By Dr. Amit Goel, Urology
Urinary tract infections (UTI) are bacterial infections which involve the kidneys, bladder, ureters or the urethra. The urine passes through these organs before it is eliminated from the body. The chances of urinary tract infections (UTIs) are higher in women than men as the length of the urethra is shorter in women. The bacterium makes its way into the urinary tract from the fecal route/digestive system.
Most common bacteria responsible include Escherichia coli. UTI’s can be either Acute (developing at a rapid rate) or Chronic (developing slowly) and they might affect either one or both the sides of the tract.
Common causes of urinary tract obstructions include:-
- Enlarged prostate (BPH) or prostate tumors (Most Common cause in Males) Presence of kidney stones anywhere in the urinary tract.
- Structural abnormalities in children such as constrictions, which block or narrow the urethra, Reflux disease.
- Abnormal conditions such as Stones, polyps, blood clots and tumors in the ureter.
- Scars/Strictures that develop in the urethra due to procedures like Previous Endoscopic Surgeries.
Symptoms of UTIs include:-
- Burning feeling during urination.
- Back pain or pain in the lower abdomen/Urinary Passage.
- Fever or chills An intense or frequent urge to urinate.
- Inability to pass Urine/Sense of Incomplete Voiding Tiredness and fatigue.
- Cloudy, dark urine with a foul smell.
- Oral antibiotics/IV Antibiotics (if Severe UTI) are widely used to treat urinary tract infections. If caused by obstruction -Treatment usually focuses on the rapid clearance of the cause of the obstruction.
- If the rapid correction is not possible (Due to patient condition) the urinary tract is drained. The draining is done temporarily using a Catheter for Bladder outlet obstruction and for Obstructed Kidney- Nephrostomy tube (which is a soft tube that is inserted into the kidney through the back) or by inserting a ureteral stent (which is a soft tube made of plastic connecting the bladder and the kidney).