Categories: Health & Fitness

Urinary tract infection in women: causes, treatments

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One in two women is affected by a urinary tract infection at least once in her life. The episodes are benign except when they recur more than 4 times a year or if they affect a pregnant woman.

Urinary tract infection is a inflammation in the bladder. She touches 50 times more often women only men. The symptoms are generally mild but particularly unpleasant. She may be serious in case of pregnancy or recurrence. What are the symptoms of urinary tract infection in women? What are the causes ? How treat her? What to do in case ofrecurrent urinary tract infection?

Definition: What is female urinary tract infection?

Cystitis is a inflammation of the bladder wall. “It’s a combination of several symptoms: frequent urination, urinary burning, pelvic heaviness, no fever or fever not beyond 38.4C” defines Pr Franck Bruyère, urologist surgeon at the University Hospital of Tours and head of the urologist infection committee. As a rule, cystitis is infectious. “There is an association of these symptoms with a bacterium” says Professor Franck Bruyère. The bacteria causing this infection are most often of intestinal origin, Escherichia coli, which are present in large numbers in the intestine. The proximity of the urinary tract to the vagina and anus can largely explain the cause of the occurrence of urinary tract infections.

Why do urinary tract infections affect women more?

This common condition affects 50 times more often women than men for anatomical reasons. The urethra is very short in women and opens near the vaginal opening, very close to the anus, in an area where bacteria from the intestinal flora are present. Some of these bacteria manage to come up from the vulva to the bladder through the urethra and trigger acute cystitis, or lower urinary tract infection. In men, the urethra is longer and it is therefore more difficult for bacteria to enter the bladder.

What are the symptoms of urinary tract infection in women?

The onset of manifestations often occurs suddenly. The signs :

  • a pollakiuria or frequent urge to urinate, day and night, sometimes limited to a few drops,
  • of the pain or heaviness subpubic,
  • of the voiding burns occurring when urinating,
  • no fever or fever below 38.4C.
  • Urine may be cloudy and give off a bad smell, or even contain a little blood (hematuria). High fever and pain in the flanks raise suspicion of acute pyelonephritis.

Diagnosis is usually made by the interrogation. A ECBU, cytobacteriological examination of the urine, is generally not necessary during a first cystitis, except on the advice of the doctor and if it is accompanied by fever and violent pain. When several episodes occur, the ECBU is essential.

What causes urinary tract infection in women?

“There are predisposing factors for cystitis: menopause, pregnancy, malformation of the genitourinary system, stones, lack of urination or hydration, use of spermicidesindividual and possibly hormonal factors” informs Professor Franck Bruyère. Of the digestive disorders (constipation, diarrhea) promote the penetration of germs into the urethra as well as stress urinary incontinence. “On the other hand, it is not proven that clothing that is too tight or hygiene play a role” he specifies.

Is it serious to have a urinary tract infection when pregnant?

A urinary tract infection can get worse during pregnancy and cause pyelonephritis (kidney infection). Without antibiotic treatment, it is estimated that 20-40% of pregnant women will develop pyelonephritis. Cystitis occurring during pregnancy therefore requires a quick consultation in order to quickly initiate appropriate antibiotic treatment.

“When nothing is done, the symptoms last 3 to 4 days and pass on their own. Antibiotic treatment reduces the duration of cystitis from 4 days to 1 day. Other treatments have no proven efficacy. says Professor Franck Bruyère. Antibiotic treatments lasting one to three days are now recommended. The minute treatment is not recommended for women under 18, pregnant, immunocompromised or diabetic. To prevent recurrences, it is advisable to “to drink a lot, to urinate regularly, sometimes to acidify one’s diet when the latter is very basic (those who ingest a lot of tea, fruits and vegetables, little meat) or vice versa” describes Professor Franck Bruyère.

When the number of cystitis exceeds 4 per year, we speak of recurrent cystitis.

The causes must be sought. The prevention of these cystitis passes by the elimination of the predisposing factors if possible, of the rules of hygiene and diet and sometimes long-term antibiotic treatment.

Thanks to Professor Franck Bruyère, urologist surgeon at the CHU de Tours and head of the urologist infection committee.

#Urinary #tract #infection #women #treatments

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