Why we are at risk of urinary tract infections

A urinary tract infection, also known as, acute cystitis or bladder infection is an infection that affects part of the urinary tract. When it affects the lower urinary tract it is known as a simple cystitis (a bladder infection) and when it affects the upper urinary tract it is known as pyelonephritis (a kidney infection).

A urinary tract infection, also known as, acute cystitis or bladder infection is an infection that affects part of the urinary tract. When it affects the lower urinary tract it is known as a simple cystitis (a bladder infection) and when it affects the upper urinary tract it is known as pyelonephritis (a kidney infection).

Medics says symptoms from a lower urinary tract include frequent or painful urination, while those of pyelonephritis include fever and flank pain plus symptoms associated with a lower urinary tract infection.

Urinary tract infections are more common in women than men, according to Mayo Clinic. Recurrences are common. Risk factors include female anatomy, having unprotected sex and family history. Pyelonephritis, if it occurs, usually follows a bladder infection but may also result from a blood borne infection.

“Women tend to get more bladder infections than men. This is probably because women have shorter urethras, so it is easier for the germs to move up to their bladders,” says Dr Rachna Pande, a specialist in internal medicine at Ruhengeri Hospital.

Dr Pande says in both sexes, urinary track infections are commonly caused by drinking less water, which results in concentrated urine thereby giving chance to infectious bacteria to breed.

Chances that you will get a bladder infection is higher if you have any problem that blocks the flow of urine from your bladder. Symptoms also include having kidney stones or an enlarged prostate gland. One is  likely to get an infection too, if they are diabetic, pregnant or do not take enough fluids.

“In uncomplicated cases, urinary tract infections are easily treated with a short course of antibiotics, although resistance to many of the antibiotics used to treat this condition is increasing,” says Jackline, of Ikizere drug store in Gicumbi town, Northern Province.

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