UTI - Urinary Tract Infection, not many people know how deadly this disease can be sometimes
. Urinary tract infections are one of the most recurring bacterial infections in women and account for almost 25% of the infections.
Around 50-60% women will encounter urinary tract infection once in their entire lifetime, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
Whereas, in men only 12% of males will encounter Urinary Tract Infection once in their entire lifetime according to the Urology Care Foundation.
Urinary Tract Infections become more common in men who are older than 50 years of age.
What exactly is Urinary Tract Infection?
Urinary Tract Infection is an infection caused in any part of the urinary tract including your kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. When UTI affects the lower urinary tract it is known as bladder infection and when it affects the upper urinary tract it is known as a kidney infection.
Women have more chances than men of having a UTI as a woman has shorter urethra than a man does, which makes it easier for bacteria to travel till the bladder. With an increase in age and sexual activity the chances of having a UTI or recurring a UTI increases. Not only this, post-menopausal the risk of acquiring UTI increases as lack of oestrogen and lactobacilli affects the flora of the vagina.
Studies also claim that recurring UTI in women became kidney and bladder cancer as proper preventive measures were not taken.
The other way round, male bodies can be protected by these infections as they have a longer urethra which makes it difficult for the bacteria to travel till the bladder. Also, the prostatic fluid present in the male bodies, has antibacterial properties making it slightly difficult for the bacteria to survive. The chances of having UTI increases in males once they enter their fifties.
In children, UTI occur mainly due to unhygienic conditions. Younger children tend to have a greater risk of kidney damage due to UTI than adults. 8 out of 100 girls and 2 out of 100 boys suffer from UTI worldwide. Children also have a habit of holding their urine for a very long time, which in turn gives bacteria a good place to grow. So, it is always advised that during toilet training kids should be taught proper bathroom etiquettes and habits.
Not many of us are aware of the fact that Urinary Tract Infection can take a very deadly turn as well. The cause behind UTI is Escherichia coli
also known as E. Coli, which is a form of bacteria commonly found in the lower intestine
Therefore, to prevent Urinary Tract Infections proper measures should be taken, like :
- Sanitizing the toilet seat before and after using the washroom.
- Flushing the toilet seat with the lid down so that bacteria and germs do not enter the air. Attending nature's call, as not doing so can also make the bacteria breed up.
- Washing hands along with the finger nails, thoroughly.
- After sexual intercourse the chances of having an UTI increases so it is always recommended to urinate, to flush out the bacteria which has entered the urinary tract.
- Always keep your intimate area clean and hygienic all the time.
If somebody has already contracted a UTI then he/she can do the following :
- Consulting a doctor as UTI can be caused due to bacteria, viruses and sometimes fungal infections too. After the right diagnosis, proper medication can be started.
- Cranberry juice is also helpful in eliminating bacterial infections from your body. Cranberry juice is widely known to prevent UTI.
- Cleaning your intimate area in proper direction i.e., from front to back.
- Avoid using hygiene products which can irritate your intimate area and can be a cause of an infection.
Note: If Urinary Tract Infection is left untreated then there are high chances that it can damage your kidney permanently and can even cause kidney failure leading to death. Also, a recurring UTI shouldn't be ignored as they can turn into cancer.