What is a urinary tract infection?
Any infection in the urinary system, including the bladder, urethra, ureters, or kidneys, is a urinary tract infection (UTI). The majority of urinary tract infections are in the bladder or urethra. Both men and women can get urinary tract infections but women are at greater risk. When a UTI is limited to the bladder, they’re annoying and painful, but left untreated, UTIs can cause severe health conditions.
What are the symptoms of urinary tract infections?
Some people have urinary tract infections without symptoms, but most people experience a combination of symptoms that may include:
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Decreased amount of urine
- Burning sensation when urinating
- Cloudy urine
- Red, pink, or brown urine
- Foul, strong odor
- Pelvic pain in women
If you experience any of the symptoms of a urinary tract infection, call Urology Associates Of Southeastern North Carolina, P.A. or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment. Discovery of a UTI in the early stages helps prevent spreading and is easier to treat.
How can I prevent urinary tract infections?
There are steps you can take to reduce your risk of urinary tract infections, including:
Drinking large amounts of water keeps urine diluted and flushes your body frequently. Urinating frequently helps eliminate bacteria from your body before an infection starts. Some studies show that drinking cranberry juice may help prevent UTIs in both men and women.
Empty bladder after intercourse
Urinating after intercourse prevents bacteria from forming. It’s also a good time to drink a glass of water to help flush out bacteria.
Wipe from front to back
Women should wipe from front to back after urinating and bowel movements to prevent bacteria from the anal region spreading to the urethra and vagina.
Consider different birth control options
If you’re a woman with recurring UTIs, consider changing from diaphragms or condoms to other forms of birth control. Diaphragms and condoms contribute to bacterial growth.
How are urinary tract infections treated?
Most urinary tract infections are treated with antibiotics. Your doctor chooses antibiotics based on the type of bacteria in your urine and your current health condition. Severe UTIs require intravenous antibiotic treatment in the hospital.
If you experience frequent UTIs, your doctor may suggest other treatment options, including:
- Long-term, low-dose antibiotics (six months or more)
- Single-dose antibiotic taken after sexual intercourse
- Vaginal estrogen therapy for postmenopausal women
If you experience any of the urinary tract infection symptoms, it’s important to seek medical care to prevent the spread of infection to other areas of your body. Call the practice or use the convenient online scheduling tool to book an appointment today.