Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) Treatment
Your urinary tract includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. An infection in any part of this system can cause very uncomfortable symptoms. Most UTIs occur within the lower urinary tract, which contains the bladder and the urethra.
More women than men get UTIs. Bladder infections can be painful and very inconvenient. Cystitis can cause pelvic pressure, discomfort in the lower abdomen and frequent, painful urination. It is also common to see blood in the urine with bladder infections.
When the urethra is infected, it is called urethritis. Symptoms include burning with urination, and you may have some discharge.
Infection that involves the kidneys can be quite serious. You may experience upper back and side pain accompanied by a high fever. Chills, nausea and vomiting are also symptoms of a kidney infection.
A urine sample will be ordered to test for white blood cells, red blood cells and bacteria. Sometimes the urine is cultured to determine the type of bacteria that is causing the infection. Other tests or procedures may be required if you have frequent urinary tract infections.
Antibiotics are commonly the first line of treatment, and the type is determined by the kind of bacteria you have. Symptoms usually subside after a few days of treatment, but it is important that you finish your entire course of antibiotics even if you no longer have symptoms. Pain medication may be prescribed to relieve the discomfort and burning caused by the infection.
Causes of Urinary Tract Infections
When bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra, they multiply in the bladder. In the best circumstances, the body will fight off these invaders, but there are occasions when the bacteria win the battle and a UTI is the result. Women are more at risk because the urethra is near the anus, making it easy for bacteria from the anus to move to the urethra. Sexual intercourse can also lead to cystitis.
Urethritis, or infection of the urethra, is caused when GI bacteria are spread from the anus to the urethra. The proximity of the urethra to the vagina also makes it easier for sexually transmitted infections to attack the urethra.
UTI infections can be inconvenient due to frequent urination, but they can also be quite painful. Contact Dr. Michael if you have burning or frequent urination or pelvic pain. Early diagnosis and treatment for UTIs will keep the infection from spreading further up your urinary tract.