Sunday, 12 January 2014

How can you get a urinary tract infection

 No matter who you are, a pregnant woman, a man or a baby, the way you get a UTI is always the same.

Bacteria enter your urinary tract and their number increases as the time goes by. The ways they enter your urinary tract can be various. Usually they go from down to up, from lower organs to upper urinary organs and finally kidneys. You may get an inflammation of the lower urinary tract first. If you are pregnant, then your physiology changes allow bacteria and fungi to enter your body more easily and to cause an infection. If you are a man, then the infection may be caused by poor hygiene or any other contact with infected surface.

Babies and toddlers may develop frequent urinary infections as a consequence of VUR, a deformity of some part of the urinary tract which prevents urine from flowing freely through the urinary tubes. This allows the bacteria to concentrate and multiply. Also, the wall of the bladder is still immature and doesn’t fight the intruders as well as your grown up’s bladder. All of these causes will cease to exist as the child grows up, and only in extreme cases the surgery is necessary to set the passages through the urinary tract free.

The most common bacteria, Escherichia Coli, are the usual inhabitant of the anal region, colon and anus. But it sometimes moves to the urethra where they don’t normally reside and this causes bacterial infection. This occurs more often in babies as they wear diapers and their feces are usually in the vicinity of their reproductive organs. Also, it happens more often to women than man, because of their physiology, as their organs are easier to access.  Men (and boys) have their foreskins to protect them. However, they may sometimes cause the infections because the obstacle they create to the urine flow. This usually happens if the boy or a man has too long foreskin which sticks to the penis too tightly (phimosis).

There are a couple things you can do to prevent urinary infections in babies.

  1. Wash their tushies instead of wiping them off with wet wipes
  2. If you have to wipe they make sure you start from the genital organs towards the anus, not the other way round.
  3. Wash your hands before and after every contact with the baby, and have your toddler wash his hands often too.

Even with all the precaution measures, the infection may still happen. Doctors are not sure why, but some children are more prone to the infections than the other, as well as some grown ups. Although there are no physical blockages in their urinary tract, they still get sick too often.  In that case you may want to explore the ways to prevent UTI in children and adults.
Resources: Webmd, Medicinenet and own experience

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