Five Reasons to Choose Our Elkhart Urology Office
A urinary tract infection (UTI) can be painful, uncomfortable, and problematic if not treated in a timely manner. When a UTI is left untreated, it can turn into a kidney infection, a more serious health condition. Knowing the symptoms of a urinary tract infection can help you know when it’s time to consult with your urologist.
At Urology Associates of South Bend, we’re dedicated to educating our patients on how to spot the symptoms of a urinary tract infection. In addition to providing preventative solutions, our expert urologists routinely treat UTIs—safely, effectively, and as quickly as possible.
Five Primary Symptoms of a Urinary Tract Infection
UTIs are so common that healthcare providers encounter upwards of 8.1 million UTI cases every year. Although men and women can both experience UTIs, women are more prone to developing them. It’s estimated that 10 out of 25 women and three out of 25 men will experience UTI symptoms during their lifetime.
A UTI occurs when the urethra and bladder lining become irritated. When this happens, a number of UTI symptoms may manifest, including:
- The urge to urinate frequently but only a few drops of urine are produced
- A burning, stinging sensation as you urinate
- Urine that appears cloudy, red, pink, or brown (this is an indication that bloodis present in the urine)
- Urine that emits a strong smell
- Pain and/or pressure in the pelvic and abdominal areas
Patients with any of the symptoms above and are feverous with back pain may have a kidney infection. A kidney infection can occur as a result of an untreated UTI and can lead to life-threatening issues. It’s important for anyone experiencing these symptoms to seek the aid of a professional urologist as soon as possible.
UTI Causes, Treatment, and Prevention
How do bacteria end up irritating the bladder? There are several ways a UTI can come to fruition. The most common UTI causes:
- E.coli bacteria that enters the gastrointestinal tract
- Sexual intercourse that leads to cystitis
- Urethritis from GI bacteria spread from the anus to the vagina
Since women have a shorter urethra than males, bacteria can more easily reach the bladder. This is also why sexually active women are more prone to UTIs than men. Women who use diaphragms with spermicidal agents, as well as those experiencing menopause, are also at greater risk of developing this infection.
Although not as common, additional causes of UTIs include:
- Individuals that have a suppressed immune system
- Babies born with urinary tract abnormalities
- Blockages in the urinary tract
- Recent urinary procedure performed with surgical instruments
- Individuals who rely on a catheter for urination
No matter the cause of a UTI, the good news is that it can be treated. For what urologists refer to as a “simple UTI,” antibiotics are effective at providing relief typically after a few doses.
For a “complicated UTI,” intravenous antibiotics may need to be administered in the hospital. Oral antibiotics can be taken as long as a few weeks after initial treatment.
One of the best ways to stave off a UTI is to take preventative measures. Below are some of the best methods you can apply to maintain a healthy urinary tract include:
- Drink liquids frequently, particularly water and cranberry juice, to flush bacteria out of the urinary tract
- For women, wipe from front to back after urinating to prevent the spread of bacteria
- Urinate shortly after intercourse to eliminate any harmful bacteria
- Avoid feminine products and swap out forms of birth control that might irritate/affect the urethra and urinary tract
Don’t let the symptoms of a urinary tract infection keep you in pain or interrupt your active lifestyle. Instead, schedule a consultation with one of our UASB urologist. Call us anytime at (574) 234-4100.