8 Astounding Facts About Urinary Tract Infections
If you’ve ever suffered from a urinary tract infection (UTIs), you’ll know precisely how gut-wrenching they can be!
UTIs are ubiquitous worldwide, and if you’re a woman, there’s a higher chance of experiencing this annoying and agonizing illness at least once in your lifetime! But what is it all about? What causes painful urination? Going through UTI symptoms, which generally include frequent urges to go to the loo, and even urinating during bedtime, can totally disrupt your everyday routine. And what’s even more distressing is that simple UTI cases can eventually lead to kidney damage if left untreated.
So, it’s an excellent idea to learn more about UTIs to find out how to manage them properly. Here are some unknown and surprising facts about UTI that are sure to leave you open-mouthed!
But What Are UTIs?
The urinary tract infection is bacterial contamination of the lower urinary tract that causes cystitis or bladder inflammation. This inflammation causes pain and the urgent and frequent need to urinate, among other symptoms (not to mention horrible pelvic pain and tenderness). Despite being very common, several myths and data often confuse a large part of the population.
Fact #1: The Urinary Infection Is Not Contagious
Maybe you’ve heard it from your grandma, but (despite being irritating with a never-ending pain), the infection itself is not contagious! You won’t get it in public baths or swimming pools.
And NO, they won’t prevent you from having vaginal sex (that doesn’t mean you’ll feel up to it, though!). However, it’s often recommended that you wait to have sex until you are symptom-free and have completed all treatment. A urinary tract infection can irritate sensitive urinary tract tissues, and sexual activity can further irritate these tissues. In case you had vaginal sex, it’s best to urinate after having intercourse to clean the tract of germs!
Fact #2. It Also Affects Men
Although women suffer more (since their shorter urethra facilitates access to microorganisms), men should also consult in the presence of discomfort, since it may be due to anatomical factors, such as some obstruction or prostate problems.
Fact #3. It Comes at Any Time of the Year
Commonly associated with winter and cold, this disease can also affect us in summer, when the use of wet clothes and damp bathing suits can favor bacteria’s spread.
Fact #4. Common in Pregnancy and Menopause
The hormonal changes characteristic of these stages of a woman’s life modify the pH of the genital area and favor germs’ adherence to the bladder wall.
Fact #5. It’s Not Always that Painful
In some people, the urinary infection may not have very noticeable symptoms, so it is necessary to see a doctor before any change in urine or change in frequency or discomfort when urinating.
Fact #6. Can Be Harmful to Your Kidneys If Not Treated
If not treated correctly, the infection can complicate and damage the kidneys, producing pyelonephritis, characterized by low back pain, fever, and general decay. May require hospitalization. That’s why it’s necessary to go to the specialist before any symptoms.
Fact #7. Stop Using Soaps Down There!
While keeping the genital area clean is highly advisable, irritation of the bladder and urethra can arise from deodorants, soaps, or other products that can further reduce their natural defense mechanisms. Therefore, use only water. Prolonged use of sanitary napkins or tampons is also not a good idea.
Fact #8. Several Types of Infections
There are different types of infections, and they can occur in any part of the urinary system: kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra. The most common are usually in the bladder (cystitis) and urethra (urethritis); they are painful and annoying, but they are treated quickly and with simple treatments.
How to Avoid UTIs?
There are several ways to avoid a urinary infection, for example, drink plenty of water, as it helps to dilute the urine and eliminate any bacteria found in the urinary tract. Some specialists recommend cranberries to avoid infections as they contain anthocyanins, which help prevent bacteria from adhering to the bladder.
Daily cleaning is also essential as it prevents the accumulation of bacteria. Showering is not recommended for women as it can cause irritation of the urethra and therefore be more prone to developing an infection.