Why Do Girls And Women Get More Frequent Utis
Girls and women get UTIs much more frequently than boys and men, because they have a shorter urethra, and the opening lies closer to the rectum and vagina where bacteria are more likely to be.
Some people who get frequent UTIs may have an abnormality in their urinary tract or a problem with how it functions. The most common functional problem of the urinary tract is called vesicoureteral reflux a condition in which some urine flows backward, or refluxes, from the bladder into the ureters and even up to the kidneys.
Bacteria can find their way into the urethra by several ways. During sexual intercourse, the bacteria in the vaginal area may be pushed into the urethra and eventually end up in the bladder, where urine provides a good environment for the bacteria to grow. Bacteria may also be introduced into a girl’s bladder by wiping from back to front after a bowel movement, which can contaminate the urethral opening. An increased risk of UTIs has been associated with the use of spermicides and diaphragms as contraceptives.
Sexually transmitted diseases may cause UTI-like symptoms, such as pain with urination. If a course of antibiotics does not clear up a UTI, or if you have other symptoms, such as a discolored or smelly discharge from the vagina then see your doctor or a sexual health nurse. If untreated, STDs can lead to serious long-term problems, including pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility. STDs are contagious.
Kidney Infection Risk Factors
Anyone can get a kidney infection. But just as women get more bladder infections than men, they also get more kidney infections.
A womanâs urethra is shorter than a manâs, and itâs closer to their vagina and anus. That means itâs easier for bacteria or viruses to get into a womanâs urethra, and once they do, itâs a shorter trip to the bladder. From there, they can spread to the kidneys.
Pregnant women are even more likely to get bladder infections. This is because of hormone changes and because a baby puts pressure on the motherâs bladder and ureters and slows the flow of urine.
Any problem in your urinary tract that keeps pee from flowing as it should can raise your chances of a kidney infection, such as:
- A blockage in your urinary tract, like a kidney stone or enlarged prostate
- Conditions that keep your bladder from completely emptying
- A problem in the structure of your urinary tract, like a pinched urethra
- Vesicoureteral reflux , which is when pee flows backward from your bladder toward your kidneys
Youâre also more likely to get an infection if you have:
- A weakened immune system, as with type 2 diabetes
Where Are The Kidneys Located
The kidneys are located on either side of the body underneath the diaphragm near the lower back. Each kidney is connected to the bladder in the pelvis by ureters that drain the urine from the kidneys to the bladder. Urine stored in the bladder is excreted from the body through the urethra. Collectively, these structures make up what is called the urinary tract.
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Who Is More Likely To Develop A Kidney Infection
You are more likely to develop a kidney infection if you
- Are a woman2
- have a UTI in the bladder.
- had a UTI during the past 12 months.
- are pregnant. Scientists think that hormonal changes and shifts in the position of the urinary tract during pregnancy make it easier for bacteria to travel to the kidneys and cause infection.
- have a problem in your urinary tract that blocks or changes the normal flow of urine. The flow of urine may be blocked if you have a defect in the structure of your urinary tract, such as a narrowed urethra, an enlarged prostate, or a kidney stone.
- have vesicoureteral reflux , which is when urine can back up, or reflux, into one or both kidneys. Health care professionals most commonly diagnose VUR in children.3
- have diabetes or problems with your bodys immune, or natural defense, system.
- have a spinal cord injury or nerve damage around the bladder.
- have trouble emptying your bladder completely, called urinary retention.
Pain In The Left Side Under Ribs
A pain in the left side of the body under your ribs may cause you panic because of the possibility that it is heart-related pain. While it is true that left sided rib cage pain could be a sign of angina or another serious cardiac issue, there are other reasons for such pain.
Your heart is located under your ribs, slightly to the left of your middle chest. If heart-related issues cause chest pain, this will feel like tight squeezing, pressure, or chest tightness under the left rib cage. Usually, the pain will spread to your left arm, jaw, and neck.
However, your left lung, spleen, and left kidney are also protected by the left rib cage. Any condition affecting these organs will result in mild to severe aches and pains under your left ribs.
