Microbial colonization of urine and invasion of the kidneys, bladder, ureters and the urethra results in a urinary tract infection, which can be acute or chronic in nature and is defined by the presence of more than 100,000 organisms per ml in a midstream sample of urine. These are more common in females than males because of the shorter urethra and the close position of the urethral and vaginal opening and also the wrong habit of wiping the perineal region from back to front. The most common causative organisms are bacteria (like E. coli, pseudomonas, klebsiella, streptococci and staphylococci), fungi and viral infections. Urinary tract infections can also be caused by altered pH of the vagina, certain general diseases like diabetes mellitus, AIDS, septicemia, etc. which tends to predispose to reduced immunity and increased cystitis. The patient complains of frequent urge to urinate and a scalding, burning pain in the urethra on passing urine. There may be a feeling of pain in the pelvis and lower abdomen (suprapubic) with symptoms of lassitude, anorexia, weakness and mild fever. The urine may become dark yellow or brown, appears cloudy and has an unpleasant odor.
The patient is asked to drink a lot of water and liquids (atleast 10 – 12 glasses daily) and to go and void urine regularly, to flush out the toxins from the body. The person is asked to take proper rest and apply warm applications over the suprapubic region for relief of pain.