The infection of the urinary tract is a common problem that affects both women and men, being more common in females. It is estimated that more than 60% of women will have at least one episode of UTI in their lifetime. In the case of males, it can be seen in early childhood or youth ages, since it is practically non-existent between 15 and 50 years of age (Gonzales - Chamorro F).
When a bacterium reproduces and proliferates in the urinary tract and causes symptoms (burning, frequent urination, feeling of wanting to go after urinating urination, low back pain and / or fever) and urine tests (urinalysis) is altered, then it diagnoses a urinary infection.
There are cases in which a person may have an altered urine test, but there are no symptoms whatsoever. When this situation exists then it is called asymptomatic bacteriuria, which is the presence of bacteria in the urine without causing infection.
However, in some cases such as pregnancy, in diseases that cause a decrease in the body's defenses and in urological surgeries, treatment should be indicated in order to avoid complications.
In some patients, urinary tract infections can be a recurring complaint, requiring the person to adopt various habits to prevent new infections such as cystitis (lower urinary tract infections) or pyelonephritis (upper urinary tract infection).
How to prevent urinary tract infections
In this article we will explain what are some measures to prevent urinary tract infections:
1. Drink plenty of water
The consumption of water is recommended, in order to prevent urine from accumulating in the bladder and urinary tract, because this situation increases the amount of bacteria, because urine acts as a culture medium for their proliferation.
2. The use of cranberry and probiotics
It is scientifically proven that cranberry (known by its English name Cramberry) acidifies the urine, thus preventing the proliferation of germs and pathogenic microorganisms to some extent, however, for some guides the real benefit can be considered still controversial. (Jiménez - Pacheco A)
3. Adequate hygiene habits
Urinary tract infections due to the Echerichia Coli bacteria are very common, however, this is usually the usual flora of the digestive tract, and is found in the perineum (segment between the anus and the vulva) so it is just as frequent as, Bad cleaning habits such as the way you use toilet paper (ideal from front to back), can drag digestive bacterial flora that colonizes the urethra and upper urinary tract, generating infection.
Likewise, excess hygiene and the inappropriate use of certain soaps or personal hygiene products can lead to the elimination of the normal microbial flora of the urinary tract and favor the invasion of other pathogenic germs.
4. Avoid holding urine or spending more than 4 hours without urinating
Another of the very common bad habits that are heard when questioning patients is avoiding urination in public bathrooms, so during a 6-hour workday they wait until they return home to urinate, which is detrimental to the health of the patient. urinary system. By keeping urine in the bladder for long periods, it facilitates the proliferation and colonization of pathogenic bacteria.
5. Urinate and clean properly after sexual intercourse.
Urinating after sexual intercourse facilitates the elimination of microorganisms that may have migrated to the urinary tract during intercourse.
6. Avoid wearing synthetic underwear and the constant use of intimate towels that generate genital irritation.
Moisture and the maintenance of a sweaty and poorly ventilated genital internal environment can promote bacterial growth. Cotton clothing is a good option as it is more absorbent and generates less irritation.
7. Avoid misuse of antibiotics
In cases of self-medication, when an individual uses an antibiotic without a clear and precise indication prescribed by qualified health personnel, greater risks are generated than benefits, such as bacterial resistance or elimination of normal flora that allows colonization of the urinary epithelium, for example.
8. Improve vaginal atrophy
In the case of postmenopausal patients, there is a greater risk of urinary tract infections, with atrophy of the vaginal and vulvar epithelium due to the significant decrease in estrogens. The use of topical estrogens or hormone replacement therapy could be an additional support tool in the prevention of urinary infections, as long as you are a candidate for its use and have a prescription from a specialist in the field.
9. Specialized assessment
In the case of patients with recurrent urinary tract infections, which recur after effective treatment demonstrated through a negative control urine culture, in more than 3 episodes in a year, they should be carefully examined in search of any morphological alteration or condition that favor the recurrence of urinary infection.
10. Antibiotic prophylaxis
The use of prophylactic antibiotics such as nitrofurantoin in low or single doses, after risky episodes such as after sexual intercourse, anal intercourse, use of spermicides, etc., in patients with recurrent infections, can prevent the appearance of a new episode. (Gonzales - Chamorro F).
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