Of course, blunt trauma to your left ribs or pulling a muscle will result in localized pain in the left side. You might also notice that your ribs are tender or sore to touch.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Uti
The most common symptoms associated with a UTI include:
- frequent urination
- burning or pain during urination
- feeling like you need to pee but little or no urine actually comes out
- pain in the lower abdomen or above the pubic bone
- a full feeling in the rectum
- bloody or foul-smelling urine
More serious symptoms, such as the ones listed below may indicate a kidney infection:
- abdominal pain
- nausea and vomiting
- pain in the back, just above the waist
See your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of a urinary tract infection. If you can’t reach your doctor, go to an urgent care center or hospital emergency room.
How Do You Prevent A Urinary Tract Infection
Recurrent urinary tract infections may be able to be prevented in some cases:
- Drink more fluids
- It is thought this could help flush out germs that can enter the bladder
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Organs Of The Urinary Tract
The urinary tract consists of the kidneys, ureters , bladder, and urethra. These organs may be injured by blunt force or by penetrating force . Injuries may also occur unintentionally during surgery.
UTIs are usually classified as upper or lower according to where they occur along the urinary tract, although it is sometimes difficult or impossible for doctors to make such a determination:
Some doctors also consider infections of the urethra and prostate to be lower UTIs. In paired organs , infection can occur in one or both organs. UTIs can occur in children Urinary Tract Infection in Children A urinary tract infection is a bacterial infection of the urinary bladder , the kidneys , or both. Urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria. Infants and younger… read more as well as in adults.
When Is Genital Herpes Most Contagious
During active outbreaks, your viral load is heavier, and at those times you are most likely to infect a sexual partner, says Dr. Baill. Without an outbreak, the viral load is usually insufficient to infect a normal, healthy partner.
Remember, some people with HSV infections never have signs or symptoms of genital herpes at all. Although you are most contagious during outbreaks when sores are visible, you can also be contagious at times when you are free of any visible sores.
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When To See A Gp
See a GP if you feel feverish and have pain that will not go away in your tummy, lower back or genitals.
You should also see a GP if you have symptoms of a UTI that have not improved after a few days, or if you have blood in your pee.
Contact a GP immediately if you think your child may have a kidney infection.
If you cannot get a GP appointment and need urgent medical attention, go to your nearest urgent care centre .
If you do not have a local UCC, go to your nearest A& E.
When Are Urinary Tract Infections No Longer Contagious
Again, upper and lower UTIs due to bacteria are not contagious. In general, physicians and clinicians suggest people are free from lower UTIs about three to seven days after antibiotic treatment, and free from upper UTIs after 10 to 14 days after treatment. Some people with kidney infections may also benefit from an initial antibiotic IV dose then followed by an oral round of antibiotics in complicated or more severe cases.
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Signs Of A Kidney Infection
What does a kidney infection feel like? According to the NIDDK, the most common kidney infections symptoms are:
But depending on a persons age, they may not experience all of these kidney infection symptoms. Children younger than two may only experience high fever as a sign of kidney infections, the NIDDK says, and people older than 65 might only present with cognitive issues, like confusion, hallucinations, and disorganized speech.
How Are Kidney Infections Diagnosed
Two common laboratory tests are performed to diagnose kidney infections . A urine sample is examined under a microscope to determine if white and/or red blood cells are present. The urine is also sent to the lab to see if bacteria grow in a urine culture. If a person is very sick, blood cultures may also be sent. The strain of bacteria that are cultured will determine the type of therapy used in your treatment.
Pyelonephritis can often be treated without X-ray studies, unless your doctor suspects there may be an addition problem. CT scans produce images of structures and organs and these scans are usually done without contrast . A renal ultrasound may sometimes suffice for evaluation.
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How To Prevent Spreading E Coli
Theres no vaccine to prevent you from contracting an E. coli infection. Instead, you can help prevent spreading this bacteria through lifestyle changes and best practices:
- Cook meats thoroughly to help eliminate unhealthy bacteria. Meat should be cooked until it reaches 160ºF .
- Wash raw produce to remove dirt and any bacteria hanging onto leafy vegetables.
- Thoroughly wash utensils, cutting boards, and countertops with soap and hot water to avoid cross contamination.
- Keep raw foods and cooked foods separate. Always use different plates or wash them completely before reuse.
- Maintain proper hygiene. Wash your hands after using the bathroom, cooking or handling food, before and after meals, and after coming in contact with animals.
