Urinary Infections

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are infections that are caused by bacteria that are overcoming the body’s defences inside the urinary tract. They may affect the kidneys, bladder and the tubes that run between them.

The urinary tract is divided into two sections which are the upper urinary tract and the lower urinary tract. The upper urinary tract consists of the kidneys and the ureter, whereas the lower urinary tract consists f the bladder and the urethra.

Why are urinary infections problematic?

Urinary infections are common in women than in men because women have a shorter urethra than men, which then shortens the distance that bacteria’s take to travel to the bladder. Women may experience more than one infection during their lifetime. Left untreated, they will cause urinary tract abnormalities where urine us unable to leave the body normally or cause urine to back up in the urethra, and or cause blockages in the urinary tract which the blockage may be caused by kidney stones or an enlarged prostate.

What symptoms can be expected from urinary infection?

Symptoms of a urinary infection vary due to age, gender, the presence of a catheter and which part of the urinary tract has been affected. Symptoms of a urinary tract include:

  • Strong and frequent urge to urinate
  • Pain or burning sensation when urinating
  • Cloudy, bloody or strong-smelling urine
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Muscle aches and abdominal pains

How are urinary infections treated?

Urinary infections are classified as simple UTI and complicated UTI. Simple UTIs are infections that occur in healthy people with normal urinary tracts and complicated UTIs occur in abnormal urinary tracts or when the bacteria causing the infection can’t be treated by antibiotics. Normally women have simple UTIs whilst in men and children, it’s thought to be complicated.

Simple urinary tract infections are treated with antibiotic medication which may treat the infection in a short period of time, though some infections may take longer to be treated. Complicated urinary tract infection will need a longer course of antibiotics to be prescribed. In some cases, antibiotic therapy can begin intravenously (IV) in the hospital. Kidney infections are treated as complicated UTIs.


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