Urinary tract infection, also known as cystitis, is a common disease that affects women in particular, especially postmenopausal women. It is recognizable by the following symptoms:
- Burns during urination.
- Frequent need to urinate with occasional emergencies.
- Smelly urine.
- Possible presence of blood in the urine.
The urinary tract infection is not dangerous. If there are no signs of complications such as fever or severe pain, it is not necessary to consult immediately. When symptoms appear, it is important to drink a lot to empty the bladder. Anti-inflammatory drugs help to relieve pain.
If the urinary tract infection does not pass or if there is a series of cystitis, you should consult a doctor. If fever or lower back pain develops, you should see a doctor as a matter of urgency.
Most urinary tract infections are related to Escherichia Coli bacteria. Present in the stool, this bacterium migrates until it reaches the bladder. In women, the proximity of the anus to the urinary meatus and the short length of the urethra make this migration more frequent.
Some factors can promote cystitis, such as a bad habit of wiping from back to front after bowel movement, excessive personal hygiene or insufficient hydration.
In men, urinary tract infection often hides an underlying problem, such as an obstruction of the urinary tract or a stone in the bladder or kidneys.
Antibiotics are prescribed to control the bacteria that cause the infection. In case of repeated cystitis (more than two cystitis in six months), the urologist carries out different tests:
- A urine analysis to target the germ involved.
- A flowmeter, which measures the flow rate and quantity of urine.
- An ultrasound to observe the kidneys and the emptying of the bladder.
- A scanner to detect any calculations or anomalies.
CThese examinations allow us to find the factor that favours infection. The urologist may prescribe supportive treatments that prevent the bacteria from clinging to the bladder or stimulate the immune system.
In postmenopausal women, there is sometimes atrophy of the skin of the vulva that promotes infection. Local estrogens or hyaluronic acid-based cream can help to remedy this.