Get Treatment for UTIs in Bradenton with No Wait Time
UTIs or urinary tract infections are incredibly common and over three million are diagnosed every year. What is a UTI and how do you know if you have one?
Overview: UTIs in Men Vs. Women
A UTI is the infection of the kidney, ureters, bladder, and urethra. An infection can take place in any of these locations, but usually is located in the lower urinary tract or the bladder and urethra. UTIs occur in both men and women. However, women are at more of a risk to develop a UTI because women have shorter urethras.
There are a few different types of urinary tract infection based on the part of the urinary tract that’s affected. If you have an infection in the kidneys, it’s called acute pyelonephritis. An infection of the bladder is called cystitis, while an infection of the urethra is referred to as urethritis.
Urinary Tract Infection After Sex: What Causes UTIs?
Urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria entering the urinary tract through the urethra. The bacteria then begins to multiply in the bladder. While the urinary system is supposed to keep out bacteria, sometimes the defenses fail and a bacterial infection occurs.
An infection of the bladder is caused by escherichia coli (e. coli), normally found in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Sexual intercourse is also known to cause cystitis, but you can develop a bladder infection without being sexually active. Women are especially prone because of the short distance from the urethra to the anus.
An infection of the urethra (urethritis) can occur when the GI bacteria is spread from the anus to the urethra. In women, sexually transmitted diseases can also cause urethritis.
Risk Factors for Urinary Tract Infections
The biggest risk factor for developing a UTI is the female anatomy. Because everything is so close together, the bacteria doesn’t need to travel far to reach the urethra and cause infection. This is why these infections are more common in women. Sexual activity also presents some risk, but also mostly for women. Women who have sex are more likely to develop a UTI than
women who aren’t having sex.
Some types of birth control are also known to cause UTIs, including spermicide. Menopause and decline in estrogen levels can cause changes in the urinary tract that could make women more susceptible to infection.
Abnormalities in the urinary tract can also present a risk for UTIs, especially in babies that are born with these abnormalities. Kidney stones or enlarged prostates can create a blockage in the urinary tract that could increase the risk of an infection. The use of catheters has also been known to cause UTIs.
How Do I Know if I Have a UTI?
The good thing about UTIs is that it can be pretty easy to figure out when you have one. While the symptoms do line up with other diseases (such as STIs), your doctor can determine what kind of infection you have rather quickly.
Based on the location of your UTI, your symptoms may be different. Acute pyelonephritis often causes upper back and side pain, high fever, shaking and chills, nausea, and vomiting. Cystitis can cause pelvic pressure, lower abdomen discomfort, frequent and painful urination, as well as blood in urine. Urethritis causes burning when urinating and discharge.
How are UTIs Diagnosed?
The diagnosis for a UTI is pretty simple and will usually include a conversation with your doctor as well as a urine test. The urine sample will need to be a “clean catch” meaning you will have to collect urine in the middle of the urinary stream, instead of from the beginning. The doctor will
then look at the number of white blood cells in your urine, as this can indicate an infection. They may also test for bacteria or fungi.
If you have frequently occurring UTIs, more testing may need to be performed. They may perform an ultrasound to check your urinary tract organs, or an intravenous pyelogram (IVP). An IVP is performed by injecting a dye into your body that travels through your urinary tract. They then take an X-ray and the dye will highlight your urinary tract on the image.
How are UTIs Treated?
Depending on the location and severity of your UTI, your treatment may be different. There are many different antibiotics for urinary tract infections, and your doctor will decide which one is best for you.
UTIs can also be treated with over-the-counter medications like Phenazopyridine Hydrochloride (AZO). However, these medications don’t get rid of your infection, they’re used to subdue your symptoms.
What Can be Expected in the Long Term?
If your UTI is treated in a timely manner, it often won’t have any complications. However, a UTI left alone could lead to serious problems. An untreated UTI could lead to frequent or recurrent UTIs, permanent kidney damage, increased risk of pregnant women delivering premature infants, or sepsis. Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening complication if your infection works its way into your kidneys.
How Can UTIs be Prevented?
Preventing UTIs can be really easy.
If you drink plenty of water and keep yourself hydrated, you’ll dilute your urine. Diluting your urine can help you urinate more frequently, meaning the bacteria could be flushed out of your system faster.
Drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry pills can also be helpful, although studies are not conclusive.
For women, wiping from front to back will help to not move bacteria into your urinary tract. For both men and women, urinating after intercourse can help flush out any harmful bacteria.
Where Can I Get Treatment for my UTI?
If you’re looking for a low cost local clinic to help diagnose and treat your urinary tract infection, Manasota Minor Care Clinic is here for you.
Your care is our number one priority. We offer little to no wait time, so you’re back to your everyday life before you know it. We’re located in Bradenton, Florida and serve the Manatee and Sarasota counties. Contact us online or at 941-756-1253 for more information.
Se habla Español.