Kidneys are bean shaped organ that are extremely important for survival. Each individual normally has two kidneys which perform several significant biological functioning in the body. They perform major homeostatic functioning in the body such as regulation of electrolyte, acidic balance and stabilizing blood pressure. Kidneys help in eliminating waste from the body acting as natural filters in the biological system. Kidneys are located in the lower back on each side. Kidney infection is also referred to as pyelonephritis which takes place due to infection of bacteria that reaches the organ through blood stream or urinary tract. The condition can affect both men and women but kidney infection in women can be more common as they suffer from urinary tract infection more frequently. They are at increased risk of such infection as they have shorter urethra which makes it easier for bacteria to invade the urinary tract. This in turn increases their risk of kidney infection.
Kidneys are one of the sophisticated parts of the entire biological mechanism of the body. This organ is responsible for disposition of waste. Kidney also segregates the disposable waste from the waste that can actually be recycled by the body. They keep working constantly day and night. If either of the two kidneys becomes malfunctioned it may lead to medical adversities. In extreme cases, if kidney stops functioning then the person may also die.
Symptoms of kidney infection in women
Kidney infection can turn into a serious complication which is why it is necessary to treat it timely. Kidney infection in women and men causes some symptoms which may probably vary. Some of the commonly recorded symptoms of kidney infection include:
- Pain in the back
- Increased body temperature of above 38 degree centigrade
- Pain experienced in the pelvic floor
- Pain in the lower-sides of the back
- Pain may worsen while urinating
- Uncontrollable tremor or shivering
Symptom experienced during co-existing cystitis or urethritis
- Blood in urine
- Urine appearing cloudy
- Dysuria or pain experienced while urinating which is often said to be a burning or stinging sensation
- Foul smell in the urine
- Inability to urinate completely
- Ache in the lower abdomen
Aged women may sometimes have none of the symptoms generally found in kidney infection. This is why women may not be aware of the condition and do not seek medical aid. This may cause the condition to aggravate and infection reaches bloodstream which may lead to sepsis. Aged women may also start experiencing delirium along with kidney infection.
Causes of Kidney infection in women
There are several factors that contribute cause kidney infection. In women some of the common causes of the infection are explained below.
- Sexual influence
Sex is regarded as one of the most common causes of Urinary Tract Infection or UTI in women. Urethra in women is shorter than urethra in men which is why it makes it easy for the bacteria to travel to the urinary tract. Bacteria enter the vagina of women also during sexual intercourse. Also there are certain position which when practiced during intercourse may increase women’s chances of suffering from bacterial infection, for example ‘woman on top’ position.
During pregnancy occurrence of urinary tract infection is common. According to American Pregnancy Association women are prone to UTI especially from 6th to 24th week of pregnancy. Urinary tract infection afflicts during pregnancy because of urinary tract chances. Uterus of omen grows during pregnancy which exerts pressure on bladder causing blockages. This restricts urine from leaving the bladder and increases chances of infection. Kidney infection in women may results if such condition is left unaddressed. Untreated pyelonephritis can even led to early labor and insufficient birth weight.
After menopause the chances of urinary tract infection in women increases. There is a considerable decrease in estrogen level when women undergoes menopause. This causes thinning of urinary tract wall making it prone to infections. Resulted UTI may lead to kidney infection if not controlled.
Treatment for kidney infection
There are several treatment options available for dealing with kidney infection in women and men. In majority of cases the treatment for pyelonephritis remains the same for both genders. Some of the effective treatment options available for kidney infection include:
Antibiotics are considered as primary treatment for kidney infection. Depending on your health condition the doctor will suggest you certain antibiotics for a certain period of time. Usually the symptoms start alleviating within few days. You may also have to continue your antibiotic regimen for longer time as instructed by your doctor.
In case of severe kidney infection you may have to resort to hospitalization. While you are hospitalized you may be administered with antibiotics intravenously. Severity of the condition and how fast your body responds to treatment would determine your stay in the hospital.
In case if kidney infection is recurrent you may have to seek medical advice from specialist who can suggest possible treatments. Kidney infection if not treated can also cause emphysematous pyelonephritis, sepsis (blood poisoning) and kidney abscess. Hence, you should consult your doctor immediately if you suspect kidney infection.