Bacteria in Urine

The kidneys carry out the essential function of blood filtration and this action results in the creation of a waste product called urine. The vital nutrients and minerals are preserved in the blood by the kidneys, while the useless, waste substances are sieved out. These water soluble unwanted products, then travel from the kidneys through the thin pipes called ureters and get accumulated in the bladder as urine. The urine is then cleared from the body through a tube called urethra.

The waste product urine is normally sterile in nature. However, on occasions bacteria may gain an entry into various sections of the urinary tract, which then leads to proliferation of the bacteria. When a sample of urine has been tested to detect the presence of bacteria, then the affected person is diagnosed with a disease called bacteriuria. It is popularly known as urinary tract infection, wherein the urine sample has been found to contain more than 100,000 disease causing bacteria per milliliter of urine. It is also important that the detected bacteria are from the same species.

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When a sample of urine is found to contain different varieties or species of bacteria, then there may be a possible contamination of the urine sample. In such cases, a new urine sample is required for a fresh diagnosis and for determining the occurrence of bacteria in urine.

An individual affected by bacteria in urine will normally visit a doctor with a set of complaints, including symptoms such as experiencing burning sensations at the time of urination and painful urination. The doctor will then suggest a battery of urine tests, which may include a urinalysis as well as culture testing of the urine sample. The results of such tests will help in the determination of the presence of bacteria in urine, in addition to other useful information.

Bacteria in urine may not cause any symptoms or it may result in some visible symptoms. A person who has been diagnosed with the presence of increased quantities of bacteria in urine, but does not elicit any symptoms of the condition is said to have the asymptomatic type of bacteria in urine. This type of urine infection by bacteria is usually not harmful. However, people who have had a kidney transplant, pregnant women and diabetic patients have to get medical treatment even when they are affected by asymptomatic form of bacteria in urine. When bacteria in urine and urinary tract infections are left untreated, then it can lead to the development of severe health problems.

Symptoms of bacteria in urine

  • Amplified pressure when urinating
  • Smelly urine
  • Burning sensations and pain when urinating
  • Frequent desire to pass out urine
  • Blood in urine

Bacteria in Urine – Causes

  • Urine normally does not have large quantities of microorganisms. However, on occasions bacteria may pass into the urinary system via the urethra or bloodstream and result in bacteria in urine and other visible signs. The various types of bacteria which can infect the urinary system can be observed in a urine sample include Chlamydia, Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumonia and Lactobacillus
  • Some of the above listed bacteria are normally found to be present in the gastrointestinal tract and can travel to the urethra from the bowel. Thus, people who do not follow good standards of personal hygiene are at increased susceptibility to getting bacteria in urine.
  • Normally, women are at greater risk to developing bladder infections as compared to men. This is due to the fact that the urethral duct in women is shorter than men. Also, the urethral tube is located quite close to the vagina as well as the anus. When women experience pregnancy the positioning of the urinary tract gets altered, which in turn increases the vulnerability to developing bacteria in urine. Hence, pregnant women are recommended to regularly visit a doctor for verifying the presence of bacteria in urine.
  • When the urinary tract in children experiences any kind of infection, then it can lead to the development of a disorder called vesicoureteral reflux, which results in the backward flow of urine from the bladder to the ureters. This can facilitate the growth of bacteria in urine
  • Prostate inflammation or enlargement is usually considered as the most probable cause of infections of the bladder in men, which eventually leads to bacteria in urine. Urinary tract infections may also occur when there is any obstruction, such as kidney stones, to the normal flow of urine, or when urine is not fully eliminated from the bladder.
  • When one abstains from visiting the toilet and withholds urine for prolonged durations, then the risk of bacteria in urine increases. Also, the use of bladder catheters for prolonged periods of time can raise the susceptibility to bacterial infections of urine.

Treatment of bacteria in urine

  • Individuals with asymptomatic forms of bacteria in urine normally do not require any treatment as the condition tends to disappear on its own. However, if it affects people with comprised immune systems or pregnant women, then they should seek medical attention.
  • Bacterial infections of the kidneys and urinary tract may be treated with antibiotics.
  • Kidney stones and other conditions causing bacteria in urine may be treated by the doctor as per individual cases, wherein surgical treatment of kidney stones may be an option.
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