Four misunderstandings about urinary tract infections

new york – despite urinary tract infection The condition is common in women (less common in men), but it’s almost always a frustrating and humiliating experience. This is confirmed by Kalpana Gupta, a professor at Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine who has studied patients with this problem. “They feel some personal responsibility – he commented -. “It’s like they did something wrong.”

In most instances, urinary tract infection (ITU), known as bacterial cystitis, they actually have little to do with any individual behavior, he said. The main reason UTIs are more common in women is that they have shorter urethras than men, which makes it easier for bacteria to reach the urinary tract; for men, UTIs are often part of a broader health problem, Gupta explained .

The vast majority of urinary tract infection cases are caused by bacteria. E. coli, which lives in the intestines and sometimes the perineum. “We haven’t found 100 percent yet” how and under what circumstances Bacteria migrate into the urinary tract It can infect the urinary tract, the researchers added.

many wrong idea Urinary tract infections occur because Few quality studies Ja-Hong Kim, a urologist at UCLA Health, mentioned this problem. These are some of the most common questions patients ask experts.

this is possible. UTIs can occur anywhere in the urinary tract, including the urethra, bladder, kidneys, and in men, the prostate, King said. For a problem to be considered a urinary tract infection, the patient must show certain symptoms and the presence of bacteria in their urine must be confirmed.

Some patients experience lower back pain, which indicates that the UTI may be in the kidneys.Shutterstock

Many of the best-known symptoms, such as burning sensations and a constant need to go to the bathroom, “are known from studies of young, college-age women who would be otherwise healthy without these symptoms,” Gupta said.But in fact Symptoms may vary.

inside elderlyUTIs may be accompanied by fever or a feeling of fullness, he continued. Some patients have lower back pain, which suggests the urinary tract infection may be in the kidneys, which would make the situation more severe and could lead to sepsis and kidney damage, although those outcomes are “very, very rare,” King said.

unnecessary.Women are almost always advised to urinate before and after sex to flush out any bacteria, but this practice without any evidencesaid Benjamin Bricker, chief of urogynecology at NYU Langone Medical Center. “I don’t have any research that proves that peeing before or after sex reduces the risk of infection,” he said.

Interestingly, however, it may be effective for some women, she added.

The most common assumption is The relationship between sex and urinary tract infections During penetrative sex, bacteria from the perineal skin are pushed into the urethra, which can lead to a urinary tract infection, Gupta said. Another reason is that certain products, such as spermicides, alter the vaginal microbiome and can create an environment where bacteria can proliferate and migrate to the urethra. But some women rarely develop urinary tract infections due to increased sexual activity, even if they don’t urinate before or after sexual activity.

Doctors often tell women that practicing good hygiene—for example, wiping from front to back, not wearing a wet swimsuit for too long, and avoiding tight underwear—can lower the risk of certain diseases. And you. The rationale is that cleaning from front to back reduces the chance of fecal bacteria being pushed into the urethra and reduces the chance of irritating the vaginal area from a wet swimsuit or tight underwear.

There is no harm in these practices, but they are not based on scientific evidence, Gupta noted, adding that offering such advice in the context of a urinary tract infection may ultimately lead to women obsessing over cleanliness.

“The conclusion is The risk of contracting a urinary tract infection has nothing to do with how well we bathe“Whether it’s a swimsuit or the clothing we choose,” he said.

Not always. “Imagine you’re hiking and you scratch yourself in a tree, and the scratch turns a little red. Since your body can fight these bacteria, you don’t need to take antibiotics,” says Brooke. “Urinary tract infections, like other infections, are caused by bacteria,” many healthy young patients find Eventually, the body is able to eliminate the bacteria on its own. He said that while antibiotics were part of the routine regimen, it was worth doing a culture first, which would take some time to determine the best treatment.

Although antibiotics are part of the routine protocol, it is worth doing a culture first.

In minor cases, good moisturizing It helps the body clear the infection, Brooke said.There are some painkiller Over-the-counter medications, such as Tylenol, ibuprofen, and AZO, can help reduce discomfort while your body is working.

Some research published in April suggests the old belief that cranberries can prevent urinary tract infections may have some truth to it. In a meta-analysis of 50 randomized controlled trials, cranberry products – Juice, tablets or capsules – reduced the risk of reinfection in women, children with urinary tract infections and susceptible people, but had no effect on other groups such as older men or pregnant women.

For menopausal women, lower hormone levels They can change the vaginal environment and increase the risk of developing a urinary tract infection. Brooke suggests that in this case, vaginal estrogen may be an “excellent way” to prevent infection.

Author: Alisha Haridasani Gupta

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