Urinary Tract Infection- UTI

What is a Urinary Tract Infection?

A urinary tract infection, commonly called UTI, is an infection caused by bacteria that enters into the urinary tract. If not treated, the bacteria can spread from the very distal urinary tract up into the bladder. The bacteria may then continue to spread up into the kidneys causing a far more serious infection called pyelonephritis. UTIs are most commonly found in females due to anatomy but it is possible for males to also have UTIs. UTIs need to be treated with antibiotics to kill the bacteria.

 

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Burning or pain with urination
  • Frequent urination or only urinating small amounts
  • Feeling that your bladder has not completely emptied after urination
  • Cloudy urine or blood in the urine
  • Strong odor to urine
  • Needing to urinate in the middle of the night
  • Low back pain
  • Pelvic pain or discomfort
  • Fever
  • Nausea

 

When to see a provider

If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, call to schedule an appointment as soon as possible for testing and treatment. Treating the infection early helps prevent more serious problems. Over the counter medications are available for temporarily treating the pain and discomfort but they will not treat the infection itself. Some of the medications can change the color of the urine and it is best to refrain from taking them if you are coming in to see a provider because the color change can interfere with the urinalysis test.

 

Prevention:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Cranberry juice
  • Wipe from front to back
  • Avoid excessive alcohol, caffeine and spicy foods
  • Avoid douching, strong scented soaps, deodorants or sprays in the genital area
  • Take showers instead of baths
  • Urinate before and after sexual intercourse

 

Reference