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All You Need to Know About Urinary Tract Infection or UTI

In men, an enlarged prostrate gland or restrictive flow of urine might put them at risk of a urinary tract infection

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What exactly is urinary tract infection and what causes it? Here’s all you need to know about the painful infection.

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What is Urinary Tract Infection?

In men, an enlarged prostrate gland or restrictive flow of urine might put them at risk of a urinary tract infection
UTIs are among the most common infections in both men and women.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

A urinary tract infection or UTI is an infection caused by bacteria in any part of the urinary system (comprising kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder and urethra).

Dr N Subramanian, Senior Consultant - Urology, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, Delhi, says:

UTIs are among the most common infections in both men and women. The bacteria that causes this infection doesn’t come from outside, it’s already present in the rectum.  But it’s important to know the underlying reasons of why the infection develops and whether there are any other infections in the area.
Dr N Subramanian

What Causes UTI?

Urinary tract infections are often caused when the bacteria begin to multiply in the urinary bladder after entering the urinary tract.

In cases, when the urinary system isn’t able to destroy this bacteria, it spreads and develops into an infection.

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Who All Are At Risk of UTI?

In men, an enlarged prostrate gland or restrictive flow of urine might put them at risk of a urinary tract infection

Young women might be at risk when they become sexually active.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

Dr Subramanian says that babies and young children might be at the risk of UTI due to defects in their urinary tracts or when there’s an issue of urine flowing backwards from the bladder to the kidneys.

Young women might be at risk when they become sexually active.

The risk of infection might increase in menopausal women as they undergo many hormonal changes which might make them more prone to infections. Also, the risk is higher in patients suffering from kidney stones.
Dr N Subramanian

In men, an enlarged prostrate gland or restrictive flow of urine might put them at risk of a urinary tract infection.

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Symptoms of UTI

In men, an enlarged prostrate gland or restrictive flow of urine might put them at risk of a urinary tract infection
In severe cases, a person might experience high fever, chills and vomiting.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

Dr Subramanian says people with urinary tract infection may show certain symptoms such as:

  • Frequent urination
  • Burning or pain during urination
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue/ tiredness that usually lasts for a longer period of time

In certain cases, there might also be passage of some blood along with urine.

In severe cases, a person might experience high fever, chills and vomiting. Such patients need to be treated aggressively else there might be a danger of the bacteria getting into the bloodstream, which might result in a sudden fall of blood pressure of the patient. 
Dr N Subramanian
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Treatment

In men, an enlarged prostrate gland or restrictive flow of urine might put them at risk of a urinary tract infection
Young females are usually put on antibiotics for 3 days post which the symptoms reduce considerably.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

Dr Subramanian says that young women are usually put on antibiotics for 3-4 days, post which the symptoms reduce considerably. For babies and children, more investigation might be needed post the initial treatment to ensure that the infection doesn’t reoccur.

For older patients, the treatment might vary a little. Post the initial round of antibiotics, they will need to be monitored further. They might need to undergo ultrasound tests and be thoroughly checked for any other underlying infections. Urine culture tests and prostrate examination might also be required.
Dr N Subramanian
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Are There Any Side Effects of The Treatment?

Dr Subramanian says that the side effects, if any, might be due to underlying infections, not the antibiotics.

Certain antibiotics might not suit certain patients and they might develop rashes or suffer from diarrhea. Which is why the doctors usually check for previous known allergies, the health of the kidney or liver, the intensity of the infection and other relevant details before prescribing antibiotics.
Dr N Subramanian

(For more health news, follow FIT)

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