A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection that affects any part of your urinary tract, kidneys, bladder or urethra. Most commonly UTI’s involve the lower urinary tract, the bladder or the urethra. Untreated lower urinary tract infections can progress and lead to more serious kidney infections. Thus it is important that bladder infections are treated promptly.
The most common signs and symptoms of a urinary tract infection are burning with urination, strong persistent urge to void, small frequent voids, blood in the urine, low back pains, pelvic pressures and pains and fever. If the infection involves the kidney spiking fevers, chills, nausea, vomiting and flank pain may all occur.
When a urinary tract infection is suspected it is very important to obtain a clean catch urine culture prior to the initiation of antibiotic treatment. This will help us properly treat the infection.
It Is fairly common for women to suffer from occasional urinary tract infections. Women with repeated urinary tract infections warrant a urologic evaluation. Risk factors for recurrent UTI’s include being female, sexual activity, aging, kidney stones, diabetes, cystocele, prolonged use of catethers and immune suppression.
Several tests can be done in our office to help diagnose and treat an active urinary tract infection and determine the reason for recurrent urinary tract infections.
Preventative measures to reduce the occurrence of urinary tract infections:
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Avoid holding your urine for long periods of time
- Wipe from front to back
- Urinate before and after intercourse
- Drink cranberry juice or take cranberry supplements on a daily basis
- Ensure adequate consumption of vitamin C (500-1000mg)
- Avoid hot tubs
- Avoid use of irritating feminine hygiene products
- Diabetics should keep strict control of your blood sugars