Urinary Tract Symptoms and What to Look For

November 12, 2012

Urinary Tract Symptoms and What to Look For

If you know your anatomy, then you know that the urinary system is comprised of the kidneys (2), ureters (2), bladder and urethra and all are involved with getting rid of wastes from the body. A urinary tract infection (UTI) can affect any or all of these areas at a time. More often than not, the area that is infected the most is the bladder and urethra. Urinary tract symptoms often include urgency to urinate and a burning sensation.

Women experience urinary tract symptoms more often than men due to close proximity of the vagina and anal opening. Vaginal infections, proliferation of yeast and sexual intercourse put the urethra at risk and in turn this can pass back to the bladder. If left unchecked an infection may find its way back to the kidney. Urinary tract infections, once diagnosed, are often treated with antibiotics however, there are ways you can decrease the probability of getting a UTI. At the first sign of urinary tract symptoms, get help.

Urinary tract infections, whether caused by bacteria or medications, present with certain symptoms. Symptoms are listed below.

  • You will have a constant urge to pee, it’s nerve racking

  • When you urinate, there will be a burning sensation

  • You feel constant pressure in the bladder area that just won’t go away

  • You will tend to urinate small amounts often without relief

  • Your urine often appears cloudy, pee in a jar and check it out

  • Your urine often has a strong or foul odor

  • Your urine may appear pinkish, this indicates blood is present

  • Women often experience some form of pelvic pain and possibly back pain

  • Men on the other hand experience rectal pain

  • You may experience fever and chills

Depending on what part of the urinary system is affected other urinary tract symptoms may present. Additionally, some people are more susceptible to these infections than others. If you are female, sexually active, have prostate problems, weakened immune system or use catheters, you are at greater risk of acquiring urinary tract symptoms.

Women are always at greater risk due to close proximity of the anus and vaginal opening. It’s just a short distance to the urethra. E. coli from the anal opening are easily brushed that way and from there the bacteria can swim the rest of the way. Birth control in the form of diaphragms and the use of spermicides increase the risk of urinary tract symptoms. Women going through menopause and those who are post-menopausal have lower estrogen levels which increases the probability of getting a UTI. Sexually active women have fluids and pathogens pushed into the urethra during intercourse.

Individuals who have diabetes or medical issues that weaken the immune system have an increased risk of urinary tract infections. Men who have enlarged prostates end up with trapped urine in the bladder increasing the probability of infection.

An individual that requires a catheter to urinate increase the probability of pushing bacteria into the area especially if the catheters are reused.

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