Did you know that as many as 10 million people are treated each year for a urinary tract infection (UTI)? In fact, approximately one in five people will have a UTI at some point in their life.
A UTI is an infection that can involve your urethra, kidneys, and/or bladder. It occurs when bacteria gets into your urinary system. It typically enters through your urethra and then may infect your bladder. The infection can also travel from your bladder and eventually infect your kidneys. The major culprit is E. coli, which causes more than 90 percent of bladder infections.
Read on to learn more about urinary tract infections.
UTI Symptoms and Diagnosis
A UTI causes inflammation in the lining of the urinary tract, which can lead to:
- Pain in the abdomen, pelvic area, side, or lower back
- Pressure in the lower area of the pelvis
- Urinary incontinence
- Urge incontinence
- Frequent urination
- Murky and foul-smelling urine
- Dysuria (painful urination)
- Hematuria (blood in the urine)
Other symptoms associated with urinary tract infections include pain in the penis, fatigue, fever, chills, nausea and vomiting, and mental confusion.
If you exhibit symptoms of a UTI, your healthcare provider can conduct a physical examination and order tests to help confirm a diagnosis, such as urinalysis.
In the event that your infection doesn’t respond to treatment, follow-tests may be ordered to further examine the urinary tract for a specific disease or injury, such as:
- An ultrasound to observe the internal organs
- A CT (computed tomography) scan, a type of X-ray that produces cross-section images of the body, to create 3D images of the internal organs
- A cystoscopy, which uses a thin instrument with a lens and a light called a cystoscope to look inside the body through the urethra.
Treatment for a Urinary Tract Infection
Most UTIs are effectively treated with antibiotics. Your doctor will select the antibiotic that works best against the bacteria that is causing your infection.
Most people tend to feel better within a few days of taking antibiotics. However, it is imperative that you follow the directions and continue taking the full course of antibiotics, even if your symptoms seem to go away and you feel better, because the infection can return and become more difficult to treat.
In terms of preventing UTIs in the first place, there are several steps you can take:
- Practice good hygiene. Always wipe yourself from front to back after a bowel movement to avoid E. coli contamination. Avoid using any deodorants on your genitals.
- Drink plenty of fluids– notably water(six to eight glasses) – every day to help flush out bacteria from your urinary tract.
- Urinate frequently (don’t hold it in) to help remove waste from your body. Also, urinate before and right after having sex.
- Use a water-based lubricant during sex and avoid spermicide if you experience frequent UTIs.
- Avoid tight-fitting clothing that creates a moist environment and promotes bacterial growth. Opt for loose-fitting clothes and cotton underwear.
Urology Specialist in Phoenix, Arizona
Dr. Desiderio Avila at Ironwood Urology is a fellowship-trained specialist in men’s health who not only treats urinary tract infections butis also highly qualified to help men with complex issues involving their sexual health, infertility, hormone imbalance, and more.
Patients in the Phoenix area trust Dr. Avila for his expert diagnoses and the most up-to-date, advanced urologic treatments, including minimally invasive procedures with less pain and recovery time than traditional surgical procedures.No matter your specific issue, Dr. Avila always takes the time to thoroughly evaluate your condition and educate you on your treatment options, so you can decide what will be best for you.
Dr. Avila’s specialties include:
To learn more about these services and for the specialized men’s health care you need from an experienced urologist, call the office of Dr. Desiderio Avila at (480) 961-2323 to schedule a consultation. You can also request an appointment online. For your added convenience, Dr. Avila sees patients in both Phoenix and Gilbert, Arizona, so contact us today.