Treatment and prevention of a urinary tract infections
Urinary tract infections can be painful, recurrent and very disabling of everyday life so see our team of specialists as soon as symptoms occur.
One third of women will develop one form of urinary tract infections in their lifetime. Often benign, they can be treated with a quick and easy course of treatment, but these infections can also present a number of complications if they are not treated correctly.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are very common and are a principal cause of medical consultations and prescription of drugs and antibiotics. In this article, we will detail the different types of infection, as well as their causes and ways of treating and preventing them.
What is a urinary tract infection?
To define a urinary tract infection, we will explain the different elements of the urinary tract, which includes the bladder, urethra, ureters and kidneys.
Urinary tracts differ in women and men. The female urinary tract is much shorter and therefore more prone to urinary tract infections. The male urinary tract is longer and has an extra organ, the prostate, which is often affected when a man contracts a urinary tract infection and can develop into a more serious form: prostatitis.
A urinary tract infection is defined as a bacterial infection of the bladder. The most common urinary tract infection is cystitis, which only affects women. Cystitis is caused either by bacteria in the urine or by inflammation.
If a urinary tract infection extends to the kidneys, it is known as pyelonephritis.
Symptoms and diagnosis of a UTI
The classic symptoms of a urinary tract infection are as follows:
- During urination, you feel burning and pain
- Your urine smells bad and may be cloudy
- You find blood in your urine
- You often have the urge to urinate, sometimes you cannot. The urges can be very sudden.
Diagnosis of a urinary tract infection is made in the doctor's surgery using two methods: the urine sample, which may be supplemented by a urine cytobacteriological examination.
This is a urinary tract infection in women. It can come in different forms, being simple to treat, at risk of developing further or recurrent. Most importantly, make sure to define your cystitis in order to take the appropriate treatment. It is essential to consult your health professional before taking any medication.
- Simple acute cystitis
Simple cystitis is simply diagnosed using a urine sample. This infection is benign and does not pose a risk to the patient. The treatment of simple acute cystitis is based on outpatient treatment and antibiotics.
It is normal for symptoms to persist for a few days after treatment, but it is of utmost importance to always finish your course of antibiotics, even when symptoms have disappeared.
- Cystitis at risk of further development
Complicated cystitis is diagnosed with a positive urine sample and an ECBE. The major risk of this type of cystitis is that it turns into recurrent cystitis.
First-line treatment is nitrofurantoin for 7 days, the second-line treatment is fosfomycin-trometamol in a single dose. In the case of treatment that can be deferred, it is based on 7 days of amoxicillin in the first line, pivmecillinam in the second line and nitrofurantoin in the third line.
- Recurrent cystitis
Recurrent cystitis is present when the patient has experienced at least 4 cases of cystitis in one year.
Prevention of cystitis
For the prevention of recurrent cystitis, staying constantly hydrated is suggested, as well as the use of oestrogen for menopausal women, applied locally. Finally, do not hold back from urination, in order to regulate intestinal transit by stopping spermicides if there are any, and to have sufficient water intake.
In order to avoid cystitis, it is essential to drink a lot of water to reduce the bacterial load of the bladder, not to carry out vaginal showers and not to use perfumed intimate products.
During sexual intercourse, urinate immediately afterwards. Do not hold back urination, use cotton underwear and loose-fitting trousers. Finally, when having a bowel movement, wipe from front to back to avoid the transmission of germs.
Urinary tract infection in men
The symptoms of a urinary tract infection in men, as in women, are pain when urinating, stomachache, sudden urges to urinate and cloudy, smelly urine. Urinary tract infection in men can be caused by an STI. The infection must be treated with antibiotics for 2-4 weeks.