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Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms, Causes And Risk Factors

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Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria and are up to 10 times more common in women than in men. Over 50% of all women will suffer at least from one episode of UTI in their lifetime and often medical advice and treatment instituted with antibiotics will be needed. Approximately in 30-40% of patients that suffered from urinary tract infections, the infection comes back, because it seems that the treatments are useful in the first phase but their effect is not a long-lasting one. Urinary tract infections can also recur when a woman is infected again with other bacteria.

Signs And Symptoms Of Urinary Tract Infection

The main manifestations of UTIs are:

  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Need to urinate more often than usual
  • Blood or pus present in urine
  • Cramps or pain in lower abdomen
  • Chills or fever
  • Strong smell of urine
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Nausea, vomiting and malaise.

Abdominal Pain

Urinary Tract Infection Risk Factors

  • A new sexual partner or multiple sex partners
  • Frequent or intense intercourse
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Presence of bacteria E. coli
  • Saprophytic staph infection
  • Use of irritating products
  • Use of irritating contraceptives, diaphragms and spermicides
  • Use of birth control pills
  • Use powerful antibiotics
  • A blockage in the urinary tract (due to benign or malignant)
  • A history of urinary tract infections, which occurred in a period less than six months. Symptoms may include urinary tract infections and frequent painful urination, fever, chills, abdominal pain and itching. Fortunately, there are practical measures that can be taken to avoid these infections.

Urinary Tract Infection Risk Factors

Urinary tract infections – According to experts, a urinary tract infection occurs more frequently in women. It is believed that about 20% of them have suffered or will suffer a urinary tract infection during their lifetime and of these about in  80%, the infection will be repeated in less than a year. Men may suffer from urinary tract infections but these are often related to obstruction caused by an enlarged prostate.

Why women are prone to urinary tract infections? The reason is the female anatomy. Women have a shorter urethra which means that bacteria get into the urethra easier. In addition, pregnant women are hormonal changes that contribute to a higher incidence of urinary tract infections. Women using a diaphragm, have a higher risk than other women to suffer from urinary tract infections. Regardless of gender, anyone who uses a urinary catheter for a long period of time, whose immune system has recorded changes or kidney stones can block urine flow is a major risk factor for cystitis and other urinary tract infections .

Kidney infection – Elderly people and those with weakened immune systems are particularly sensitive to the appearance of pyelonephritis, so are those who suffer from recurrent urinary tract infections or present a history of obstructed urinary tract, such as kidney stones.