A UTI is an affliction that women are 10 times more likely to get than men, and one that 50% of women will get during their lifetime. Understanding UTI or urinary tract infection symptoms can help you properly identify the infection as well as avoid a reoccurrence.
Caused by bacteria, a urinary tract infection is a bacterial infection that has a tendency to recur within six months of treatment. This happens when a women becomes infected in the same region but by a different bacteria. Although most urinary tract infections invade only the lower portion of your urinary tract, the infection can travel to the kidneys, bladder, urethra, or ureters and cause serious consequences.
Any man or women can become infected with a UTI, although it is more likely to be found in a woman because their urethra is shorter than a man’s. There are however, factors that can increase your risk of getting a urinary infection. Conditions such as:
Urinary tract infections are caused when bacteria enters the urethra and begins to multiply. Most bladder infections are caused by Escherichia coli or E. coli bacteria, while infections of the urethra, called urethritis, are generally from GI or gastrointestinal bacteria.
It is common to have a urinary tract infection without displaying symptoms however; there are symptoms you can watch for if you are someone prone to reoccurring urinary infections:
More severe symptoms include:
To determine if you have a urinary infection your doctor will generally gather a urine sample to look for white and red blood cells as well as the presence of bacteria. Computerized tomography or CT scans, and an intravenous pyelogram or IVPs, can also prove helpful if your doctor thinks you have an abnormality. A cystoscope is another form of testing, where a doctor looks directly into your urethra and the passage into the bladder.
To avoid a UTI, drinking plenty of water will help the body to rid itself of bacteria. Water also keeps urine diluted and encourages you to urinate more often, again, keeping the bacteria buildup to a minimum. It is also important to wipe from front to back after a bowel movement and avoid using deodorized feminine products as they can easily irritate the urethra.