“Prevalence of urinary tract infection on the rise”


August 4, 2023


“Prevalence of urinary tract infection on the rise”

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are common bacterial infections that affect the urinary system, including the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra.

In recent years, the prevalence of UTIs has been on the rise, particularly in women.

UTIs can occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract through improper genital hygiene or when infections from other parts of the body spread through the bloodstream.

Various factors contribute to the increased occurrence of UTIs in women, such as the proximity of the female urethra to the anus, shorter urethra length, and hormonal changes.

These factors make it easier for bacteria to enter the urinary tract, leading to infections.

Preventive measures can significantly reduce the risk of UTIs. Women should pay attention to their personal hygiene, especially during menstruation and after sexual intercourse.

It is essential to wipe from front to back after using the toilet to prevent bacteria from entering the urethra. Staying hydrated and urinating frequently also helps flush out bacteria from the urinary tract.

If a woman experiences symptoms of a UTI, such as a burning sensation during urination, frequent urge to urinate, cloudy or foul-smelling urine, or pelvic pain, it is crucial to seek medical attention promptly.

A healthcare professional, like a urogynecologist, can diagnose a UTI through a simple urine test and prescribe appropriate antibiotics for treatment.

Based on these and similar topics, Khabarhub spoke with urogynecologist Dr. Tarun Pradhan, who provided valuable insights regarding urinary tract infections (UTIs) and their treatment.

Dr. Pradhan shed light on the factors contributing to the increased incidence of UTIs in women, as well as the importance of maintaining proper hygiene and seeking timely medical attention to prevent and manage these infections effectively. Excerpts:.

Why are urinary tract infections increasing in women?

The part of their body where urine collects is called the urinary tract. The tube leading to the kidney is called the urethra.

An increasing trend of urinary tract infections in women suggests that there might be a rising issue with the urethra. Urinary tract infections can vary depending on the affected part of the body, and the symptoms may differ as well.

What are the symptoms of a urinary tract infection?

Urinary tract infections can present with both visible and invisible symptoms. In the case of a simple problem, a woman may experience an urgent need to urinate, burning sensation during urination, passing small but cloudy urine, foul-smelling urine, and occasionally blood in the urine.

Some individuals might also encounter severe abdominal pain and fever. Other possible symptoms include lower abdominal pain, pain or burning sensation after urination, frequent urge to urinate every half hour, and a slow, dribbling urine flow.

If someone finds themselves needing to urinate three or four times at night, it is advisable to consider the possibility of a urinary tract infection.

What kind of people are more susceptible to urinary tract infections?

People who have multiple sexual partners may be at a higher risk of developing urinary tract infections.

Additionally, pregnant women, those with diabetes, HIV, or persistent viral infections are also more vulnerable to such infections.

Other factors that can increase the likelihood of urinary tract infections include frequent use of antibiotics, poor hygiene practices, prolonged use of the same underwear, and the presence of kidney, urinary tract, or bladder stones.

Are all women equally susceptible to the same urinary tract infection?

Urinary tract infections can also affect men, but women tend to be more susceptible to them.

This higher vulnerability is attributed to the fact that the female urethra is smaller and shorter, making it easier for germs to enter and cause infections.

As a result, women should prioritize their physical health and take preventive measures.

During the examination of a urinary tract infection, the presence of germs in the urine confirms the infection.

Pregnant women are at a higher risk of developing such infections due to their lower immunity levels.

Additionally, women with conditions like iron deficiency, diabetes, weakness, and older age may also be prone to urinary tract infections.

Hence, it is crucial for women to be vigilant and take proper care during these times to avoid potential infections.

Is urine infection transmitted from one person to another?

Urine infection is not considered a contagious disease like some other illnesses.

However, it can become a transmission medium if proper hygiene is not maintained.

For instance, if a person with a urinary tract infection uses bathroom water that is not clean, and the bathroom itself is not adequately sanitized, it can become a potential source of transmission.

Therefore, while the infection itself is not contagious, taking precautions and practicing good hygiene can help prevent its spread.

What are the consequences if this problem is left untreated?

If a urinary tract infection is not treated promptly, it can lead to several serious effects.

Initially, the infection in the urine may progress and affect the kidneys, resulting in a condition known as pyelonephritis.

This can cause symptoms such as fever and stomach ache.

In more severe cases, the infection can spread to the bloodstream, leading to a condition called sepsis, which can cause fever throughout the body and potentially become life-threatening.

If the infection remains confined to the bladder and urethra, it may recur frequently, causing persistent discomfort month after month.

However, if left untreated, the infection can progress, impacting the proper functioning of the kidneys.

Furthermore, there is a risk that the infection could spread to other reproductive organs, such as the uterus and fallopian tubes, leading to more severe complications.

Given these potential consequences, it is crucial to treat urinary tract infections promptly to prevent further complications and safeguard overall health.

What to do when you encounter such a problem?

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is essential to seek medical attention at the nearest hospital.

A thorough examination will be conducted to identify the presence of worms, pus, or blood in the urine, and appropriate medication will be prescribed accordingly.

For those experiencing burning sensation during urination, medication tailored to address this issue should be taken as prescribed or recommended by a healthcare professional.

If a urinary tract infection is diagnosed, it is essential to increase fluid intake and drink more water than usual.

This helps increase urine output, effectively flushing out the germs from the system along with the urine.

In more severe cases, such as when there is a high fever and significant back pain, indicative of potential kidney involvement, immediate hospital admission is advised for proper treatment and management.

Remember, timely medical attention and following prescribed treatments are crucial in effectively addressing urinary tract infections and preventing further complications.

How to prevent the occurrence of such a problem?

To prevent urinary tract infections, it is crucial to prioritize certain practices and habits:

People should make a conscious effort to maintain good hygiene practices, especially concerning the genital area.

Avoid delaying urination for prolonged periods and developing the habit of urinating at regular intervals, ideally every one and a half to two hours.

One must stay hydrated by drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day, aiming for around three liters daily, with 250 ml at a time.

One should also avoid excessive water intake in one go to prevent putting undue stress on the kidneys.

Another important factor is to keep the bathrooms clean and hygienic to minimize the risk of infection.

By incorporating these preventive measures into daily routines, individuals can significantly reduce the risk of developing urinary tract infections and maintain good urological health.