Urinary Tract Infection – Symptoms and Causes of Urinary Tract Infection
The encroachment of the bacteria in the urinary tract causes infection in the urinary tract. It may occur at the kidney, bladder, ureters or urethra. The bacterium enters through the opening of the urethra, proceeding towards the urinary tract.
Urinary tract infection is very painful, distressing your life. If left untreated at an early stage, it may lead to serious consequences.
Acute cystitis is the most common type bacterial infection in the bladder infection. This infection can lead to cystitis which is a very common problem in women.
When the infection occurs in the kidney or the upper urinary tract, it is known as pyelonephritis. This is a very serious complication. Any signs like frequent urge to urinate, feeling pain while urinating and cloudy appearance of urine must be diagnosed early. Infection in the upper urinary tract is referred as pyelonephritis.
UTI can affect anyone but women are more vulnerable than men. Because in women, the urethra is more close to the digestive opening than the penis in in males. Children may also suffer but the headcount is negligible when compared to adults.
Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection
- Frequent urge to urinate which is mostly constant
- Frequent urination
- Painful urination
- Urination leaving a burning sensation (dysuria)
- Traces of blood seen in urine
- Pain associated with fever and vomiting
- Aching back
- Pain felt below the ribs
Symptoms of Infection in kidneys
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pain felt below ribs
Symptoms of Infection in the bladder
- Burning sensation while urinating (dysuria)
- Increased frequency of urination
- Continuous urge to urinate
- Significant urge without vaginal discharge or significant pain
Symptoms of infection in the upper Urinary Tract
- Flank pain may be felt
Causes of Urinary Tract Infection
Infection of the urinary tract is caused due to bacterial infection. The causative agent is Escherichia coli. Usually urine contains various fluids, salts and wastes, and however, does not have bacteria in it. But when bacteria get into the kidney or the gall bladder, it multiplies in the urine causing Urinary tract infection. The various ways through which the infection enters the body are listed below –
- Entry through the urethra –
The bacteria from the digestive tract holds on to the opening of the urethra.
- Sexual intercourse –
During a sexual intercourse,the bacteria lying in the vaginal tract gets pushed inside the urethra. Thus, allowing the entry of the infection into the body. Having different sexual partners can also be a threat to UTI.
- Waiting for a prolonged period to urinate may cause this infection. Prolonged waiting for urination cam stretch the bladder, making it weak. This disallows the bladder to empty itself. This is how the chances of of infection increases with the increased remain of the bladder.
- Urinary catheters –
Indwelling urinary catheters are one of the common risks of UTIs. This can be controlled using the intermittent catheterization in place of an indwelling catheter.
- Genetics –
Bladder infection has been found running in families.
- Other risk factors causing infection are –
- sickle-cell disease
- anatomical malformations in the urinary tract (like prostate enlargement)