When bacteria begin to affect the urinary tract, the resulting condition is known as Urinary Tract Infection or UTI. This article sheds light on Urinary Tract Infection causes its symptoms and its treatment.
What is UTI? A Brief Look at Urinary Tract Infections
Before we proceed to discuss the different Urinary Tract Infection causes, let us first take a brief look at what the disease really is. Urinary Tract Infection happens when bacteria begin to invade the bladder, the kidneys, and both upper and lower urinary tracts. This infection causes pain, fever, and changes in urination. Bacteria is one of the primary causes of Urinary Tract Infection, but several factors affect the development of such infections, and these factors will be discussed later on.
What Causes Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
Number one in the list of UTI causes is bacteria, specifically the Escherichia coli bacteria. Almost 80 to 85% of UTI cases account for E.coli infection, while other bacteria (such as Staphylococcus saprophyticus ) only account for 5-10%. E. coli infection as one of the causes emanate from the fact that the female urethra has close proximity to the anus. Why such a relationship? This is because E.coli is one of the resident bacteria thriving in the colon and/or anus; at times hygiene practices cause contamination of the urethra with this bacteria, and this signals the beginning of a Urinary Tract Infection.
Aside from E.coli infection, other causes of urinary tract infection include Proteus, Klebsiella, Pseudomonas, and Staphylococcus infection. UTI from these microorganisms are rare and are usually related to catheter use or blood-borne infections.
Other Urinary Tract Infection Causes include the following:
Another one included in the list of Urinary Tract Infection causes is gender. Females are most commonly affected by UTIs. The primary reason for this is the anatomy of the female urinary tract, it is a lot shorter compared to the male urinary tract which makes bacterial invasion a lot easier. Another factor is the proximity of the female urethra to the anus, where the E.coli bacteria can be found. This proximity causes easier contamination of the bacteria to the female urethra.
Sexual Activity among Women
Another one included in the list of Urinary Tract Infection Causes is sexual activity. This accounts for almost 75-90% of bladder infections. The use of spermicide and the loss of protective vaginal flora among women are the primary factors as to why they acquire UTIs in relation to sexual activity.
Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms
Now that we have discussed the different Urinary Tract Infection causes, let us now proceed to know the symptoms of urinary tract infection, which include:
- a burning sensation upon urination
- increased urgency or frequency of urination
- lower back pain or pain on the pubic area
- flank pain
- nausea and vomiting
- pyuria or pus in the urine or a bloody urine
- urinary incontinence for children
- fatigue and a change in the mental status of the elderly
Prevention is a lot better than cure so having enough knowledge of the different Urinary Tract Infections, it is also helpful to know if you have one early on. You can do so by visiting different diagnostic clinics.