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Up Close With UTI: Breaking Down Urinary Tract Infection

December 3, 2020

Life has a way of throwing up stings and pricks every now and then. The thing is, most of the gnarly elements responsible for them give you prior notice. And if you’re ready, you can make a run for it before it’s too late. But there’s no running from UTI. UTI is a clingy, stingy little predicament, and there’s only one way to part ways with it. Ahoy, medical help.

Understanding Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary tract infection, or UTI as it is better known, is a form of infection caused by bacteria that evade the urethra and creep up into adjacent organs like the bladder and kidneys. Women with short urethras are especially susceptible to forms of UTI, but the reality is that the condition is more common than you think. In fact, your risk of developing a UTI in your lifetime is about 50%, and some women find themselves experiencing recurrent episodes of the condition.

Causes of UTI

UTI typically spreads when loose anal bacteria such as E.coli enter the urethra and proliferate to other organs like the kidneys and the bladder. Specific causes include:

  • The short urethra, giving bacteria a shorter distance to travel
  • Intercourse which introduces new bacteria to the urinary tract
  • Use of a catheter after a hysterectomy
  • Fibroids

Symptoms of UTI

UTI can manifest in various ways, some subtle and some, outright obvious. Here’s a round-up of the most common symptoms:

  • Burning sensation during urination
  • The urgency to urinate, even when the bladder is not completely full
  • Dull pain in the lower back
  • Smelly urine
  • Fatigue or exhaustion
  • Fever

Typical Diagnosis + Treatment Cycle for UTI

Some women self-diagnose themselves with UTI based on broad symptoms. If you do suspect that you have the condition, schedule an appointment with a gynaecologist, pronto. A diagnosis and treatment cycle for a case of UTI typically includes the following steps:

  • A urine sample is screened for the existence of UTI-associated bacteria
  • Antibiotics are prescribed to annihilate infection-causing bacteria
  • Water intake is advised to be considerably increased in order to flush out bacteria
  • A medication may be prescribed to alleviate the pain from the infection

Must Read: How to Prevent Urinary Tract Infections

Severe or Recurrent UTIs

If you’ve experienced prolonged episodes of UTI, you may have an underlying condition in your urinary tract. Anomalies and obstructions are the most common triggers for UTI. If your doctor suspects either, you may need to undergo tests to identify the exact cause.


An ultrasound can prove vital in projecting an image of the organs surrounding your urinary tract. It uses ultrasound waves that gauge distance, shape, size and blockages.

Intravenous Pyelogram

An intravenous pyelogram, or IVP, is a procedure where dye is injected into the body. When the dye permeates the urinary tract, an X-ray of the abdomen is taken. The dye helps to highlight obstructions and anomalies.

To Know More: About Ways to Treat Urinary Tract Infections


A cystoscopy offers an internal view of the pelvic cavity. The procedure involves the insertion of a small camera through the urethra and into the bladder. The objective of a cystoscopy is to evaluate the health of the bladder and to check for its correlation with symptoms exhibited.

Must Read: How to Break Free from Urinary Incontinence

With close monitoring, a consistent treatment plan and lifestyle modifications, UTIs can be considerably restrained. Following basic steps like wearing loose-fitting clothes, choosing breathable underwear and drinking lots of water can win you half the battle. Count on Cloudnine to help you win the rest.

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