A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in any part of your urinary system — your kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Most infections involve the lower urinary tract — the bladder and the urethra.
Women are at greater risk of developing a UTI than men are. Infection limited to your bladder can be painful and annoying. However, serious consequences can occur if a UTI spreads to your kidneys.
Causes-- Urinary tract infections typically occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra and begin to multiply in the bladder. Although the urinary system is designed to keep out such microscopic invaders, these defenses sometimes fail. When that happens, bacteria may take hold and grow into a full-blown infection in the urinary tract.
The most common UTIs occur mainly in women and affect the bladder and urethra.
Infection of the bladder (cystitis). This type of UTI is usually caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli), a type of bacteria commonly found in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. However, sometimes other bacteria are responsible. Sexual intercourse may lead to cystitis, but you don't have to be sexually active to develop it. All women are at risk of cystitis because of their anatomy — specifically, the short distance from the urethra to the anus and the urethral opening to the bladder.
Infection of the urethra (urethritis). This type of UTI can occur when GI bacteria spread from the anus to the urethra. Also, because the female urethra is close to the vagina, sexually transmitted infections, such as herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia and mycoplasma, can cause urethriti

Symptoms-- Urinary tract infections don't always cause signs and symptoms, but when they do they may include:
·         A strong, persistent urge to urinate
·         A burning sensation when urinating
·         Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
·         Urine that appears cloudy
·         Urine that appears red, bright pink or cola-colored — a sign of blood in the urine
·         Strong-smelling urine
·         Pelvic pain, in women — especially in the center of the pelvis and around the area of the pubic bone

Risk factors--Urinary tract infections are common in women, and many women experience more than one infection during their lifetimes. Risk factors specific to women for UTIs include:
Female anatomy. A woman has a shorter urethra than a man does, which shortens the distance that bacteria must travel to reach the bladder. 
Sexual activity. Sexually active women tend to have more UTIs than do women who aren't sexually active. Having a new sexual partner also increases your risk.
Certain types of birth control. Women who use diaphragms for birth control may be at higher risk, as well as women who use spermicidal agents.
Menopause. After menopause, a decline in circulating estrogen causes changes in the urinary tract that make you more vulnerable to infection.

Other risk factors for UTIs include:
Urinary tract abnormalities. Babies born with urinary tract abnormalities that don't allow urine to leave the body normally or cause urine to back up in the urethra have an increased risk of UTIs.
Blockages in the urinary tract. Kidney stones or an enlarged prostate can trap urine in the bladder and increase the risk of UTIs.
A suppressed immune system. Diabetes and other diseases that impair the immune system — the body's defense against germs — can increase the risk of UTIs.
Catheter use. People who can't urinate on their own and use a tube (catheter) to urinate have an increased risk of UTIs. This may include people who are hospitalized, people with neurological problems that make it difficult to control their ability to urinate and people who are paralyzed.
A recent urinary procedure. Urinary surgery or an exam of your urinary tract that involves medical instruments can both increase your risk of developing a urinary tract infection.

Prevention--You can take these steps to reduce your risk of urinary tract infections:
Drink plenty of liquids, especially water. Drinking water helps dilute your urine and ensures that you'll urinate more frequently — allowing bacteria to be flushed from your urinary tract before an infection can begin.
Wipe from front to back. Doing so after urinating and after a bowel movement helps prevent bacteria in the anal region from spreading to the vagina and urethra.
Empty your bladder soon after intercourse. Also, drink a full glass of water to help flush bacteria.
Avoid potentially irritating feminine products. Using deodorant sprays or other feminine products, such as douches and powders, in the genital area can irritate the urethra.
Change your birth control method. Diaphragms, or unlubricated or spermicide-treated condoms, can all contribute to bacterial growth.

Homoeopathic remedies are very effective for Urinary tract infection safely without any side effects. Some of the important remedies are given below-

CANTHARIS 30-Cantharis is one of the top remedies for UTI. This medicine can also be used in treating cases where there is recurrence, which means that people suffer from repeated attacks of these infections. It is indicated when the patient experiences a burning pain while passing urine. The patients get a feeling that they have to pass urine very often, but can pass very less urine at a time. Each time while passing urine, the patient experiences a very bad intense pain in the lower abdomen which extends upwards till the belly button. There is a feeling that the urine was not completely expelled and they feel that still more urine is yet to come out. The pain is more while walking and so the patients prefer to be in sitting posture just to avoid the unbearable pain. Another important symptom that indicates the use of Cantharis  is that there is pain in the back on both  sides of the spine. This region is very sensitive touch, hardly allows the patient to move. At times, the pain radiates down the urinary tract . The patient passes urine mixed with blood and sometimes they may pass frank blood. The urine is  turbid and full of fragments . The patient feels very restless and uneasy . They also have an itching sensation in the urethra after passing urine.

APIS MELLIFICA 30—Apismel is another top remedy for UTI. There is frequent desire for urination or increase in the quantity of urine with burning/scalding/stinging pain and tenesmus during micturition.Urine is opaque and bloody.

MERC COR. 30--MercCor is another  effective remedy  for UTI.  This medicine can be thought of in cases where the patient  is unable to pass urine or has to put in a lot of effort  for the same. The urine is very little and most often the patient passes dark flesh like pieces of mucus in the urine. The urine is very hot and passes drop by drop and with great pain. Another feature of a Merccor patient is that he/she experiences a lot  of sweating  immediately after passing urine. This usually happens because the patient has to strain a lot to pass urine.    This medicine can also be expected to give good results in recurrent UTIs in advanced stages of pregnancy.

SULPHUR 200-Sulphur is also an effective remedy for UTI.It is more suitable in chronic cases. The patient  has an unusual desire to pass urine at night. The patient passes large quantities of colorless urine. There is a sharp pain in the urethra while passing urine. At times the urine is loaded with thick sediments  with rose colored and bad smell.  The most characteristic symptom that indicates the use of Sulphur is the great burning sensation while passing urine.

CLEMATIS ERECTA 30--ClemetisErecta is very effective for UTI in patients who have suffered from Sexual transmitted disesaes . It is indicated when the symptoms are – Frequent scanty urine with burning at the orifice of urethra. The patient has an unusual desire to pass urine , urine is passed drop by drop , dribbling of urine even after passing of urine.

SARSPARILLA 30-Sarsaparilla is effective for UTI when the pain in the urethra is most marked when a person is almost done with passing urine. Along with this there is distension and tenderness over bladder. Urine is scanty, slimy and may contain sandy particles.

EQUISETUM Q—Equisetum is a near specific for UTI. There is frequent and intolerable urge to urinate.Dull pain in the bladder is constantly present.There is a shrap cutting burning sensation in the urethra when urinating.Much pus and albumin in urine.

PAREIRA BRAVA 3-Pareira brava is very effective for UTI. The leading symptoms are—constant urging to urinate , great straining . Pain down thighs during efforts to urinate. Urine is black, bloody with thick mucous. Urine is passed with great difficulty. In worst cases urine is passed only by going on hand and knees position.

COLI BACILLINUM 30--Coli Bacillinum is a near specific medicine for treating e-coli infection. It helps in treating the recurrence of E coli Infection. There is pain and burning while urination.

UVA URSI 3X—Uvaursi is effective for UTI when the urine contains more blood and pus.Urine is slimy with thick ropy mucous and highly offensive.There is frequent urge to pass urine with a cutting burning pain in the  urethra .

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