What is a UTI?
A UTI is an infection of the urinary tract; most commonly caused by bacteria that are normally found in the digestive tract called Escherichia coli (E. coli) that mistakenly finds its way into the bladder or urethra.
How common are UTIs?
Up to 70% of women will experience a UTI in their lifetime, of this group up to 30% will suffer recurrent UTIs. However, only 5% of men will experience a UTI in their lifetime.
UTIs are more common in women than men. This may be partly due to differences in anatomy; the female urethra is very short (around 4 cm), so bacteria can more easily make their way into the urinary tract.
What is a UTI and where does it occur?
UTI is a blanket term for an infection that occurs anywhere in the urinary tract.
The urinary tract consists of the kidneys (which filter blood to produce urine), the tubes that connect the kidney to the bladder (ureter), the bladder and the tube that leads from the bladder to outside the body (urethra). UTIs can occur in the bladder, urethra or kidneys.Depending on where the infection occurs, there are more specific terms.
Cystitis (infection of the bladder)
Cystitis is the most common UTI and occurs when bacteria travel up the urethra, and cause inflammation of the bladder lining. While cystitis may be painful and inconvenient,the good news is it isn’t contagious (e.g. during sexual intercourse) and it can be simple to treat when addressed early. Treatment should be initiated as soon as possible to stop the infection from spreading further up the urinary tract.
Urethritis (infection of the urethra)
Urethritis generally occurs when a bacterial infection causes inflammation of the urethra and typically causes irritation and pain while urinating.
Pyelonephritis (infection of the kidney)
Most UTIs affect the lower urinary tract (i.e. bladder and urethra). Pyelonephritis occurs when an existing infection travels up past the bladder and affects the ureter or kidney. Pyelonephritis can potentially spread to the blood stream causing severe illness, and prompt medical attention is required.
Hiprex is not suitable for use by people with Pyelonephritis.
It is important to seek medical attention if a urinary tract infection is suspected. Early treatment of UTI may help prevent the infection spreading further up the urinary tract