One in two women in India have been or will be affected by UTI (Urinary Tract Infection) in their lifetime. One of the main reasons for this are unhygienic public toilets in India. As it is easier for the bacteria to reach the bladder in women, UTI affects women more than men.

In men with enlarged prostate glands and those affected by diabetes, UTI has been observed as well. Symptoms of UTI range from burning sensation in the lower part of the bladder and specifically while passing urine. It also manifests itself as pain, swelling, and fever. While mostly transient, UTI can spread and cause infection in the kidneys. That makes it a serious condition especially in the case of senior citizens.

A lot of emphasis in the management of UTI goes with prevention including awareness about cleanliness in public restrooms and overall sense of hygiene. Also exercise and drinking enough water can result in lowering the chances of contracting UTI.

Medically UTI is managed with Anti Biotics, with both broad-spectrum and narrow-spectrum antibiotics used to treat the condition. Cephalosporins and Quinolones are the medicines that are the treatment of choice. But the ultimate defense against UTI is prevention. While public campaigns like Swacch Bharat are taking shape the improve the public health and sanitation, these have been concerted efforts from the private sector to raise awareness and reduce instances of infection.

Bangalore based startup Pee Easy is one of the players that has recently launched a product to help women and men to overcome the challenges of UTI. They have used food grade paper to create a contraption that can help women and men to pass urine standing up. This would really help reduce the chances of infection. Pee Easy has been set up with vending machines across malls, hospitals and airports and also available at pharmacies.

Such devices are also useful in medical departments like gynecology, orthopedics, urology, oncology and HIV, pathology (for easier collection of a urine sample (under testing)), and post-surgery. In addition to women, senior citizens can really help in reduction of infections.

Dr Vikram Venkateswaran

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