E. coli, avoid public areas until your symptoms are gone. If your child has developed an infection, keep them home and away from other children.
Continue Learning About Urinary Tract Infections
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
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Causes Of Kidney Infection
A kidney infection usually happens when bacteria, often a type called E. coli, get into the tube that carries urine out of your body .
The bacteria travel up to your bladder, causing cystitis, and then up into your kidneys.
E. coli bacteria normally live in your bowel, where they cause no harm.
They can be transferred from your bottom to your genitals during sex or if you’re not careful when wiping your bottom after going to the loo.
A kidney infection can sometimes develop without a bladder infection. For example, if you have a problem with your kidney, such as kidney stones, or if you have diabetes or a weakened immune system.
What Is The Treatment For Kidney Infection
The most important component of treating kidney infection is the timely initiation of antibiotics under the directions of a health care professional. If a kidney infection is diagnosed, then an empiric antibiotic is usually prescribed. A urine and blood sample will be taken and sent to a laboratory for analysis of any bacterial growth .
When a specific type of bacteria is isolated, antibiotics may then be changed to those that are more active against that particular bacterial type. If the bacteria shows resistance to the antibiotic that was initially prescribed, then the antibiotic is changed promptly to one that the organism is susceptible to in order to cure the kidney infection.
Home treatment with oral antibiotics and adequate water and fluid intake is usually sufficient for curing uncomplicated kidney infection and urinary tract infection. Nondrug home treatment with fluid intake, cranberry products, or acupuncture without antibiotics is not advisable for kidney infections.
However, if symptoms are severe or the infection is difficult to control with the routine oral medications for kidney infection, then hospitalization may be required to receive intravenous antibiotics, intravenous hydration, and aggressive management of symptoms. In cases of complicated kidney, infection hospitalization may also be necessary.
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Impaired Renal Function Compromised Immune Response And Infection
Their interactions may be exemplified by the SLE and LN. The SLE by its very nature is believed to be a risk factor for the herpes zoster as cellular immune response to the virus was impaired regardless of immunosuppressive regimen . Moreover, loss of renal function may exaggerate the compromised immune function and vice versa. As a surrogate marker for renal insufficiency, the LN may expose the patients to higher risk of herpes zoster infection . In this context, an elevated yet within normal range serum creatinine may play an accessory role and sensitize the effects of already existing detrimental factors on the immune function. Concurrently, the kidneys are also known victims of aberrant immune function, which may confer kidney-specific damage-associated molecular patterns that cause sterile inflammation, the development of kidney-targeting autoantibodies and molecular mimicry with microbial pathogens . Meanwhile, declined renal function did predispose to infections and the converse is also true . Consistently, our latest work confirmed that elevated serum creatinine was an independent risk factor for severe pulmonary infection in nephrotic syndrome patients receiving the cyclosporin regimen . Knowingly, the kidneys are one of the most affected organs in severe infection with 50% involvement during sepsis .
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Seek Medical Attention For Utis
It is important to seek medical attention if you think you may have a UTI particularly if you think you may have a bladder or kidney infection, both of which are very serious conditions. Early treatment of urinary infection can help to prevent infection spreading to the bladder or kidneys.
Your doctor will test your urine to check which micro-organism is present. Urinary tract infections usually respond quickly and well to antibiotics.
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Tips On Uti Prevention
How Is A Kidney Infection Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms, do a physical exam, and likely run some diagnostic tests. Those include a urinalysis, to check your pee under a microscope for bacteria and white blood cells, which your body makes to fight infection, and a urine culture to help find out what kind of bacteria is causing the infection, the NIDDK says. Your doctor may even take a blood sample to check for bacteria or other organisms in your blood, the Mayo Clinic says.
Other tests that might come up include an ultrasound, a CT scan, or a form of X-ray called a voiding cystourethrogram, which involves injecting a contrast dye to take X-rays of your bladder when its full and while youre peeing, per the Mayo Clinic.
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How Are Utis Diagnosed
Only a health care provider can treat urinary tract infections. The first thing a doctor will do is confirm that a person has a UTI by taking a clean-catch urine specimen. At the doctor’s office, you’ll be asked to clean your genital area with disposable wipes and then pee into a sterile cup.
The sample may be used for a urinalysis or a urine culture . Knowing what bacteria are causing the infection can help your doctor choose the best treatment.