A urinary tract infection, also known as a UTI, is an infection in the parts of the body that have to do with urination.
This means the infection could happen in the ureters, bladder, kidneys, or urethra. UTIs happen most frequently in women and men over 50, but they can occur at any age to either gender. Urinary tract infections are caused when bacteria enter the urinary tract, but for older men, it could be caused by another condition including prostatitis, orchitis and more. It is common for people with a UTI to feel a frequent urge to urinate, painful urination, and have bloody, strong-smelling urine.
We know that UTIs are caused by bacteria entering the urinary tract, but there are a number of preventable ways this can happen. The rectum is full of bacteria, so when a woman wipes from back to front, she could be bringing germs to the urethra causing infection. Sexual activity is another common way to get a UTI. Similar to wiping, bacteria from a woman’s posterior can be transported to her urinary tract, but also because if the urethra is irritated, bacteria can multiply. Urinating after sexual activity can flush out UTI-causing bacteria if the urine stream is strong enough.
For a UTI in the lower urinary tract, also known as cystitis, patients can usually be treated with a three to ten day course of antibiotics. Even if patients feel better before they run out of antibiotics, our physicians warn that patients still need to keep taking their medicine. Patients feel better because the bacteria are in a really weak state. If they stop taking their antibiotics, the bacteria can get stronger and become resistant to antibiotics. This means the UTI can come back worse than it was originally. Sometimes, patients may be given medication to help the burning feeling when urinating. It is possible for a UTI to go away on its own or with home remedies, but sometimes it won’t work and can continue moving up the urinary tract and could lead to the development of a more advanced condition. Urinary tract infections in the lower urinary tract can be treated at any primary care physician’s office or urgent care facility.
A UTI in the upper urinary tract may need the care of a specialist like those at Affiliated Urologists. The kidneys in the upper urinary tract are susceptible to kidney infection from an untreated UTI. Patients with a UTI in this region of the urinary tract may experience symptoms of vomiting, nausea, fever, and dehydration. Patients who have recently had a urinary catheter or pregnant women are more likely to have an infection here. This type of UTI is treated with an IV for antibiotics and fluids.
Patients should seek treatment from an Affiliated Urologist physician if they experience symptoms of an upper urinary tract infection. We can provide patients with the antibiotics they need, as well as IV administration for the more serious cases. If bladder or kidney infection is present, our physicians can test for them and treat accordingly before the condition gets worse.
Affiliated Urologists is an award-winning practice recognized both locally and nationally that has provided service to patients in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and surrounding communities in the Valley, for over 40 years. The physicians emphasize top-of-the-line comprehensive urological care and strive to deliver the highest outcomes for patient satisfaction. To make an appointment, call 602-264-0608 or click here for instructions on scheduling an appointment.
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.