Urinary tract infection (UTI) is when an infection occurs in the urinary tract, namely the urethra, bladder and ureter. If you are a woman, the chance to get a UTI is higher because the female urinary tract is shorter than men, and women are more likely to often urinate than men. Many women are able to experience recurrent UTIs, sometimes for years.
Causes of urinary tract infections
UTI is the main reason why women need to wipe the pubic area after urinating or urinating from front to back after using the bathroom. This is because the urethra, a hose-shaped organ that transports urine from the bladder to the outside of the body, is located close to the anus.
Bacteria from the large intestine, such as E. coli, are in a perfect position to move from the anus to the urethra. From there, bacteria can travel to the bladder, and if the infection is not treated, it will infect the kidneys.
Women may be very susceptible to UTI because they have a shorter urethra, which allows bacteria to reach the bladder quickly. Having sex can also cause bacteria to enter the urinary tract as well so it’s important to wash the pubic area after sex.
Complications of urinary tract infections
When treated promptly and correctly, bladder infections rarely cause complications. But if left untreated, infection can have serious consequences for health.
The complications of a urinary tract infection may include:
- Recurrent infections, especially in women who experience two or more UTIs in a period of six months or four or more in a year
- Permanent kidney damage due to acute or chronic kidney infection (pyelonephritis) due to untreated UTI
- Increased risk in pregnant women gives birth to low birth weight babies or premature babies
- Urethral narrowing (stricture) in men from recurrent urethritis, previously seen with gonococcal urethritis
- Sepsis, an infectious complication that is potentially life threatening, especially if the infection works in your urinary tract to the kidneys.
Symptoms of urinary tract infections
Urinary tract infection (UTI) is divided into two, namely lower UTI and upper UTI. Lower UTI is an infection that occurs in the urethra and bladder (cystitis) with symptoms such as:
To identify a UTI, the following symptoms can occur:
- Pubic feels burning when urinating.
- Often want to urinate, even though urine comes out a little.
- Pain or pressure in the back or lower abdomen.
- Bleed urine or darker color.
- Feeling tired or trembling.
- Fever or cold (signs of infection may have reached the kidney).
Treatment of urinary tract infections
Antibiotics can kill bacteria so they complete UTI. As always, make sure to spend the antibiotics your doctor prescribes correctly, even after you start feeling better.
Not eliminating bacteria will make yourself more susceptible to infection and strengthen bacterial attacks so there is an antibiotic resistance. Also get used to getting antibiotics in accordance with the doctor’s prescription.
In addition, drinking lots of water is also useful to help water bacteria from the urinary tract system. Doctors can also prescribe medications to relieve pain, and reduce fever if there are complaints of pain and fever.
If you suspect you have a urinary tract infection, contact your doctor immediately. Usually, you will be asked to give a urine sample, which will be tested for bacteria in the urine.
If you experience UTI three times a year or more, see your doctor to recommend a special treatment plan. Some treatment options include:
- Take a low dose of antibiotics for a longer period to help prevent recurrent infections.
- Take a single dose of antibiotics after sex, which is a trigger for common infections.
- Taking antibiotics for 1 or 2 days every time the symptoms appear.
Chronic Urinary Tract Infection
About 1 in 5 women experience a second urinary tract infection, while some women experience non-stop infections. In most cases, the cause of this urinary infection is a bacterial attack.
But some types can attack body cells and form communities that are resistant and resistant to antibiotics and the immune system. This group of defectors can travel out of the cell, and then return to attack, which eventually establishes an antibiotic-resistant prime bacterial colony to attack again and again.
Some people are genetically predisposed to having a UTI, while others have abnormalities in the urinary tract structure that make them more susceptible to infection.
Someone with diabetes is at a higher risk because a compromised immune system makes the body less able to fight infections such as UTI. Other conditions that increase risk include pregnancy, multiple sclerosis, and anything that affects urine flow, such as kidney stones, strokes, and spinal cord injuries.
Prevent urinary tract infections
You can prevent UTI with the following tips:
- Don’t hold urine.
- Clean the pubic area from front to back after urinating.
- Drink lots of water.
- Stay away from spray cleaning the area of the woman, deodorizing the female area, and other products for the female area because it will only irritate the mucosa.
- Clean the genital area before having sex.
- Urinate after sex to get rid of bacteria that may have entered the urethra.
- Do not use underwear for days.
- Do not use subordinate clothing that is tight because it will increase humidity.