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Urinary Tract Infection

Under normal circumstances, the urinary system and its structure helps ward off infection. Immune defenses also play a part. The urinary tract is the body's filtering system for removal of liquid wastes. Women may be more susceptible to UTI because their urethral opening is near the source of bacteria. Women who are newly sexually active or have a new sexual partner may be at increased risk of contracting Urinary Tract Infection.

Causes for UTI infection in women


  • The female urethra is shorter and this makes it easier for bacteria to travel
  • If the bladder is not completely emptied, it may lead to infection.
  • Pregnant women and diabetic women are more likely to develop UTI
  • Stones or tumor in the urinary tract can cause urinary tract
  • Urinary catheters and nephrostomy tubes are also likely causes of UTI in women

UTI treatment

UTI treatment involves a course of antibiotics. Treatment of UTI is done with amoxicillin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole or fluoroquinolones. Treating UTI caused by bladder outlet obstructions may necessitate surgery and hospitalization. Drinking plenty of water and fluids will aid in flushing away the bacteria from the urinary system. Some doctors recommend Vitamin C as it will make the urine acidic and thereby hostile to bacteria. The most important tip to prevent urinary tract infections, bladder infections, and kidney infections is to practice good personal hygiene.

Cause of Urinary Tract Infection

E. coli is the most common cause of UTI. When the infection is limited to the urethra, it is called urethritis. A bladder infection is called cystitis. If the UTI is not treated in time, the infection will travel up and infect the kidneys. Other microorganisms called Chlamydia and Mycoplasma are also known to cause UTI infection. Other causes of UTI are bladder outlet obstructions or suppressed immune system. Certain blood types enable bacteria to attach more easily to cells that line the urinary tract, causing recurrent infections.

Cystitis

Cystitis is an infection of the bladder typically caused by urinary tract infection. It is characterized by painful urination and frequent urination. Other symptoms of cystitis include traces of blood in the urine, lower back pain, fever and general weakness. Usually women suffer cystitis more often than males on account of the short urethra that makes it more prone to bacteria. It is more common in pregnant women and post-menopausal women. Men who are more prone to cystitis are those with enlarged prostate. Urinary catheters, diaphragms and tampons can bring on a bout of cystitis infection. Keeping yourself well hydrated with water and cranberry juice helps prevent cystitis. Avoid vaginal deodorants. You can make the urine less acidic by taking sodium citrate or potassium citrate.


UTI Treatments

Antibiotics prescribed for the Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)/ Cystitis - also prevent complications of Urinary Tract such as kidney damage. Use of antibiotics to treat Urinary tract infection helps relieve symptoms soon. Some times antibiotics are prescribed as preventive therapy for women who have recurrent UTI or patients who had undergone Kidney transplantation, or contemplate surgery in the urinary tract.


The following is a list of the main stream Antibiotics class prescribed for the UTI :


  • Beta lactams: Penicillin either alone or as a combination like Amoxicillin with Clavulanate
  • Cephalosporin Cephalexin, Cefadroxil and Cefuroxime
  • Pivmecillinam

  • Fluoroquinolones: Ofloxacin, Norfloxacin, Ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin

  • Aminoglycosides: Gentamicin and Amikacin
  • Nitrofurantoin: Macrodantin
  • Fosfomycin: This may be the antibiotics of choice for UTI in pregnant women
  • Carbapenem: Doripenem
  • Tetracyclines: Tetracycline, Doxycycline and Minocycline

Other than the above, Trimethoprim and Sulfamethoxazole combination may also be prescribed. Note that the treatment for UTI with antibiotics is always carefully chosen based on the individual case - age, sex and other prevailing conditions.

Reactions to antibiotics such as diarrhea, stomach cramps and loss of appetite might be noticed. Antacids and zinc supplements might also be prescribed along with antibiotics for UTI. Keep your doctor informed if you are taking birth control pills or anticoagulants. Anti spasm drugs like Methenamine or Flavoxate may also be prescribed to manage the symptoms of UTI.

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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: November 15, 2019