Written by Ms. Madeline

OVERVIEW OF URINARY TRACT INFECTION

Mustafa et al found that 9.6% of hospitalized patients in Sabah General Hospital had urinary tract infection, which is similar to prevalence reported by other countries. Our urinary system involves kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. However, female has shorter urethra compared to male thus increasing the risk of female having urinary tract infection. The infection usually involves lower urinary tract which is bladder (cystitis) and urethra (urethritis).

However, the bacteria may also travel up to kidneys and causes acute pyelonephritis (rare, about 28 cases per 10,000 women per annum). The most common organism that causes UTI is Escherichia Coli (80-85%). Other possible pathogens include Staphylococcus saprophyticus (5-15%), Klebsiella species, Proteus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida, Enterococci etc.  

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF UTI

 

Lower UTI (Cystitis/Urethritis)

1. Urgency- need to rush to toilet urgently

2. Frequency- need to urinate very frequently

3. Incomplete urination

4. Burning sensation during urination

5. Cloudy urine

6. Foul smell urine

7. Blood in urine- may be red, bright pink or cola-colored

8. Pelvic pain (in female)

9. Discharge

Upper UTI (Pyelonephritis)

1. Same as LOWER UTI

2. High fever with chills

3. Upper back and side pain

4. Nausea and vomiting

RISK FACTOR

  • Female has higher prevalence compared to male (50-80% more incidences) but mostly uncomplicated cystitis
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney stone
  • Pregnancy
  • Postmenopausal changes
  • Urinary catheterization
  • Sexual intercourse

TREATMENT

Usually need a course of antibiotic to get rid of the bacterial infection. Advisable to seek physician’s help if having signs and symptoms as above.

PREVENTION

  • Sufficient intake of fluid per day (2-3L per day)
  • Urinate frequently after intercourse (especially female)
  • Urinate once there is an urge to do so
  • Practice good genital and urinary hygiene
  • Avoid extremely tight-fitting pants
  • Avoid multiple sex partners
  • Choose sanitary pads over tampons
  • Unsweetened cranberry juice
  • Cranberry extract supplement
  • Probiotic (Lactobacillus strain)
  • Bearberry/Uva-ursi supplement

Reference:

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