#Health and Hygiene

Here’s What A Doctor Has To Say About UTI Causes, Treatment And Prevention

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Urinary Tract Infection (UTIs) are a common occurrence in women as compared to men. The disease is caused due to the presence of microbial pathogens in the urinary tract and affects different parts of it. We had a conversation with Dr Seema Sharma, OBGYN, based in Delhi about the causes, treatment and precautions to be taken for UTIs.

While speaking to SheThePeople, Dr Seema Sharma mentioned that causes can vary from lack of water in the body to the presence of severe bacteria like E.Coli in the urinary tract, to bad hygiene and sexual activities.

“Sometimes elderly women have prolapse of the uterus with cystocele.” Dr Seema said adding to the common causes of UTIs.

Dr Seema Sharma added that UTIs affect different women differently and can have various causes accordingly. The causes in a child can vary from that in an elderly woman.

How can UTIs be treated?

The gynaecologist said that in order to treat the infection effectively, it is important to examine the cause and culture should always be done before taking antibiotics. The cause must be determined before getting the antiseptics.

“The common mistake people make is they take antibiotics for two-three days and they feel that symptoms have become better and then they leave it. The next time what happens is that the bacteria become stronger and needs more treatment.” Dr Sharma said examining the common mistake that people make while treating UTIs.

Dr Seema also mentioned that different bacteria causing UTI need different types of treatment. There are certain bacteria that require treatment for seven days and others might take 14 days for treatment. There are some bacteria that may need months to treat.

The doctor emphasised that it is essential that the bacteria no longer exist in the body so that there is no chance of recurrence otherwise it can grow stronger in the body causing severe complications. She gave the following advice to treat UTIs efficiently:

  1. You should not self-medicate
  2. Must do a culture before taking antibiotics
  3. Take the treatment suggested according to the culture and do not take antibiotics otherwise

“Basic problems start at a younger age when the initial episodes of infection are happening and that is the time to be more vigilant.” She said.

Precautions to be taken to prevent the infections:

  1. Maintain body weight. UTIs are more common in an obese body.
  2. Intake of nutritious food, especially enough vitamins.
  3. Enough water intake is mandatory.
  4. Every time a woman pees, she should dab-dry instead of using soaps and water. Washing more can rub off the essential good bacteria.
  5. Reduce the use of over-the-counter washes
  6. Pads and tampons should be changed every 4-6 hours during periods
  7. Peeing after sexual intercourse within 15 minutes can also reduce the chances of infection.