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Urinary tract infection

  1. Urine is usually a slightly smelly but a clean liquid, right? Certainly, despite the fact that pee contains various liquids, salts and waste products, it is very sterile. However, that does not mean that everything around urine is clean. Bacteria can cause a urinary tract infection.

  1. A urinary tract infection is an infection or inflammation of the lining lining the urinary tract. The urinary tract are the structures in the body where urine passes on its way out: the renal pelvis, ureters, bladder, and urethra. Infection occurs when bacteria, usually from the gastrointestinal tract, attach themselves to the opening of the urethra. As they ascend into the urethra, they begin to multiply.


  1. An infection limited to the urethra is called urethritis. However, sometimes bacteria do not stop their unwanted journey through the human body and move to the bladder. The result is a bladder infection, also called cystitis. If the infection is not treated in time, bacteria can subsequently infect the kidneys through the ureters.

E. coli bacteria

  1. The main cause of urinary tract infections is the E. coli bacteria. It is an intestinal bacteria common to all humans. But not only the E. coli bacteria is responsible for urinary tract infections or bladder infections. Venereal diseases, an enlarged prostate and diabetes, sugar in the urine is an excellent breeding ground for bacteria, can cause the disease.

Man and woman

  1. In addition, susceptibility to urinary tract infection is not fairly divided between men and women. Women run an increased risk that also increases with age. It is not very strange that women are more often victims: they have a shorter urethra than men, which means that bacteria have faster access to the bladder. Moreover, the distance between the urethra and the anus is smaller in women and bacteria can settle there more quickly. To make matters worse, sex leads to infection much more quickly in women than in men. To top it all off, women are more prone to developing a urinary tract infection during pregnancy. And after menopause, they are at an increased risk because the mucosa in the urethra becomes thinner and more prone to injections.


  1. It will come as no surprise that the symptoms that indicate a urinary tract infection are almost all related to urination: A stabbing and severe pain in the (lower) abdomen and / or lower back. Itching in the genitals. Need to urinate often. Feeling the urge to urinate, which is often a 'false alarm'. Burning sensation during or just after urination. Bad-smelling, foul-smelling, or cloudy urine. Blood in the urine. Fever and chills (although this is not often the case). Incontinence in the elderly or (temporary) uncleanliness in children. Prevent cystitis through good personal hygiene. If an infection does develop, it is important to deal with this properly and in time to prevent pelvic inflammatory disease from developing. This can lead to a sudden high fever, nausea, vomiting and pain in the back and genitals. Chronic pelvic inflammatory disease can even lead to kidney damage.


  1. Fortunately, a urinary tract infection can be treated well. In the case of mild inflammation, a lot of drinking is especially necessary to rinse the urinary tract. Cranberry juice, commercially available as cranberry juice, is the best medicine. If there is no cure after three weeks, the doctor will prescribe a course of antibiotics. A referral to a specialist is only necessary for recurring complaints. Of course it is important to take good care of yourself and not drink alcohol and not too much coffee. Also, be careful with spicy food and cigarette smoke.

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