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UTI symptoms to watch out for, precaution tips to take | Health

ByZarafshan Shiraz, Delhi

When an individual faces urinary tract infections (UTIs) three or more times in a year or two or more times in six months, is recurrent UTI and it can impact any man or woman, including healthy people or those with comorbidities and middle age. However, it generally affects more women than men where one in three women get infected with UTI at least once or twice in her life.

UTI symptoms to watch out for, precaution tips to take (Freepik)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Sanjay Pandey, Urologist at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai, revealed, “With UTI, one undergoes pain at the start, during urination or even after emptying the bladder. Several microorganisms can cause UTI like Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis, Klebsiella pneumonia, Staphylococcus saprophyticus, and Enterococcus faecalis. There are a lot of factors that cause recurrence of UTI like sanitization during menstruation, sexual activity, pregnancy, Moreover, during winters, people tend to consume less water, as compared to the rest of the seasons. This can also trigger UTI to a great extent.”

Highlighting India’s statistics on recurrent UTI, he said, “Some studies have found that one in three women as compared to one in 20 men will be infected by UTI once in their lifetime, with a strong correlation with a recurrence of the infection. Some research data has also suggested that one in three women will require medical treatment for UTI before they turn 24. This indicates the seriousness and a challenging health problem posed by UTIs and its recurrence.”

Pointing out the symptoms to watch out for, Dr Sanjay Pandey said that UTIs don’t always cause symptoms but when they do, they may include:

  • A strong urge to urinate that doesn’t go away
  • A burning feeling when urinating
  • Urinating often and passing small amounts of urine
  • Urine that looks cloudy
  • Urine that appears red, bright pink or cola-coloured — signs of blood in the urine
  • Strong-smelling urine
  • Pelvic pain, in women — especially in the center of the pelvis and around the area of the pubic bone

Suggesting tips to take precautions, he recommended the following measures that can help lower the risk of UTIs:

  • Drink plenty of liquids, especially water. Drinking water helps dilute the urine. That leads to urinating more often — allowing bacteria to be flushed from the urinary tract before an infection can begin.
  • Try cranberry juice. Studies that look into whether cranberry juice prevents UTIs aren’t final. However, drinking cranberry juice is likely not harmful.
  • Wipe from front to back. Do this after urinating and after a bowel movement. It helps prevent the spread of bacteria from the anus to the vagina and urethra.
  • Empty your bladder soon after having sex. Also drink a full glass of water to help flush bacteria.
  • Avoid potentially irritating feminine products. Using them in the genital area can irritate the urethra. These products include deodorant sprays, douches and powders.
  • Change your birth control method. Diaphragms, unlubricated condoms or condoms treated with spermicide can contribute to bacterial growth.

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