Teenage girls are often diagnosed with Urinary Tract Infections (UTI). Females have a shorter urethra than males which allows for the introductions of bacteria into the renal system easier. There are three main types of UTI’s that can affect males or females. Urethritis which is when bacteria infect the urethra. Cystitis which is when bacteria infect the bladder. Both of these are considered lower UTI’s. Polynepthritis is a more serious type of infection in which bacteria infects the kidney/s and the patient presents with nausea, vomiting and fever. Polynephritis is considered an upper UTI (Figueroa, 2012).
The most common type of UTI is a bladder infection (cystitis) which most likely would cause the patient discomfort and inconveince. In some females they may suffer from a condition called vesicoureteral reflux, which is where urine refluxes from the bladder back into the urethras to the kidneys, this causes bacteria to backflow into the kidneys causing frequent infections (Figueroa, 2012). With the urethral opening on females being so close to the rectal opening it is important to educate young girls early about the proper way of wiping from front to back, especially after defecation to prevent the spread of bacteria. For those older females who are sexually active it is important to educate them about urination before and after sexual intercourse. Use of spermicidals and diaphragms as contraceptives can irritate the urethral opening, it is important to wash well after intercourse to remove these from the opening (Figueroa, 2012). Drinking a lot of water is important for good renal health and to keep the bacteria flushed out of the system. Proper hygiene education will promote a decrease in the incidence of UTI infections. Smoking cessation is encouraged as it has been shown that persons who smoke have greater renal issues (Figueroa, 2012). References
Figueroa, T. E. (2012). What is a urinary tract infection? Retrieved from kidshealth.org
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