Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is a common issue among women which is caused due to the unwanted growth of bacteria (generally E. Coli) in the urine.
When the bacteria move up to the urinary tract, it may result in serious infection which is characterized by symptoms such as fever, nausea, chills, discomfort and burning sensation while passing urine.
The issue of urinary tract infections affects both men and women but women are more vulnerable to UTIs as the female urinary tract is smaller as compared to men. Therefore, women have to take extra care to prevent UTIs.
UTI & Infertility
Urinary tract infection affects organs such as kidney, liver, uterus, bladder that basically performs the function of waste removal while regulating the body temperature. If the infection persists or recur frequently especially affecting the upper tract (Kidney, uterus, fallopian tubes), it might affect your ability to conceive.
This condition is also called as pelvic inflammatory disease which can damage the fallopian tubes severely. Chronic kidney disease can affect other parts of the body and may affect your health and ovulation process which may affect the process of conception.
UTI in males can also lead to infertility. Infections of genito-urinary tract may account for male infertility. The bacteria spread across the prostate gland & other reproductive structure which may result in decreased sperm count & motility.
The infection can affect sites such as testis, epididymis and male accessory sex glands. Sometimes, other health conditions such as diabetes may result in UTIs and may lead to infertility. However, this issue can be treated gradually with medication.
Tips to Control Urinary Tract Infection
Dr. Priti Gupta, Consultant Fertility & IVF, First Step IVF Clinic, New Delhi, suggests simple precautions that can help you prevent UTI effectively:
- Fluids are your best friend: Drink lots of water and take fluids that help flush out toxins from the body. Water dilutes the urine and make it less acidic and lighter in color. This way the person will not experience abdominal pain or irritation while urinating.
- Maintain Hygiene: Maintain proper hygiene, avoid using public washrooms as the infections spread frequently in common utilities. You should wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria around the anus from entering the vagina or urethra.
- Frequent Urination: Do not hold urine. Use washrooms whenever you feel the urge to go to the loo. This will not only release the toxins but eliminates the heaviness on the bladder and gives you relief from the abdominal pain.
- Comfortable underwear: Do not wear tight underwear as the bacteria dwells in most & warm environment. Hence, change your undergarments regularly and maintain personal hygiene.
- Avoid using strong soaps, antiseptic creams, feminine hygiene sprays & powders.
- Increase the intake of Vitamin C, Zinc to reduce bacterial growth in urine.
- Doctor prescribed Antibiotics & Medicines: In case, you are experiencing symptoms of UTI, consult your doctor immediately and take antibiotics to control the infection. Do not ignore the signs as ignorance can lead to health complications including infertility.
Quite often, other infections such as Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) may be the actual cause of conception issues which may get confused with the Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) as their symptoms are similar. Therefore, consult your doctor to have a clear idea about the infection.
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