A water infection, also known as a urinary tract infection (UTI), can refer to an infection or inflammation that originates within any part of the urinary tract, an area of the body responsible for making, storing, and transporting urine from the body. In the urinary tract, the kidneys are responsible for filtering water and waste from the blood stream to produce urine. This urine travels down through two narrow tubes known as the ureters into a balloon-like organ known as the bladder, which expands to hold the urine. When the bladder is emptied, urine exits the body by traveling out of a short tube known as the urethra. The urinary tract is normally sterile, but when a water infection occurs, the urinary tract has become infected with microorganisms that have managed to penetrate the urethra and multiplied to cause infection.
There are actually several different types of infections known as water infections, generally corresponding to the area of the urinary tract that is affected. The most common type of UTI is a bladder infection, also known as cystitis. An infection that occurs in the urethra called urethritis can also occur, as can an infection of one or both kidneys known as pyelonephritis.
Primarily, a source of bacteria is the cause of a water infection. Wiping from back to front following a bowel movement can allow Escherichia coli, a type of bacteria normally present in the rectal area, entry into the urethra. Sexual intercourse may also spread bacteria to the vagina, or a sexually transmitted type of bacteria such as chlamydia can cause the bladder infection. Other causes of water infections include being pregnant, condom usage, and perfumed soaps and diaphragm usage. Causes specific to men may involve problems with the prostate, such as an enlarged prostate or bacterial infection of the prostate.
The symptoms of a water infection are usually the same in men and women. Most individuals will feel a strong constant urge to urinate that continues even after emptying the bladder. Only small amounts of urine may be passed at a time, and a stinging or burning sensation may occur when passing the urine. The urine may also appear cloudy and have a strong, unpleasant odor. Pressure in the lower belly, back pain, and incontinence are also possible.
Some symptoms that occur are gender specific and particular to the type of water infection that is occurring. For instance, women might often experience pressure or pain above the pelvic bone when having a UTI. Men, however, may feel an unpleasant pressure in the rectum. Urethritis can cause pus to appear in in the urine, or for men the inflammation may cause pus to secrete from the tip of the penis. A kidney infection, on the other hand, may cause nausea, vomiting, and chills to occur. With a kidney infection, blood may sometimes be present and give the urine a reddish appearance.
When UTIs are not treated early or medication is not taken as prescribed, a water infection can cause serious problems. Long-term effects from untreated water infections include high blood pressure, damage to the fetus when a person is pregnant, and kidney scarring. Symptoms may also continue to worsen without treatment, and the infection could spread to the blood and cause a potentially fatal infection to develop.
As the symptoms associated with a water infection are connected with many other conditions, including sexually transmitted diseases, the only way to find out for sure if a UTI is occurring is to see a medical professional. Usually, antibiotics, which fight bacteria, will be prescribed to clear up the infection. A urine sample might also be collected to find out exactly what type of bacteria is responsible for the water infection.