What are the most common urinary tract infections and the ways to help your employees afford the costs of treatments?

The urinary tract infection or UTI is the infection in any part of the urinary system that consists of kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. Lower UTI, that consists of bladder and urethra, is commonly affected by the UTI diseases. Infection limited to your bladder can be painful and annoying. Serious UTI infections can spread to the kidneys of the patient. UTI can involve many organs including the urethra, ureter, bladder, and kidneys. Common symptoms of UTI are needing to urinate frequently, feeling pain when urinating, and pain on the side, or the lower back.

Anyone can get UTI, but women are at a greater risk of developing it because the urethra or the tube that carries urine out of the body in females is shorter and closer to the anus, making it easier for the E.coli bacteria to cause infection.

The most common UTIs that affect the bladder and urethra in women are:

Infection of the bladder (cystitis): The disease is commonly caused by E. coli bacteria, found in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Sexual intercourse may lead to cystitis but you don’t have to be sexually active to develop this disease. The common signs and symptoms of the disease include frequent and painful urination, pelvic pressure, discomfort of the lower abdomen, and blood in urine.

Infection of the urethra (urethritis): The disease occurs when GI bacteria spread from the anus to the urethra. Also, as the female urethra is close to the vagina, sexually transmitted infections, such as herpes and mycoplasma, can cause this disease. The condition is characterized by discharge, burning, and urination.

UTI of kidneys (acute pyelonephritis): The condition is characterized by back pain, shaking and chills, nausea, and high fever.

Risk factors of UTI are:

Female anatomy: A woman has a shorter urethra compared to a man, which shortens the distance for the bacteria to travel to the bladder and cause infection.

Sexual activity: Sexually active women tend to have more UTIs compared to women who are not sexually active. Having sexual activities with the new partners also increases the risk of UTIs in women.

Menopause: There is a decline in the circulating estrogen after menopause that causes change in the urinary tract and makes it vulnerable to urinary tract infection.

Birth control medications: Women who use diaphragms for birth control are at an increased risk of UTI, and also those who use spermicidal agents for this purpose.

Blockage in the urinary tract: kidney stones or enlarged prostate in the male sex organ can trap urine in the bladder and increase the risk of UTIs.

Catheter: The people who can’t urinate on their own and use a tube called catheter to urinate can also develop UTIs. Hospitalized people, and those with neurological problems, can also find it difficult to control their urination process.

Complications of UTI

If left untreated, UTI can result in serious complications, such as:

Recurrent infections: The condition occurs in women who experience two or more UTIs in a six-month period, for four or more times in a year.

Permanent kidney damage: The complication can occur due to an acute or chronic kidney infection due to an untreated UTI.

Urethral narrowing: The complication develops in the men with recurrent urethritis, or those who have been seen with gonococcal urethritis.

Sepsis: This life-threatening infection works its way up to your urinary tract to your kidneys.

People with frequent UTIs are occasionally given low-dose antibiotics to prevent the infection from coming back. A cautious approach is taken to ensure that your body does not develop resistance to antibiotics. You can help your employees lower the costs of your urinary tract infections and other diseases by providing them with health insurance to cover the costs of their treatments. The experts of the CVS Program can help you get the best plan for your employees to minimize their copays and get the best value from CVS copay optimization. For more information, you can refer PrudentRx FAQs where you will get answers to most of your common concerns, including the medications that can be covered from the PrudentRx drug list.

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