What is Urinary Tract Infection ?
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in any part of your urinary system. Most infections involve the lower urinary tract including the bladder and the urethra.
Women are at greater risk of developing a UTI than men are.
Who needs to test for Urinary Tract Infection ?
You should come in to the office to help us screen for Acute or chronic urinary tract infection if you have any of the following symptoms.
A strong, persistent urge to urinate
A burning sensation when urinating
Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
Urine that appears cloudy
Urine that appears red, bright pink or cola-colored
How is Urinary Tract Infection diagnosed ?
Urinary tract infection is diagnosed with a simple urine test, performed in the office. This test does not require you to be fasting. The testing can be completed during your office visit with reliable results available in 10 minutes.
What are some causes of Urinary tract infections ?
Urinary tract infections typically occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra and begin to multiply in the bladder.
What are some types of Urinary tract infection ?
Infection of the bladder (cystitis) : This type of UTI is usually caused by bacteria commonly found in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Sexual intercourse may lead to cystitis, but you don’t have to be sexually active to develop it. All women are at risk of cystitis because of their anatomy.
Infection of the urethra (urethritis) : This type of UTI can occur when GI bacteria spread from the anus to the urethra. Also, because the female urethra is close to the vagina, sexually transmitted infections, such as herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia and mycoplasma, can cause urethritis.
What are some risk factors for Urinary tract infection ?
Urinary tract infections are common in women. Risk factors specific to women for UTIs include:
Female anatomy : A woman has a shorter urethra than a man does, which shortens the distance that bacteria must travel to reach the bladder.
Sexual activity : Sexually active women tend to have more UTIs than do women who aren’t sexually active. Having a new sexual partner also increases your risk.
Certain types of birth control : Women who use diaphragms for birth control may be at higher risk, as well as women who use spermicidal agents.
Menopause : After menopause, a decline in circulating estrogen causes changes in the urinary tract that make you more vulnerable to infection.
Other risk factors for UTIs include :
Urinary tract abnormalities : Babies born with urinary tract abnormalities that don’t allow urine to leave the body normally or cause urine to back up in the urethra have an increased risk of UTIs.
Blockages in the urinary tract : Kidney stones or an enlarged prostate can trap urine in the bladder and increase the risk of UTIs.
A suppressed immune system : Diabetes and other diseases that impair the immune system — the body’s defense against germs — can increase the risk of UTIs.
Catheter use : People who can’t urinate on their own and use a tube (catheter) to urinate have an increased risk of UTIs. This may include people who are hospitalized, people with neurological problems that make it difficult to control their ability to urinate and people who are paralyzed.
A recent urinary procedure : Urinary surgery or an exam of your urinary tract that involves medical instruments can both increase your risk of developing a urinary tract infection.
What are some complications of Urinary tract infections ?
When treated promptly and properly, lower urinary tract infections rarely lead to complications. But left untreated, a urinary tract infection can have serious consequences.
Complications of a UTI may include :
Recurrent infections, especially in women who experience three or more UTIs.
Permanent kidney damage from an acute or chronic kidney infection (pyelonephritis) due to an untreated UTI.
Urethral narrowing (stricture) in men from recurrent urethritis, previously seen with gonococcal urethritis.
Sepsis, a potentially life-threatening complication of an infection, especially if the infection works its way up your urinary tract to your kidneys.