Today's body health gospel: UTIs.

What are they?

They are also called Urinary tract infections. Most people especially women are prone to these diseases. Actually, it is hardly possible for a woman to completely miss an episode of UTI in her life time.

So if you are a girl or female, chances are you will have a UTI someday in your life. But depending on the hygienic situation that an individual lives in, some people (school girls, those sharing bathrooms and toilets in staff hostels, workplaces, church or any other communal places) have higher chances of getting UTIs than clean ladies living in their own clean environments.

The scientific simple reason why women are at higher risks is that their urethra is too short compared to men's urethra. So pathogens (disease causing organisms) from outside are able to easily climb into the woman's urinary system than they would in men. But also, the way we all urinate or defecate marks some differences too; the general openness of the vagina and some kind of sealing or closing with with penis.

So What Causes URinary tract infections?

Most of our UTIs are caused by enteric bacteria, but some times are caused by sexually transmitted pathogens. For this reason, it is actually hard to tell the difference between UTIs and STDs and thus clear assessment by a serious health worker needs to be done (well, put 'qualified' where i have put 'serious'). The most common ones are candidiasis (Fungal), urethritis, pyelonephritis, cystitis and many more depending on the affected part or organ of your urinary system.

How do you tell that you have a UTI?

This is an important question. Sometimes signs and symptoms are absent, and if they are present, may include urinary frequency and urgency, painful urination, lower abdominal pain, some abnormal discharges as in candida and itching, dryness of your vagina or painful sex, and so much more depending on the kind of UTI you have.

The important thing to master here is that care should be taken and action taken if you have any discomfort in your urinary or reproductive system. Also depending on the vaginal discharge, your behaviour in terms of sexual partners or hygiene, itching and some kind of rushes on your reproductive organ. Everything unusual needs to be taken care of. Remember for ladies, UTI are still among the most causes of infertility after causing what we call PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease) 

Diagnosis is commonly by signs and symptoms, but culture and sensitivity plus other tests may be needed to confirm the exact infection or bacteria or isolate other possible health troubles

TREATMENT.

Usually, antibiotics will do anything for you especially if you know your problem before it is too late. For ladies, a drug called Nitrofrantoin may be good. But other good options may include: Metronidazole 400mg bd for two weeks and a penicillin too. Drugs like tetracycline, ciprofloxacin or cefixime are preferred and are common.

Your doctor or health advisor will help you to make choices since some of them (eg ciprofloxacin) may be dangerous to pregnant mothers. For Candidiasis, a vaginal pessari like miconazole or cotrimoxazole or metronidazole etc may deal with the issue.

Usually, the pesaary is inserted into the vagina once in 24 hours for about 1 week or even lesser days depending on the pessaries used. Meanwhile, your partner should be checked too and if infected which is likely for those having unprotected sex, be treated simultaneously with you. No sex during treatment unless you use a condom.

There is so much more to know about UTIs and STIs, but we have given you a summary of what to expect.

Prevention and Control.

Note that UTIs and STIs are the commonest diseases of our generations and seriously dangerous, but also preventable. The best thing to do is to live in very hygienic places especially bathrooms and toilets, having healthy relationships in terms of sexual partners, seeking medical counselling, testing and care in time, and also praying seriously, hahaha.

Okay, for more on health issues, you can always write to us thecompletey@gmail.com or visit our blog.

God bless you

The Complete You Ministry, www.nemvicx.blogspot.com

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