Many medical problems cannot be passed from one person to another, and the reason is simply that these are generally due to deficiency or excessive chemicals in the body. However, some medical problems can be passed from one person to another, thus termed contagious issues.
The urinary tract of humans also involves many problems associated with it, and these can be caused by malfunctioning of kidneys or related structures, mainly due to various reasons. Today’s article shows what urinary tract infections are and how they spread from one person to another.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
The common bacterial infections developed in a person’s urinary tract are termed infections.
The urinary tract of a person involves the following structures:
- Urinary Bladder
Generally, these infections are not contagious in most cases.
Typical symptoms of urinary tract infections are:
- Frequent Need of Urination
- Burning or pain while urinating
- Tenderness or pressure in the lower abdomen
- Vomiting and Nausea
Although UTIs are technically not sexually transmitted infections (STIs), sexual activities can potentially increase the risk of UTIs. Moreover, STIs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, or trichomoniasis can mimic the symptoms of UTIs.
Are UTIs Contagious?
As mentioned earlier, the infection cannot be passed from one person to another. But the bacteria can travel between people.
UTIs arise when bacteria in a person’s gut relocate and grow into the urinary tract. These are also categorized as:
- Upper Urinary Tract Infection: affecting the ureters and kidneys
- Lower Urinary Tract Infection: affecting urinary bladder and urethra.
A bacteria are known as Escherichia coli typically residing in the bowel of a person can travel from the anus to the opening of the penis or urethra during anal sex. Therefore, having sex can increase the chances of developing UTIs. Chances or UTIs may also be increased by vaginal sex when the bacteria on the skin pass into the urethral opening.
To know more about the spread of UTIs, we may look at what causes UTIs.
Generally, UTIs result from the passing of E. Coli into a person’s urinary tract. If the proper treatment is not given to the person, it can infect their kidneys due to the passage of infection in the urinary tract.
Many symptoms of STIs such as chlamydia, trichomoniasis, or gonorrhea are similar to UTIs, such as urethritis.
Other symptoms of STIs are:
- Discomfort or pain during ejaculation or urination.
- Unusual penile or vaginal discharge.
- Burning, itching, or soreness of the genitals.
Other Risk Factors
The following risk factors can potentially increase the risk of developing UTIs:
- Being Female
- Being Sexually Active
- Using a Urinary Catheter
- Having Diabetes
- Having a History of UTIs
- Having a Weak immune system.
- Kidney Stones or Bladder Stones
Recent studies reveal that about 40% to 60% of females develop UTIs during their lifetime, most of which are bladder infections.
The reason females are most susceptible to UTIs is that females have shorter urethra compared to males. Therefore, the bacterias have to cover a shorter distance to reach other parts of the urinary tract.
People who have diabetes can have a higher risk of developing UTIs. According to a study, diabetic people over 40 years are more susceptible to UTIs because of uncontrolled blood sugar.
The uncontrolled blood sugar level can cause poor blood circulation and nerve damage.
A doctor can diagnose UTIs by urinalysis. Urinalysis checks bacteria and blood cells in a urine sample.
The urine culture may also be checked to identify the bacteria responsible for the infection.
Your doctor may also perform diagnostic tests such as:
- Blood Tests
- Imaging Tests
You may change your lifestyle to prevent UTIs such as:
- Cleaning genital areas after sex
- Find an alternative to spermicides for birth control.
- Wearing loose clothes and cotton underwear.
Whether Urinary Tract Infections are contagious or not, these must not be ignored if a person develops them. It can cause different problems as well. Therefore, to have a complete checkup by an expert Urologist, you may visit MARHAM.PK. We have the best team of available Urologists for your guidance and advice.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1- How do doctors treat UTIs?
Bacteria cause urinary Tract Infections; therefore, these can be treated by using antibiotics prescribed by your doctor.
2- How can UTIs be prevented?
You can prevent UTIs by drinking plenty of water, urinating before and after sex, and avoiding transitioning between vagina, anus, or mouth during sex.
3- What should we avoid during UTIs?
The infected person should avoid caffeine, alcohol, or coffee. These drinks can irritate your bladder, and you can use cranberry if you have UTIs.
4- Does showering help a UTI?
Bathing immediately after sexual intercourse can help wipe out bacterias present around the vaginal opening. Therefore, it is also an excellent measure to prevent a UTI.