Pyelonephritis in women - symptoms and treatment

Pyelonephritis is an inflammatory disease that affects the kidneys, usually of a bacterial nature. Without treatment, this condition can lead to various severe consequences. Most often this disease is diagnosed in women, it is worth knowing about the main causes, symptoms and treatment of pyelonephritis in women, which can be extremely dangerous for the health of the urinary and reproductive system, the body as a whole.

  • What is this disease?
  • Causes
  • How does pyelonephritis appear in women?
  • Complications
  • Diagnostics
  • Treatment of pyelonephritis in women
  • Prevention
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What is this disease?

Pyelonephritis is an inflammatory process that develops in the kidney area, which usually affects the renal pelvis, calyx and parenchymal tissue. The main reason for the development of this inflammatory process is the penetration of a bacterial infection into the kidney area, this may be due to the influence of several factors.

Despite the fact that this disease can occur in men including, most often pyelonephritis is a female problem. This is due to the structural features of the genitourinary system in women. The urinary canal in the female body is shorter and wider than that of the male organism, because of this, any infections get into the bladder and further along the paths are much easier and faster.

Without treatment, this disease can lead to quite serious consequences for the body, so when the first signs appear it is worthwhile to see a doctor. It is important to consider that the symptoms of pyelonephritis can resemble cystitis, inflammation of the bladder, other diseases of the urinary and reproductive system, so before the treatment begins it is necessary to conduct a full diagnosis.


The cause of the inflammatory process in the kidneys is getting into them a bacterial infection. It can happen under the influence of various factors, it is also important to remember that infections of the genitourinary system in women spread easier and faster. The occurrence of this disease usually affects the following factors:

  1. Cystitis, an inflammatory process in the bladder. Most often, the infection passes to the kidney from the bladder, this is the main factor in the development of the disease. The likelihood of spreading the infection is increased without the proper appropriate treatment.
  2. The spread of the infectious process by the hematogenous way - through the blood with various systemic bacterial diseases. In this case, pyelonephritis is called descending.
  3. Physical overwork, frequent stress, hypothermia. It is important to consider that penetration of the infection is not enough to start the development of a full inflammatory process. Bacteria become active against a background of general malaise and exhaustion of the body.
  4. Disorders of blood circulation in the organs of the genitourinary system, the presence of other inflammatory processes and diseases in the kidneys.

These are the main factors that influence the development of the inflammatory process in the kidneys. It is also worth noting that the likelihood of developing the disease is much higher in the conduct of an incorrect lifestyle, the abuse of alcoholic beverages.

The main infectious agent of the disease is different kinds of microorganisms. The most common variant is the E. coli, but instead it can also be Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Proteus, Staphylococcus and others.

Important!Determine the specific pathogen during the tests is important for the appointment of proper treatment for pyelonephritis.

How does pyelonephritis appear in women?

Signs of pyelonephritis in women are quite pronounced, but diagnostics are required, because similar symptoms can occur in a number of other diseases of the genitourinary system.

The disease begins with acute pyelonephritis in women, the acute stage can last several weeks, after which the symptoms slightly weaken. Without proper treatment, the acute stage turns into chronic pyelonephritis, which is extremely difficult to get rid of, almost impossible. In general, with this disease should pay attention to the occurrence of the following symptoms:

  1. Pain with pyelonephritis. They usually occur in the back, at the level of the waist. Often the pains are unilateral, because with this disease one of the kidneys is usually affected. Painful sensations can be accompanied by discomfort, arising during movement, lifting of weights. Pain can also appear in the abdomen.
  2. Pain when urinating. Usually, with this disease, they are not expressed strongly, accompanied by increased frequency of urination, especially at night. Desires are extremely difficult to control. Stronger pain may be present if pyelonephritis is supplemented with cystitis or urethritis.
  3. Increased temperature. With this disease, the overall body temperature does not rise high, usually up to 37 - 38 degrees Celsius with no apparent causes.
  4. The onset of edema. They are usually noticeable on the face and limbs, are not always present, accompanied by weakness, apathy.

