Urinary Tract Infection
Whether they are recurring or happen one time, UTI’s are painful, however, treatment is simple.
- Burning when urinating
- Frequent or urgent urination
- Waking up often to urinate
- Bloody urine
- Inability to control urination
- Bladder or kidney pain
- Fever or rigors
Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, commonly affect both women and men. In general, the term “UTI” includes bladder and kidney infections; however, your doctor may specify between infections located only in the bladder (cystitis), the prostate (prostatitis), and more severe infections in the kidneys (pyelonephritis). Bacteria are the cause of most infections. Bacteria enter the bladder by traveling up the urethra (where urine passes) from the outside world. In most cases, your primary care doctor can treat the infection with antibiotics without additional investigation. When the infection persists or recurs often, you may require a more extensive evaluation by a urologist.
If the infections are difficult to clear or recur, your urologist will often test further to see if there is an underlying cause. The simplest tests are simple and determine the actual type of bacteria and which antibiotics will be effective for your infection. Additional evaluation by x-rays, which may include a kidney ultrasound, IVP (intravenous pyelogram) or CT scan, gives information about the anatomy of your urinary tract. Kidney stones, blocked kidneys, and bladder malformations are common things that doctors look for with these tests. Sometimes cystoscopy, where a small scope is inserted into your bladder through the opening of the urethra, is performed. It is a very simple and quick procedure that can give a lot of information about your bladder.
Urinary tract infections are more common in females. This is because the length of the female urethra is much shorter, and this offers an easier route for bacteria to get into the bladder. Many natural mechanisms guard against these infections. Your body’s immune system, along with the natural flushing action when emptying your bladder and can usually stop infections before they start. Most UTIs in adults are isolated events, and if they resolve with standard antibiotics then no further evaluation may be recommended. For simple infections, a one or two day course of antibiotics may do. More complicated infections may require 7–14 days.