Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are caused by bacteria entering the urethra. UTIs are one of the main reasons women are advised to wipe from front to back after using the bathroom. Since the opening of the urethra is so close to the anus, bacteria from the large intestine, such as E. coli, are in the perfect position to escape the anus and invade the urethra. From there, they can travel up through the urethra and urinary tract, and if the infection isn't treated, continue on to infect the bladder and kidneys. Women are more prone than men to develop UTIs because they have shorter urethras allowing bacteria easier access to the bladder. Having sex can introduce bacteria into the urinary tract, too.
Urinary tract infections are responsible for a variety of painful or uncomfortable symptoms. Women should beware of the following symptoms and seek diagnosis and treatment if they occur.
Bladder infection is an infection of the bladder typically as a complication of a UTI. Bladder infections are also referred to as cystitis. The bladder is a part of the urinary tract system which stores urine before it is released from the body. It serves as storage for urine before it is excreted from the body. Bladder infections most commonly occur when bacteria reach the organ via the urinary tract from outside the body.
If you suspect you have a urinary tract infection or experience any of the symptoms listed above, make an appointment at The Women’s Health Center for assessment and treatment. You'll be asked to give a urine sample, which will be tested for the presence of UTI-causing bacteria. If you have a UTI, the doctor will prescribe an antibiotic to clear the infection. Make sure to finish the prescribed cycle of medicine completely, even if you start to feel better. It is also important to drink lots of water to help flush the bacteria from your system. The doctor may prescribe medication to ease any pain and may suggest using a heating pad.
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