A urinary tract infection is an infection in any part of your urinary system, which includes your kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. In most cases, the infection involves the lower urinary tract – the bladder and the urethra.
Common signs and symptoms of a urinary tract infection include:
A burning sensation when urinating
Needing to pee suddenly or more frequent than usual
Smelly or cloudy urine
Blood in the urine
Changes in behaviour such as severe confusion or agitation in older people
Pelvic pain in women
Rectal pain in men
UTIs are usually caused by bacteria from poo entering the urinary tract. Other factors that increase the risk of developing a UTI include age, kidney stones, diabetes and other conditions that affect the immune system’s ability to function properly.
About 50 to 60% of women experience a UTI. Often, doctors prescribe antibiotics to treat this condition. But UTIs can be prevented by making certain changes in lifestyle.
The risk of UTI in women is due to dehydration. Drinking plenty of water will help flush out any bacteria that may be causing the infection. According to a study published by the Infectious Diseases Society of America, women with frequent UTIs can reduce their risk by drinking more water.
Vitamin C is an excellent antioxidant that helps improve one’s immunity. Vitamin C does everything from preventing chronic diseases to lowering uric acid levels in the body. Vitamin C can increase the acidity of your urine and help eliminate bacteria.
Cranberry is best for preventing UTI. Reports indicate that cranberries contain proanthocyanidins (PACs). This helps prevent bacteria from sticking to the lining of the urinary tract.
It is important to stop holding urine for long periods of time. This can lead to bacterial overgrowth.
Sometimes, sexual intercourse causes bacteria and other microorganisms to enter the urinary tract. Hence, it is important to maintain cleanliness. Urinating before and after intercourse and washing the genital area properly must be followed.