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Normally the bladder is sterile, meaning, it’s free of bacteria or any other agents, so urinary tract infections occur when a pathological agent invades. The delicate aspect of this type of infection is the risk of transmission to other organs such as the kidneys, where it can cause irreversible damages.
What causes urinary infections?
Approximately 95% of urinary tract infections are caused by a single organism, and the rest are caused by polymicrobial infection. The most common organism is Escherichia Coli.
There are risk factors that increase the rate of infections, such as female anatomy, because the proximity of the urethral meatus, vaginal introitus and anus are very short (about 1.5 to 2 centimeters). Sexual activity also contributes because intercourse can carry bacteria from the vaginal or rectal introitus to the urethral meatus. Pregnancy makes women more susceptible to infection because of the changes they experience.
What symptoms does it produce?
The symptoms are pelvic pain, pain or burning when urinating, increased frequency of urination, the feeling of continued urination at the end of the stream, concentrated urine, and strong odor. If you have a fever or pain in your lower back, the infection may have spread to your kidneys, called pyelonephritis.
For an infection diagnosis, it’s important to get a medical examination where quick tests can be done with test strips that show infection data, and also to carry out more specific studies, such as a general examination of urine or urine culture to determine specifically the pathogen that causes the infection.
How should urinary infections be treated?
It’s very important not to self-medicate, as there are now antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. The ideal is to be specifically treated according to urine culture. Analgesics and urinary antiseptics may also be indicated, with abundant fluid intake to help keep the urinary tract constantly clean.
How can you prevent them?
Maintain a proper intimate hygiene routine, cleaning the genital area from front to back to avoid sweeping germs 🦠 from the anus to the urethral meatus.
Drink lots of liquids 💦 during the day.
Have a bladder education, which means creating habits such as urinating frequently 🚽 (every 2 hours from the time you wake up) to avoid the accumulation of urine in the bladder.
Peeing after sexual intercourse 💖, in order to encourage the elimination of bacteria that could reach the urethra.
Avoid keeping the V zone humid ☔, as humidity is a risk factor for infections.