Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are the second most common type of infection in the United States. Most of the time, UTIs aren’t serious, but without proper treatment, they can lead to more serious problems.
At Apple Hill Gynecology, our staff and Dr. Marsha Bornt see many patients each year because of UTIs. If you have the symptoms we discuss in this post, schedule an appointment to make sure you don’t have a UTI. Although urinary tract infections are usually dangerous, they can lead to kidney infections, which can be much more serious.
You may imagine that it’s easy to tell when you have an infection, but sometimes the signs of a urinary tract infection can be subtle. Here are some of the common symptoms:
Some symptoms are more noticeable than others. You’re likely to notice pain when you urinate, but maybe not cloudy-looking urine or even strong-smelling urine.
If your UTI progresses to your kidneys the symptoms are likely to be more severe. You may have a high fever, pain in your back or side, nausea, or vomiting.
Sometimes a UTI develops into a bladder infection. In that case, urination will be frequent and painful, your urine may be bloody, and you may have discomfort in your lower abdomen or a feeling of pressure in your pelvis.
In women, there are a couple of points in life you’re much more likely to get a UTI. The first is puberty, which is also often the beginning of sexual activity. The second is menopause, which is associated with a drop in estrogen production. Less estrogen makes it easier for bacteria to proliferate. Sexual activity can also cause UTIs in some women.
High blood sugar, a condition called vesicoureteral reflux, which allows urine to flow backward from your bladder toward your kidneys, having a catheter, or kidney stones are all conditions that further raise your risk of developing a UTI.
We usually diagnose a UTI by testing a urine sample. The test we perform usually helps Dr. Bornt know which antibiotic is likely to work best. Numerous antibiotics can be used to treat UTIs, depending on the type of bacteria causing the infection.
If you have UTIs often, Dr. Bornt may give you a prescription for antibiotics that you can start taking as soon as you notice symptoms. There are a few things you can do that may help you avoid developing a UTI, such as:
If you have any of the signs of a urinary tract infection, schedule an appointment and get treatment. If you have frequent UTIs, talk to Dr. Bornt for recommendations tailored to your specific situation.