Your trip to the toilet doesn’t have to leave you with a burning sensation. UTI, short for urinary tract infection, is a bacterial infection that affects any part of your urinary system — your kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. UTI is usually caused by the presence of E. coli (Escherichia coli), a type of bacteria commonly found in the gastrointestinal tract. However, other bacteria may also cause UTI.
Depending on the severity of the infection, these are some symptoms of UTI:
- Burning sensation when urinating (i.e. painful urination)
- Strong and constant urge to urinate
- Passing frequent but little urine
- Pelvic pressure/pain (in women)
Some Facts about UTI:
- Fact 1: Women are at greater risk of developing a UTI than men. They are also at higher risk of developing recurrent infections.
- Fact 2: Most infections involve the lower urinary tract — the bladder and the urethra. However, severe infection can affect the kidneys seriously (characterised by symptoms such as nausea, fever, vomiting, etc). UTI should not be left untreated!
- Fact 3: Those who are sexually active have a higher chance of contracting UTIs than those who aren’t. Having a new sexual partner also increases the risk.
Can UTI go away on its own?
It is possible, but don’t forget that untreated infections can spread to other parts of your body such as the kidneys (that can be life-threatening). Don’t let that happen!
UTI is highly preventable and treatable. Here are some healthy habits to adopt:
- Drink plenty of liquids (to flush out the bacteria) through nature’s calls!
- Use the toilet right after sex – urinating helps to flush out bacteria that may linger in the urinary tract.
- For ladies – clean up after urination by wiping from “front to back”. This practice helps prevent the spread of bacteria from the anal region to the urinary tract.
- Avoid using products (eg. deodorant sprays, powders, etc) that can pose as irritants to your genital area.
Don’t let an infection go untreated. Consult a doctor if you are experiencing symptoms of UTI. UTI can be easily treated with antibiotics. In fact, doing so with teleconsultation means you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your home to seek medical advice!
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Urinary tract infection (UTI). (30 January 2019). Retrieved June 2019, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/urinary-tract-infection/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353453