URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS: A urinary tract infection is an infection that occurs in your kidneys, uterus, bladder or urethra. The urinary tract is the system that makes urine and carries it out of the body. When germs enter the system, it can cause an infection. Urinary tract infections can occur in women or men, but women are at a much higher risk of developing one. Common symptoms include pain when urinating and the feeling of having to urinate often. According to a new research study, urinary tract infections affect 53 percent of women and 14 percent of men at least once in their lives, and the side effects can often be painful enough to prevent someone from proceeding with their regular daily activity. Urinary tract infections lead to missed work and 6.8 million doctor's office visits annually.
CAUSES: Germs usually get into your system through the urethra, causing an infection. Factors that make infection more likely include sexual activity, lack of fluids, having diabetes and being pregnant. According to Mayo Clinic, after menopause, a woman is at higher risk of developing a UTI because loss of estrogen causes thinning of the tissues around the urethra.
TREATMENTS: Urinary tract infections are usually treated with antibiotics and typically clear up within a few days of treatment. Home treatments include drinking a lot of water and fluids and emptying your bladder frequently. For severe cases, hospitalization and treatment with intravenous antibiotics may be necessary.
If untreated, a urinary tract infection can move to the bladder and cause a bladder infection, and then on to the kidneys to cause a kidney infection.
NEW VACCINE: Scientists at the University of Michigan are working on a new vaccine that may effectively prevent urinary tract infections. The vaccine prevented infection and produced key types of immunity when tested in mice. It works by alerting the immune system to iron receptors on the surface of bacteria that perform a critical function in allowing the infection to spread. It prepares the body to fight Escherichia coli, which is the cause of most uncomplicated urinary tract infections.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
University of Michigan
Source : Ivanhoe.com - women's health