Do you know that since the advent of condoms, urinary tract infections(UTI) have reduced. Do you know that I used to treat an average of 40 patients monthly with urinary tract infections, but now I hardly see up to 7 a month. Are we more cautious now or is condom contributory. That is a story for another day.
Do you also know that in the body the urinary and reproductive systems are interconnected. This complexity makes the urinary system a likely and troublesome site for infection. The system consists of those organs that produce and excrete urine viz – a pair of kidney, a pair of tubes called ureter, a muscular bag called bladder and another single tube called urethra.
For an infection to occur, germs have to infect the system that carries urine out of the body that is kidney., bladder and tubes that connect them. Bladder infections are common and usually not serious if treated promptly. But if infection spreads to the kidneys, it can cause more serious illness.
Most UTI are bladder infections – symptoms include pain or burning sensation during urination, the urge to urinate often, pain in the lower abdomen, urine that is cloudy or foul smelling, some people may have no symptoms. An untreated bladder infections can spread to the kidneys and cause pain on either side of the lower back, fever, chills, nausea and vomiting.
To your doctor, the urine and frequency of urination are among the most useful signs of disorder, relating sometimes, not just to the urinary system, but to the general health of the body. Characteristics of urination that may interest your doctor include: changes in quantity and frequency – including rising at night, slow and weak, or unusually forceful flow, stopping or starting, and dribbling, or difficulty in beginning or continuing, inability to restrain (incontinence), sudden stopping and of course pain or other unusual sensation or inability to urinate at all.
Again, characteristics of the urine that may interest your doctor include – unusual color, odor, cloudiness, frothiness, and content. Abnormal chemical content can include albumen, which may indicate kidney disorder or sugar (diabetes). Chemical testing can be carried out very easily using a treated paper that changes color when moistened with urine. Other abnormal contents can include bacteria, parasites, kidney tube casts, bile fluid, and especially blood and pus.
However many unusual characteristics of urine or urination will more usually be due to insignificant causes than to disorder. For example having to get up from bed to urinate, is often due to drinking much tea, water or coffee last thing at night, than pathological causes. Strikingly unusual odors can be produced by certain medicines and foods.
Other symptoms of UTI include itching, redness or stickiness at the orifice of the genitals, any discharge of fluid from the genitals may cause pain or in the area of the kidney, or in the ribs in front of the body. These may also coexist with increase in temperature and shivering. There should be no self medication when it comes to UTI. Always be medically guided.
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