Urine infection symptoms in women vary depending on the extent and location of the infection. Some may even experience no symptoms at all. Nevertheless, any abnormalities in toilet habits should be addressed immediately to prevent the spread of infection and other complications.
Urine is made up of waste products from the body, but it is supposedly sterile. At times, however, outside microorganisms may make their way into the urinary tract, causing infection. Urine infection or urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common condition among women. Anatomically, the female urethra is located near the anus, making it easier for bacteria from the anus to travel to the urethral opening. The female urethra is also shorter, compared to that of males. This makes it easier for bacteria to travel up into the bladder.
Causes of urine infection in women
Anything that allows entry of bacteria into the urethral opening may cause UTI. These include:
• Poor personal hygiene
• Incorrect way of wiping
• Wearing of tight undergarments
• Sexual intercourse
• Birth control methods such as spermicides and diaphragms
• Holding in of urine for long periods of time
• Indwelling catheters for hospitalized patients
Signs and Symptoms of urine infection in women
Urine infection symptoms in women involve abnormalities in toilet habits. Some individuals may experience milder symptoms or no symptoms at all.
Typical symptoms include:
• Fever and chills
• Abdominal pain
• Burning sensation or pain upon urinating
• Frequent urge to urinate
• Urine may appear cloudy or pinkish if blood is present
• Bloated sensation, or a feeling that the bladder is full
Diagnosis of UTI in women
The symptoms above are very indicative of a urinary tract infection. However, other diseases may cause the above symptoms as well. To confirm, a simple urine test should be done. A urine sample is collected and sent to the laboratory for testing. The urinalysis determines the presence of bacteria and other substances such as blood, pus, proteins, and glucose in the urine sample. A culture and sensitivity test may also be done in addition to a urine analysis test. A urine culture test determines the type of microorganism present in the urine and the antibiotics it is sensitive to. Doctors use the results of a urine culture and sensitivity test to prescribe medication and evaluate their effectiveness after the treatment regimen has been completed.
Treatment of urinary infection symptoms in women
Urine infection symptoms in women may appear nonspecific at first. Some people naturally pass out the infection in a few days’ time. But for some, medication is needed. Antibiotic medication is the primary treatment for infections, depending on the type of bacteria as determined by the urine culture. Other medication may be given for the fever and the pain if any. Urine infections are preventable and good personal hygiene is the best way to avert it. When washing or wiping, women must remember to wipe from front to back, in the direction of the anus. This will prevent transfer of bacteria to the urethra. It is also important to take plenty of fluids. This will facilitate frequent emptying of the bladder and wash out any bacteria that may have travelled up the urinary tract.