Why Most Women Will Experience Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) In Their Life Time – Expert
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in any part of the urinary system, the kidneys, ureters, bladder and the urethra, the structures that urine passes through before being eliminated from the body. Most infections involve the lower urinary tract — the bladder and the urethra.
Dr. Princewill Nwajuobi, a Clinical Microbiologist at National Abuja in an interview with kapitalfm said, anyone can come down with Urinary Tract Infection but women are at greater risk of developing a UTI than men are.
He said “UTI among women is a very common ailment and more than 50% of the women would have an episode of a urinary tract infection every year”.
The doctor explained that women are at higher risk due to the way their body system is designed. “The women have a very short Urethra – the pipe or opening that goes from the bladder to the external area – while that of the men is longer because of the penile shaft.
“Also, the women have their genital area very close to the anus, so the bacterial that they pass out through the anus when defecating have the ability to swim into the vaginal vault faster because it’s a very short route for them, and from there they can easily go into the bladder” he said
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According to the Expert, UTIs are a key reason women are often told to wipe from front to back after using the restroom which is the best form of UTI Prevention in women. Bacteria from the large intestine, such as E. coli, are in the perfect position to escape the anus and invade the urethra since it’s very close to the anus.
“As a woman, make sure you wipe from front to back after using the convenience, it doesn’t matter if you just went to pass urine because that wetness around that area provides an ability for those organisms to swim into the urethra, which is why it’s important to clean at all time.”
“Wipe backwards, don’t use the same side to wipe backwards twice, make sure you turn the tissue to a fresh side before you wipe again so you don’t infect yourself with the bacteria on the tissue paper” He explained.
To identify a UTI, the doctor said you have to watch out for the following Symptoms:
- A burning feeling when you urinate
- A frequent or intense urge to urinate, even though little comes out when you do
- Pain or pressure in your back or lower abdomen
- Cloudy, dark, bloody, or strange-smelling urine
- Feeling tired or shaky
- Fever or chills (a sign the infection may have reached your kidney.
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The doctor mentioned that UTI is preventable and treatable, however the mode of prevention largely depends on the gender and age.
For Women, maintaining a good hygiene is the best way to prevention UTI. Women are to
- Avoid using sanitary towel for too long
- Always clean the toilet sit with a tissue paper or a wipe before sitting on it
- Remember to wipe from front to the back and don’t use the same surface twice. Change the surface of use another one entirely if you don’t feel clean enough
- Always wash your hands after using the rest room before having contact with your private part.
In children, the mode of infection is the same for both male and female children between the ages of 0-5-years. A male child also has a short urinary tract unlike and adult male.
- Mothers are advised to change their children’s diapers the moment they are soiled
- Always follow the same rule of wiping from front to back.
- Mothers and care-takers are to always wash their hands properly before cleaning a child.
- Wash their hands properly with saop when their hands come in contact with faeces.
For the men, checking their prostate is the best way of making sure they don’t come up with UTI. The doctor explained that older men from the age 50 and above have higher chances of UTI because at that age, the men begin to develop prostatic hypertrophy. At this point the prostate becomes enlarged and presses on the urethra preventing the bladder from passing out urine completely and this puts the men at high risk of UTI.
Dr. Nwajuobi said that If you suspect you have a urinary tract infection, you should see the doctor. You’ll be asked to give a urine sample, which will be tested for the presence of UTI-causing bacteria and you will be treated.