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Urinary Tract Infection: Causes and Symptoms

What do you expect when you head to the washroom? Relief. You expect relief when you want to empty your bladder, but what if you are hit with pain as you urinate instead? And what if this hasn’t just happened once or twice - it has been happening for a while?


This could be a sign of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI).

Photo by Grace physical therapy and pelvic health

What is Urinary Tract Infection?

Urinary Tract Infections are infections that occur when harmful bacteria from the vagina or gastrointestinal tract travel into the bladder. Common signs and symptoms of UTI include:

  1. Painful Urination

  2. Increased frequency and/or urgency to urinate

  3. Potential presence of blood in the urine¹


In more severe cases of UTI, the above symptoms are intensified, and you may start experiencing other symptoms such as fever, chills and even pain of the lower back.



But how often does UTI happen?

Unfortunately, UTI is not a rare occurrence. About 1 in 2 women experience UTI at least once in their lifetime², and UTI is also more common among women than men³.


You are also at a higher risk of experiencing UTI if you fall into one of these categories⁴:


What should I do if I am experiencing symptoms of UTI?

The first step is to consult a doctor and let them know the symptoms you are experiencing. The doctor will assess the severity of your symptoms, diagnose your condition accordingly and prescribe the appropriate treatment.


However, these treatments tend to be double-edged swords. For example, oral antibiotics prescribed for UTI may be convenient and effective, but they can lead to side effects such as nausea and diarrhea. Other treatments may only provide symptomatic relief instead of treating the actual infection.


For patients with recurrent UTI, oral antibiotics may also be prescribed for a longer period of time, but it can lead to increased antibiotic resistance and long-term side effects.


Thus, prevention is better than cure.



But how do we prevent UTI? The answer lies in your daily habits. UTI occurs because of harmful bacteria infecting the bladder. Thus, you can take various steps to reduce the occurrence and risks of UTI.


  1. Drink fluids regularly, ideally around 1.5-2.5 liters of fluids daily. A larger intake of fluids dilutes the urine and increases your frequency of urinating which helps to flush out harmful bacteria.

  2. Wipe from the front to back. Incorrect wiping after urination or defecation may spread bacteria from the anus to the vagina or urinary tract, causing an infection.

  3. Urinate regularly to help flush out bacteria frequently⁵.


How probiotics help with UTI?

To further enhance prevention of UTI, patients can take probiotics, specifically for women’s urogenital health, such as Pro-Uro™.


Pro-Uro™ is a clinically proven probiotics for women’s urogenital health. It contains two patented probiotic strains GR-1® and RC-14®. Clinical studies have shown that GR-1® and RC-14® probiotic strains can reduce recurrences of UTI without causing antibiotic resistance⁶. Both of these probiotic strains found in Pro-Uro™ have also been shown to be the most effective probiotic strains in preventing UTI⁷.


Graph showing benefits of GR-1® & RC-14® on urogenital health


Clinical studies have proved that not all Lactobacillus are able to help with female urogenital conditions. When another species of Lactobacillus is used for urogenital health, that particular species of probiotics was unable to provide urogenital benefits in females, unlike GR-1® and RC-14®.


Therefore, the benefits of probiotics are strain specific and GR-1® and RC-14® in Pro-Uro™ should be the probiotics of choice in female urogenital health.


Using Pro-Uro™ on top of practicing good habits will thus help to reduce UTI occurrence and recurrence.

To find out where you can get Pro-Uro™, visit Pro-uro.com.


This concludes our 3-week series on the common urogenital infections that many women face. If you are interested in our previous articles on Bacterial Vaginosis and Vulvovaginal Candidiasis, you may click on the links respectively. Otherwise, come back next week for our next article where we touch on a new topic on vaginal discharge!


References

  1. CDC (2021). Suffering from a urinary tract infection? [online] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/uti.html.

  2. Medina, M. and Castillo-Pino, E. (2019). An introduction to the epidemiology and burden of urinary tract infections. Therapeutic Advances in Urology, [online] 11, p.175628721983217.

  3. Harrington, R.D. and Hooton, T.M. (2000). Urinary tract infection risk factors and gender. The journal of gender-specific medicine: JGSM: the official journal of the Partnership for Women’s Health at Columbia, [online] 3(8), pp.27–34.

  4. Verywell Health. (n.d.). UTIs: Causes and Risk Factors. [online] Available at: https://www.verywellhealth.com/urinary-tract-infections-causes-and-risk-factors-4161060#citation-1 [Accessed 16 Jun. 2022].

  5. www.nuh.com.sg. (n.d.). Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). [online] Available at: https://www.nuh.com.sg/Health-Information/Diseases-Conditions/Pages/Urinary-Tract-Infection-(UTI).aspx [Accessed 15 Jun. 2022].

  6. Beerepoot, M.A.J. (2012). Lactobacilli vs Antibiotics to Prevent Urinary Tract Infections. Archives of Internal Medicine, 172(9), p.704.

  7. Falagas, M.E., Betsi, G.I., Tokas, T. and Athanasiou, S. (2006). Probiotics for Prevention of Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections in Women. Drugs, 66(9), pp.1253–1261.


Disclaimer: The article content is intended for informational or educational purposes only, and does not substitute professional medical advice or consultations with healthcare professionals. The disclaimer also provides that no warranties are given in relation to the medical information supplied in the article, and that no liability will accrue to Miraco Nutripharm Pte Ltd or any affiliated authors in the event that a user suffers loss as a result of reliance upon the information.

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