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Worried if you have a UTI? Here’s how to go about the diagnosis and treatment

Published on:15 May 2021, 10:30am IST
UTI can cause a lot of pain and discomfort, but with the right knowledge, you can beat it through early detection and the correct course of treatment.
Grace Bains
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A quick diagnosis of this infection can help you treat it on time. Image courtesy: Shuttertock
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A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in your urinary system, which includes kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. UTIs occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra and begin to multiply in the bladder. The urinary system, by design, keeps out such bacteria. In certain cases, bacteria may penetrate the urinary tract and cause an infection. 

Symptoms and diagnosis

UTIs don’t always cause a common set of signs and symptoms, but certain symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Strong and persistent urge to urinate
  • Burning sensation when urinating
  • Passing frequent and small amounts of urine
  • Passing cloudy urine
  • Passing red or bright pink coloured urine that has a strong pungent smell 
  • Pelvic pain around the centre of the pelvis and the area of the pubic bone

So, if you are worried about having UTI, then be mindful of these symptoms to catch the problem early and consult your doctor immediately to proceed with the right care and treatment,

In case you experience any of the above listed symptoms and signs, consult your doctor to get prescribed with appropriate tests. UTI can be detected by analyzing a urine sample, in which the test looks out for bacteria or white blood cells, which are signs of infection. You may also be prescribed a urine culture, a test that detects and identifies bacteria and yeast in the urine, causing a UTI.

UTI could be treated. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Prevention and treatment

Onset of UTI may be prevented by adopting simple practices such as staying hydrated as water helps dilute the urine, ensuring that you urinate frequently, which in turn flushes out bacteria from the urinary tract, before you get infected. Cleaning your genitals properly after urinating also helps prevent bacteria in the anal region from spreading to the vagina and urethra. Another good practice is to avoid using synthetic products in your genital area, as it can irritate the urethra.

UTIs can be treated in various ways depending on your health status and degree of infection, so consult your doctor and get the most suitable treatment for yourself. 

A simple UTI (infecting healthy people with normal urinary tracts) could be treated with a three-day short course of antibiotic medicines. Ensure that you take the full course, even if pain and the urge to urinate goes away in one to two days. For postmenopausal women, topical (vaginal) hormone replacement with estrogen could help with treating UTI. 

In case, the UTI is complicated (infecting people with abnormal urinary tracts), a longer course of antibiotics is often prescribed. Antibiotic therapy may also be recommended intravenously (IV).

So, ladies, take charge of your health and be a step ahead, when it comes to detecting and treating UTI.

Grace Bains Grace Bains

Grace is someone who likes writing enough to make a living out of it. When she isn’t writing, you will find her having chai and reading a book.