Urinary tract infections or UTIs are common among women. They account for about 8.1 million visits to doctors and gynecologists per year. Approximately 5% of all pregnant women develop a UTI in the USA. More than 25% of American women develop pelvic floor disorders as a result of UTIs every year. A slightly scary statistic shows that almost 50% of the women in the USA will develop at least one UTI by 2050.
Why should you be worried about UTIs?
UTIs are common and can be very stealthy. Sometimes, they stay asymptomatic for years in the uterine system and the urinary tract before flaring up. Many of these urinary tract infections are opportunistic. They can hide in the system waiting for a break in the immune system. That is why most pregnant women, lactating women and people suffering from lack of immunity usually suffer from a plethora of UTIs.
Urinary tract health is critical since even the minutest of infections can cause a lot of discomfort and pain. Sometimes, women and men disregard burning sensations during urination as a sign of dehydration and lower back pain as a sign of stress. However, if you get the urge to urinate frequently, or if your urine smells and looks strange, or if you get fevers or chills occasionally, you may want to consult a gynecologist or a urologist immediately.
Do you need to worry about your urinary health?
Multiple tests can determine the specific kinds of infections you have. Some of these diseases can be very sneaky and avoid detection by conventional tests. To determine if your excretory system is in order, your doctor can recommend a leukocyte esterase test. It is a wholesome detection method that determines the presence of White Blood Cells or WBCs in your urine.
- The most common, yet most notorious form of UTI is an E.coli infection. It is a common bacterium usually present in our gut. It can spread to the urethra from the anus.
- Chlamydia is another very common UTI among men and women in the USA. It usually spreads through unprotected sexual intercourse. Along with Mycoplasma, this bacterium can cause urethritis in both genders.
- Candida infection is a fungal infection that is present in more than 70% women, but in most cases, it is not noticeable. It is another opportunistic UTI that can act up when the person falls severely ill from some other infection or when the person is on an antibiotic that suppresses bacterial growth exclusively.
In most of the cases, UTIs may not be life-threatening or even disruptive. Most people do not even feel the presence of a number of microbes in their guts, urethra, and uterus. However, recurrent lesions and boils from these infections always increase the risk of other more pressing diseases like HPV, HSV, and even cervical cancer. It is very important to ask your doctor for periodic screening for urinary tract infections irrespective of your gender.