These are the main symptoms of the disease, in case of chronic course remissions are possible, when the symptoms of the illness subsided. In general, with this disease there is always a slight fatigue, sensations, like with a cold. Inflammatory process in the body always provokes a pronounced weakness.


The consequences of this inflammatory process in the kidneys can be extremely severe, the most serious complication is the kidney abscess, which is accompanied by a fever, acute pain in the back. All complications can lead to kidney dysfunction and acute kidney failure.

Other possible consequences include kidney carbuncle and nephritis, in which purulent necrotic foci are formed in the region of the affected kidney. Both conditions require urgent medical intervention, without treatment can lead to serious consequences and death.

Important!If the temperature rises sharply with acute pyelonephritis, burning occurs with frequent urination, the doctor should be consulted immediately, the incidence of abscess is high.


Due to the non-obvious symptoms and often hidden course of the disease, it is extremely difficult to detect pyelonephritis. Often, this disease is discovered almost by accident, when a woman turns to a doctor for another reason or with an ordinary medical examination. In general, if there is a suspicion of pyelonephritis, you must necessarily see a specialist and conduct a series of tests.

Usually, the following diagnostic methods are used. Additional tests may be required depending on the characteristics of the course of the disease and the doctor's recommendations:

  • a blood test, usually assigned to the number of white blood cells;
  • urinalysis, usually a laboratory test and bacterial culture;
  • Ultrasonography of the kidneys, it allows you to find out possible changes and deformities of the organ, the level of infection, for the same purpose can be prescribed X-rays, CT or MRI, depending on the indications.

Without a full-fledged diagnosis, treatment should not be started, since it is important to make sure there is an inflammatory process, to exclude other possible kidney diseases. After setting the right diagnosis, you need to start treatment as soon as possible.

Treatment of pyelonephritis in women

The treatment regimen for this disease is usually selected individually and is complex. It is important to eliminate the infection that causes the inflammatory process, improve blood circulation in the kidney area, remove pain and other symptoms. It is also extremely important to improve immunity after the acute stage and complete recovery.

Important!The acute stage of pyelonephritis should not be carried on the legs, at this stage of the disease bed rest is highly recommended.

Than to treat a pyelonephritis? Usually the following methods are used in the treatment of this disease:

  1. Treatment with antibiotics. Since the inflammatory process provokes a bacterial infection, antibacterial drugs are prescribed for treatment. The most suitable preparation can be selected exclusively after diagnosis and identification of the pathogen.
  2. Anti-inflammatory analgesics. These funds are necessary to remove the inflammatory process itself and the main symptoms of the disease. Paracetamol and its analogues are usually used.
  3. Preparations, improving the tone of blood vessels, other auxiliaries. They are prescribed depending on the severity of the symptoms. Also, various vitamin complexes may be required if the disease develops against a background of reduced immunity.
  4. Diet. With this disease, it is necessary to reduce the burden on the kidneys, for this purpose they limit the diet in a certain way. Also, the diet helps to achieve the fastest recovery.
  5. Treatment with folk remedies. With the use of folk remedies should be careful, with this disease, the state of the kidneys is fairly easy to harm. Usually, various herbal preparations are used, which improve blood circulation and kidney function. In pyelonephritis, leaves of cranberries, nettles, currants and other herbs are used. Also, herbal preparations for this disease help to improve immunity.

These are the main methods of treatment for pyelonephritis. Also at later stages, physiotherapy can be used to restore normal kidney function, the procedure is usually performed by a physician.


The development of the inflammatory process in the kidneys is fairly easy to avoid if one observes simple rules of prevention. First, you need to avoid other inflammatory diseases of the genitourinary system, always in time to treat them. To avoid cystitis or urethritis, which sometimes lead to pyelonephritis, it is enough to observe the rules of personal hygiene, not to allow a strong decrease in immunity.

Also, women in particular should not tolerate hypothermia. Supercooling most often leads to various inflammatory diseases of the genitourinary system, this is a common factor provoking the activity of infection.

With catarrhal and systemic infectious lesions, immediate treatment should begin. Do not forget about the hematogenous way of infection, when an infection with a blood stream gets to the kidneys.

If pyelonephritis does occur, you can not delay with the beginning of treatment. With this disease, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible.