Urinary Tract Infection in Adults

Urinary Tract Infection is a broad term used for any infection that might infect a part of the urinary tract. The main reason for urinary tract infections is when any kind of microbes enter into the said area.

Urinary Tract Infection is a broad term used for any infection that might infect a part of the urinary tract. The main reason for urinary tract infections is when any kind of microbes enter into the said area.

Such infections are painful and cause great discomfort but are completely treatable if detected and treated on time. However, if treatment is delayed it can lead to complications as there are chances that the infection further spreads from bladder to kidneys raising risk of poorly functioning kidneys.

Who is prone to Urinary Tract Infections?

Urinary Tract Infection or UTI can infect both men and women but due to the anatomical structure of the female genital area and other factors combined make them more prone to it. It includes

  • A shorter urethra allows bacteria ease to access the bladder
  • Forms of birth-control which might not suit particular women
  • Use of spermicides and other lubricants which irritates the surrounding skin
  • Latex based condoms
  • Hormonal changes in pregnant women
  • Weakened pelvic muscles after a normal child-birth
  • Age and genetic causes
  • While the above reasons specifically affect women, some factors are common in both men and women

  • Poor general hygiene
  • Dehydration
  • Not maintaining proper hygiene during and after sexual activity
  • Diabetes
  • Use of catheter
  • Bladder control issues
  • Though it is not a rule, it is seen that sexually active men and women have more chances of UTIs than the ones who aren't active. People with more than one partner are prone to have such an infection frequently if proper precautions are not taken.

    Are there any complications involved?

    Urinary Tract Infections can be painful and can cause much discomfort for a few days. But if you are swift enough to notice the symptoms and consult a Doctor, you can get significant relief within a couple of days.

    However, if you get UTIs frequently and same medicines go into your system to treat a condition, the anti-biotic might show resistance to the condition. It will not work the same and as a result, your Doctor will have to take an alternate course of action to treat the condition.

    Another scenario is when it is not detected on time and treatment is postponed. If untreated for long, a urinary tract infection can spread can cause substantial damage to your bladder or kidneys. So, it is best to contact a specialist as soon as you notice something wrong or feel uncomfortable.

    Can UTIs be prevented altogether?

    There is no vaccine or fool-proof way of preventing UTIs but you can eliminate the chances to a high degree if you practice the following

    Personal Hygiene: Good personal hygiene is the best way to avoid UTIs. One must wipe/wash front to back after a bowel movement and make sure they clean their genital area with plenty of water every day while taking a bath. No perfumed soaps or fancy products are recommended.

    Menstrual Hygiene: Women must follow a strict menstrual hygiene while on their monthly cycle. Tampons and pads should be changes during short intervals and the area should be kept clean.

    Keep yourself hydrated: All your organs will thank you for this. No matter how busy your lifestyle is make sure you are taking enough water during the day.

    Clothing choice: It is important to wear cotton-based underwear and loose clothes generally to make sure your genital area remains dry and get sufficient air. Tight clothes when wet help bacteria to grow. They also lead to frequent fungal infections.

    Selection of birth-control: Some women might get uncomfortable with birth-control methods. For example, women who use diaphragm are on a higher risk of UTIs. Latex-based condoms can also cause irritability and other issues. If that's the case, alternate method of birth control should be decided after talking to your gynecologist. Water-based condoms are a good alternative to latex-based ones.

    General Habits: One must urinate frequently or at least don't hold it in for long regularly.


    UTIs aren't life-threatening but needs its required attention. Though prevention is the best way out but if you get it at all, it is best to immediately consult a doctor and get the recommended tests done. Once the reports are there, your doctor can guide you further with the treatment line.