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Urine infection: symptoms in men and women

The urine infections They are among the most frequent infections and are very common in women (especially from adolescence), although they also occur in men. They usually occur in the bladder and can become very annoying and painful. However, there are ways to avoid them or, at least, to reduce the probability of suffering from them.

What is a urine infection?

A urine infection occurs when an infection occurs at some point in the urinary systemwhich comprises the kidneys (responsible for filtering the blood and making urine), the ureters (tubes that collect urine from the kidneys and conduct it to the bladder), the urinary bladder (where urine is stored) and the urethra (the tube that connects the bladder to the outside).

The microorganisms that cause urinary tract infection usually enter the urinary tract from the outside through the opening of the urethra (the penis in the case of men and the vulva in the case of women), from where they travel up to the bladder and even can reach the kidneys.

In much less frequent cases, microorganisms can reach the kidneys through the blood.

Most of the times the microorganisms responsible for the urinary tract infections are bacteria (mainly bacteria Escherichia coli), but they can also be caused by some viruses, fungi and parasites.

Urine infections are usually classified into two types, depending on where they occur:

The lower tract infections include the bladder infections (cystitis)of the urethra (urethritis) and the prostatitis (prostate infection).The upper tract infections are the ones that affect the kidneys (pyelonephritis). They are less common, but more serious.

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Urine infection: causes and risk factors

have sexual relations It is the main factor that facilitates urinary infections, since movement makes it easier than infections. bacteria enter the urinary tract. In addition, the use of a diaphragm has been linked to a greater probability of suffering them, as well as spermicides, which can alter the vaginal flora and make it more vulnerable.

The women have much shorter urethra than that of men: while theirs measures about 3 cm, theirs measures 20 cm. The short urethra and its proximity to the vagina and anus make it easier for microorganisms to access and that is why bladder infections (cystitis) are much more common in women.

Another risk factor in women is menopause. The decrease in estrogens that occurs in this period favors the vaginal flora imbalance and makes it easier for recurrent cystitis to appear.

Other factors or situations that increase the risk of a urinary infection are:

Urine infection: symptoms in women

As we have mentioned, the bladder infections (cystitis) They are more common in women. The main symptoms are:

Need to urinate frequently (and even if the bladder is empty).Burning or a painful sensation when urinating.cloudy urine or with a strong smell. It may also have a pinkish or brownish hue (a sign that there is blood in the urine).Pain in the pelvis (especially in the central part)urinary incontinence (especially in the elderly). In some cases, fever.

The symptoms of infection in the urethra include burning with urination and secretions. When the infection occurs in the kidneys (pyelonephritis)the symptoms are:

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Pain in one side of the lower back.High fever.tremorschills or night sweats.nausea and vomiting.

In some cases, a urine infection is detected on a urine culture, but does not cause any symptoms.

Urine infection: symptoms in men

The urethra of men is much longer than that of women, which makes cystitis less frequent. In them, it is more common for infections to be related to urinary tract abnormalities and require further study by physicians.

The prostatitisis a type of urine infection that causes inflammation of the prostate, causes cystitis-like symptoms (pain, burning, frequent urination, cloudy urine…) and also:

Pain in the abdomen, groin, or lower back.Pain in the perineum (the part between the scrotum and the rectum).Pain or discomfort in the penis or testicles.Pain when ejaculating.

On the other hand, the symptoms of urethritis or pyelonephritis are the same in men as those described in women.

How to prevent urine infections?

Treatment usually consists of taking antibiotics, especially in the most serious infections. However, since the best treatment is good prevention, take note of these tips and natural solutions that will help you keep away urine infections:

Drink a lot of water favors the elimination of bacteria.wipe from front to back (women) prevents microorganisms from the anus from passing into the vagina.Avoid non-breathable underwear.After having sexual intercourse, urinate as soon as possible.Eating blueberries prevents urinary infections because they have non-stick properties that prevent bacteria from adhering to the bladder wall, as indicated by various studies.

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