort caused by UTI.
I hope that this article is thorough and comprehensive enough for you to get a good understanding of what UTI is. And now, you will be equipped with the knowledge of handling it should you (or your friend) get it. If you have had UTI before, share with us your experience and what you did to treat it!