Urinary tract infection or UTI is painful and unpleasant. It’s best that you see a doctor as soon as you notice the first signs of a UTI. Women have a higher risk of urinary tract infection. There are various types of UTI. The infection can be in the upper part of the urinary tract or lower part. For instance, an infection of the urethra is called urethritis. The upper UTI is more severe than lower UTI as it has a risk of kidney damage.
UTI usually occurs when the urinary tract becomes infected by bacteria. Sexual intercourse and hygiene problems can also cause UTI. Bacteria can enter through the urethra or the bloodstream. With men, a urinary tract infection may be caused by a past sexually transmitted infection (STI), prostate problems like enlargement, bladder stone or gallstone or stricture or narrowing of the urethra.
Symptoms depend on whether you have a lower UTI or upper UTI. Upper UTI symptoms usually include diarrhea, vomiting, and the high body temperature of 38⁰C or 100.4⁰F or above, uncontrollable shivering or chills or nausea. There may be a pain in the back, groin or side, which may become intense during urination. The pain can be moderate to severe. Lower UTI symptoms include changes in the color of urine such as blood or cloudiness, unpleasant odor, feeling of being sick, back pain or feeling the need to urinate more often, pain with urination or dull pain in the pubic region that doesn’t go away.
A urine test can help diagnose if you are suffering from a UTI. This test can determine the presence of blood or bacteria in the urine. A urine test is usually enough to give a diagnosis.
Other tests are suggested if the infection is believed to be in the upper urinary tract as this kind of infection has a higher risk of complications. You might also be required to take more tests if you’re pregnant, have a higher risk of experiencing implications like a poor immune system if blood is present in your urine or you’re a male. Since UTIs are less common in males, other causes of symptoms must be ruled out.
A CT scan of your urinary tract may be conducted as well. An ultrasound scan can help rule out kidney and bladder stones. A cystoscopy can be used to inspect the inside of the bladder. This instrument is inserted into the patient’s urethra under local anesthetic.
Drink some water before you take the test. You have to give a mid-stream sample of your urine in the clinic premises. The urine sample is tested in the clinic to identify common conditions and then delivered to the lab for the full test results.
Proper hygiene can help prevent UTIs. Wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria from entering the urethra. Sexual intercourse can also increase the frequency of UTIs. Empty your bladder right after having sex to reduce the possibility of a UTI. If you have recurring or frequent occurrences of urinary infection or symptoms of a UTI, you should see your doctor immediately.