Urinary Tract Infection

If urinating is painful it could be a UTI. A urinary tract infection can occur in any part of the urinary system. It signals the abnormal growth of bacteria and is far more common in women than men.

What is a Urinary Tract Infection?

UTIs are among the most common types of infections. Serious consequences can occur if a UTI is not treated or spreads to your kidneys. As many as 50% of women and 3% of men experience a UTI at some point in their lives.

What are the symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection?

The following symptoms commonly signal a UTI:

  • Strong, frequent urge to urinate
  • Burning while urinating
  • Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
  • Urine appears cloudy
  • Urine is red, bright pink, or cola-colored, which may signal blood in the urine
  • Strong-smelling urine
  • Pelvic pain
  • Fever or chills
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Unable to hold in urine
  • Pain in the back and side at waist level (for upper UTIs)

What causes Urinary Tract Infection?

UTIs typically occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra and multiplies in the bladder. You’re more at risk if you are: female, menopausal, sexually active, use certain types of birth control, have a urinary tract blockage or kidney stone, or use a catheter.

How are Urinary Tract Infections diagnosed?

What to know before your visit to Michigan Institute of Urology in Southeast Michigan:

During your visit, your doctor will ask you about your medical history and will perform an examination of your abdomen, genitalia, and possibly a digital rectal exam (for male patients)

Other tests may include:

  • Urinalysis: evaluates for any blood in the urine or infection
  • Urine culture: very important to confirm infection, type of bacteria, and best medication to treat infection
  • Post-void residual: you’ll urinate and then be checked to make sure you are emptying your bladder
  • Renal/bladder ultrasound: imaging of the kidneys and bladder
  • Cystoscopy: physician inserts a small scope into the urethra to look for abnormalities

If you have recurring UTIs, your physician may want to perform the following tests:

  • Molecular urine study: a more advanced urine test to identify which bacteria is are causing the infection
  • CT scan: a detailed picture of the urinary tract

How are Urinary Tract Infections treated?

Antibiotics are usually needed. In severe cases, hospitalization and IV antibiotics may be necessary. You may require a hospital stay if you:

  • Don’t get better with antibiotics
  • Have an underlying disease or use medications that compromise your immune system
  • Aren’t able to keep food down because of nausea or vomiting
  • Are pregnant
  • Have kidney stones

Behavioral changes: You may be asked to drink 6-8 glasses of water per day, avoid constipation, use lubrication during intercourse if you experience vaginal dryness, maintain adequate blood sugar control if you’re diabetic, and change pads regularly if soiled.

Other treatments may include:

  • Vaginal estrogen: A cream placed on the lining of the vagina in post-menopausal women to improve the thickness of the vaginal mucosa
  • Cranberry supplements: Can change the pH of the urine and decrease the risk of UTIs
  • D-mannose: Helps prevent the adherence of bacteria to the bladder wall
  • Probiotics
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