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Urinary tract infection


A urinary tract infection is an infection of the lower urinary tract below the bladder. Cystitis, an inflammation of the bladder, is the most common urinary tract infection, and affects almost exclusively women. In general, and this for anatomical reasons, including the shortness of the urethra, urinary tract infections affect more women than men. It is also common in children. It may be due to the presence of bacteria that contaminate urine, or sometimes a fungus.


Cystitis is characterized by inconstant signs: pain and burning during urination, a more frequent need to urinate, occasional accidents, and sometimes smelly urine. A lower urinary tract infection is never accompanied by fever. Fever is a sign that points to a causative organism in the kidney: pyelonephritis may be involved.


A diagnosis is made based on a urine sample, collected ideally after proper cleaning: a dipstick is dipped into the urine sample to determine the presence of white blood cells in the urine that creates a color-code reaction on the strip. The presence of nitrites points to a disorder of bacterial origin and will necessitate for a urine sample (urinalysis) to be further studied in a laboratory to identify the bacteria in question.


As with any infectious disease, a prescription of antibiotics is the most appropriate treatment. The duration of this antibiotic treatment varies from a single dose to multiple pills taken over several days.


To reduce the risk, it is important to drink plenty of water, to not hold in your pee too long retain and to always clean your anal and vulvar areas after urinating or having a bowel movement.

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