Urinary Tract Infections

What Is A Urinary Tract Infection?


A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common infection in the urinary system. It can involve any part of the urinary tract, from the urethra to ureters, bladders, or kidneys. A urinary tract infection can be life-threatening if left untreated. It can cause burning in urine, discomfort in the lower abdomen, pain while urinating, palpitations, and fever. Urinary tract infections are common in women compared to men because of the anatomy of their genitals. Women are at more risk of catching and developing a urinary tract infection. Therefore they need to take a lot of care of themselves. However, a urinary tract in men can be more serious and indicate that something might be really wrong with their urinary tract.

Recurrent urinary tract infections are not good for your health. If you have the same complaint, you must visit the healthcare provider and take medicines the same as they prescribe. To get an expert opinion, you can consult a Urologist in Karachi.

Urinary tract infections are caused by the bacteria that get into the urinary system from the outside of the body and cause infections and inflammation. Infections of the urethra are called urethritis, of the kidneys are called pyelonephritis, and of the bladder are called cystitis. However, they are also known as urinary tract infections.

Causes Of Urinary Tract Infections

The most common cause of urinary tract infections is microorganisms-mostly bacteria. These bacteria enter the urethra and bladder and ultimately make their way to the kidneys, thus causing inflammation and infection.

The most common (up to 90%) cause of urinary tract infections is E.coli, a bacterium normally found in your digestive system. When you pass stool, and if you wash from back to front, the E.coli contamination can occur, hence leading to a urinary tract infection. Therefore make a habit of washing from front to back and make sure you do not touch your urethra with contaminated hands.

The E. coli can then spread directly from the bladder to the ureters and the kidneys. And if left untreated, it can travel to the blood, leading to sepsis and shock- a life-threatening condition. Therefore take urinary tract infections seriously.

Why Are UTIs More Common In Females?

Urinary tract infections are more common in women because of the shorter length of the urethra in females. It makes it easier for the bacteria to get into the urethra from the outside and infect the urethra, bladder, or ureters. Men have larger urethras, which makes it difficult for bacteria to enter the urinary tract. Moreover, women have an anus and the urethra placed quite close. However, in men, the distance between the anus and urethra is quite long. That also reduces the chances of a urinary tract infection in men.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Urinary Tract Infections?


The symptoms of a urinary tract infection may differ from person to person, depending on the severity and the bacterial load.

The common symptoms of a urinary tract infection are:

  • Pain in the flank region
  • Pain in the abdomen or pelvic area
  • Feeling pressure in the lower pelvis
  • Frequent need to urinate or increased frequency
  • Urgent need to urinate or urinary urgency
  • Incontinence or urine leakage
  • Painful urination or dysuria
  • Blood in the urine or hematuria
  • Need to urinate at night or nocturia
  • Abnormal urine color or cloudy urine
  • Strong or foul-smelling urine

Other less common symptoms include:

  • Pain during intercourse
  • Pain in penis
  • Fatigue
  • Fever (temperature above 100 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Chills
  • Vomiting
  • Mental changes or confusion (rare)

Diagnosis Of Urinary Tract Infections

To diagnose UTI, the doctor may use the following tests

  • Urinalysis (examination of the urine for red blood cells, white blood cells, and bacteria)
  • Urine culture- to determine the type of bacteria in your urine and sensitivity to know the antibiotic sensitive to the organism.

Other than these basic tests, your doctor may use the following tests to diagnose UTI if not responding to antibiotics.

  • Ultrasound
  • Cystoscopy
  • CT scan

Treatment Of Urinary Tract Infections

Antibiotics can be used to treat UTIs. These medicines kill the bacteria and eliminate the infection. A few commonly used antibiotics include:

  • Nitrofurantoin
  • Sulfonamides (sulfa drugs)
  • Amoxicillin
  • Cephalosporins
  • Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole
  • Doxycycline
  • Quinolones

The choice of antibiotics varies with the condition of the patient. For someone who has a history of frequent UTIs, sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim can be used. For a pregnant lady with UTI, amoxicillin is considered to be the safest option.

Complications Of Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections can be easily treated with antibiotics. But if left untreated, or medication is not taken properly, it can lead to a kidney infection.

The Bottom Line

Urinary tract infections need to be treated on time, and with the appropriate medicines. If left untreated, it can become a life-threatening condition. If you have any symptoms of a urinary tract infection, such as pain while urinating or burning while or after urinating, you must seek an expert opinion. To get that, you can visit the Best Urologist in Lahore.