Analytical study of urinary tract infection in adolescent girls
Keywords:Adolescent girls, Menstrual hygiene, Urinary tract infection
Background: Urinary tract infection is very common among females in all age groups. During adolescence, hormonal changes favour vaginal colonization by nephritogenic strains of bacteria, which can migrate to the periurethral area and cause urinary tract infection. It is associated with poor self esteem, impaired quality of life, social isolation, and depression. Many factors like low water intake, infrequent voiding and poor menstrual and sexual hygiene have been implicated in UTI during adolescence.
Methods: Girls between 10 and 19 years of age who attended the gynaecology OPD with any urinary complaint such as burning, frequency, pain, blood in urine etc. were included in the study. A questionnaire to obtain demographic profile, symptoms and treatment history was used. Investigations included urine routine examination and culture. Ultrasound was reserved for cases of recurrent UTI.
Results: A total of 25 adolescent girls participated in the study. The most common symptom was burning during micturition which was present in 60% girls. This was followed by frequency and pain during urination. Recurrent UTI was present in sexually active adolescents. Inadequate water intake, holding urine for long duration and poor menstrual and sexual hygiene were the important etiological factors.
Conclusions: Urinary tract infection is a common problem of adolescence causing much discomfort and loss of school. Inadequate hydration, lack of clean toilets and poor menstrual and sexual hygiene predisposes a young girl to UTI. The need is to educate our girls regarding good hydration and hygiene. Schools and all public places should have basic and clean sanitation facilities.
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