Causes and diagnosis for urinary tract infections

Microbes like bacteria which overcome the defense system of body in the urinary tract are the cause of infections in the urinary tract. This is a very common condition which account for 9 million visits to doctors per year in the US alone. Urinary tract consists of bladder, ureters, and urethra. Urethra opens in the end of the pennies in men and at the front side of the vagina in women.

Causes of urinary tract infections

Bacteria Escherichia coli is the bacteria responsible for the majority of the UTI infections noticed so far. Other bacteria like Mycoplasma and  Chiamydia are the cause of infection in the urethra. But they are not found in the infections in the bladder.

Risk factors

The risk factors which can increase the vulnerability to UTI are listed below.

  • Sexual intercourse with multiple partners with increased frequency and intensity
  • Problems in emptying the bladder completely
  • Diabetes
  • Poor hygiene
  • Use of urinary catheter
  • Bowel problems
  • Blockage to the flow or urine
  • Use of contraceptives
  • Pregnancy
  • Kidney stones
  • Procedure involving UT
  • Menopause
  • Continued immobility
  • Continued use of antibiotics

Diagnosis

Doctors’ diagnosis the presence of this disease by asking about the symptoms and conducting urine tests to assess the blood cells and bacteria in it.  Clean catch is a method used for collecting urine for this purpose. The genitals are washed cleanly to avoid the possibility of getting bacteria during urine collection. The patient is then asked to urinate and during the mid-stream about 30-60 ml of urine is collected in a clean bottle. This makes it possible to collect the urine without bacteria from the surroundings get mixed up with the sample urine taken.  In cases of persons who experience recurrent UTI’s your doctor may ask you to undergo some other tests which are described below to ascertain the existence of anatomical or functional issues.

Diagnostic imaging: Imaging techniques like ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, X-rays, radiation tracking etc is widely used by physicians to see the images and understand them. This will help them to determine the reasons for the anomalies experienced by the patients.

Urodynamics: Urodynamics is a study in which the bladder and urethra are assessed and determined whether they are doing their duties of storing the urine and releasing them when needed. This test will be able to explain the reasons for frequent urination and incontinence.

Cystoscopy is a procedure in which urethra and bladder are examined with a help of a long thin tube which is inserted through the vagina of the patient. With the help of the light and camera at the end of the tube the examiner is able to examine the internal parts and study the existence of cysts if any.

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