A report from WHO says, “Urinary tract infections are considered to be the leading cause of morbidity and health care expenditures in persons of all ages. Around 50% of women have reported of having had a UTI at some point in their lives.” As the severity of the infection rises, people still remain unaware of the causes and the serious complications that it can have.
Most common culprit for UTI is the E-coli, a bacterium that is excreted with the human feces. In women, the proximity of the urethra and anus facilitate easy passage of the bacteria into the urinary tract. It is important to note that young sexually active women are more prone to UTI as sexual activity is the cause of 75–90% of bladder infections. UTI is a very commonly seen in newly married women and has been aptly termed "Honeymoon cystitis".
UTI’s are more common during pregnancy, due to the changes in the urinary tract. When the uterus, sitting right above the bladder grows, it increased weight can block the drainage of the urine from the bladder, causing an infection. A kidney infection during pregnancy can increase the complications and may lead to premature birth or pre-eclampsia (a state of high blood pressure and kidney dysfunction during pregnancy that can lead to seizures).
When treated promptly, the infection can rarely lead to any complication. However, if avoided, it can lead to serious complications like permanent kidney damage or chronic kidney infection, increased risk in pregnant women in delivering premature infants and sepsis which is a life-threatening complication especially if the infection works its way to the urinary tract and to the kidneys.
Drink plenty of fluids, especially water- Drinking water ensures that the urine is diluted and the person urinates more frequently allowing bacteria to be flushed out of the urinary tract before an infection begins
Head to the doctor if you suspect a urinary tract infection, depending on the severity of the infection, the duration of the treatment can be short or can last for longer than a week. Ensure that you finish off the cycles of medicine completely even if you start feeling better. Severe infections, for those affecting the kidneys may require a longer course of oral or intravenous antibiotics. Drink lots of water and eat foods high in Vitamin C which ensures better immunity response. Lastly, consuming unsweetened cranberry juice can also support the normalization of the kidney function.
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