Urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection involving the kidney, ureter, urethra and the urinary bladder. Any part of the urinary system can get infected with this infection. It is usually seen that there are more women than men who get infected with UTI because of the anatomical differences.
When UTI affects the bladder it is called as cystitis and is caused because of the bacteria entering the urethra and then taking entry into the bladder. This leads to the inflammation and infecting of the lower urinary tract. When UTI affects the kidneys and the surrounding areas it is called as pyelonephritis. People having diabetes and the elderly, are at a greater risk of contracting the UTI. This is because of the fact that the bladder does not empty completely and there might also be certain bladder and prostrates conditions.
Suffering from conditions like bowel inconsistency, having a catheter in the urinary tract, menopause, kidney stones, being in one position for a long time (bed-rest), narrow urethra, not having enough fluids, prostrate inflammation or enlargement, pregnancy, using diaphragm for both control and having sexual intercourse with multiple partners.
The treatment of UTI depends on the severity of the condition. A mild infection can go without any treatment. But, the use of antibiotics is recommended because that is a risk that the infection might spread to the kidneys. Antibiotics are taken orally for duration of 3 to 7 days varying on the prescribed antibiotics. Some of the most commonly used antibiotics include cephalosporins, doxycycline, amoxicillin or augmentin, nitrofurantoin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, sulfa drugs and quinolones.
The doctor might also give drugs to help you get relief from the burning pain, to decrease the bacteria in urine and the urgency to urinate. Some of these medicines include:
• Acidifying medicines like ascorbic acid that lowers the concentration of bacteria in the urine.
• Phenazopyridine hydrochloride to reduce the urgent need of urination and burning during urination.
In case the condition is very severe and you are unable to consume oral medications or have enough fluids then you need to get admitted to the hospital. You can also get admitted to the hospital if you are older in age, have medical problems or are suffering from kidney stones and have recently undergone a urinary track surgery. In the hospital you receive antibiotics and fluids through a vein.
There are some people who might suffer from UTI frequently and at times the infection does not go by treatment. This condition is called as chronic UTI. People suffering from chronic UTI need to be on antibiotics for a longer period of time maybe from 6 months to 2 years or the doctor might prescribe stronger antibiotics. UTI is considered as chronic when the infection does not show improvement with the regular treatment and lasts for more than 2 weeks or has occurred twice in the duration of 6 months. The doctor might suggest a low dose of antibiotics once the acute symptoms go away. If there is a problem with the structure then a surgery is recommended.