If you’ve experienced a urinary tract infection, you know the discomfort that comes along with the experience. Not only are urinary tract infections (or UTIs) uncomfortable, but they’re also important to treat as soon as detected.
When a urinary tract infection goes untreated, there’s a greater risk of more serious infections manifesting. Fortunately, UTIs are treatable, as well as preventable.
If you’re interested in protecting yourself from urinary tract infections, or in treating them, stick around as we discuss the facts. There are ways to prevent a UTI from forming so you can stop it in its tracks.
What Are Urinary Tract Infections?
A urinary tract infection typically targets our urethra, the tube urine uses to exit the body.
Under some circumstances, urinary tract infections can spread into additional areas of the urinary tract system. This includes the kidneys, ureters, and bladder. However, infection will only spread to these areas when a UTI goes untreated.
What Causes a Urinary Tract Infection?
There are a variety of causes for UTIs, and a few ways to develop them, too. A UTI occurs when micro-bacteria enters the urethra or urinary tract system.
Infections of the urethra can be caused by poor personal hygiene, medical conditions, lifestyle habits, age demographics, or issues with urination and anatomy.
Additionally, urinary tract infections may occur as a result of poor sexual hygiene at the time of intercourse.
Who Experiences Urinary Tract Infections?
Both men and women experience urinary tract infections, although women are more prone to them.
Women experience a higher risk of urinary tract infections because the urethra is shorter, and located in closer proximity to the rectum than men. This increases the possibility that bacteria like E. coli may be introduced into the urethra.
In addition, women experiencing menopause or those that use vaginal birth control may be at higher risk for urinary tract infections.
Common Symptoms of a Urinary Tract Infection
Infections of the urinary tract system are known to cause discomfort. However, these symptoms may vary depending on the nature of your infection. Symptoms of a urinary tract infection may include:
- Abdominal or Pelvic discomfort, including soreness, or pressure.
- The feeling that you need to urinate frequently.
- Discoloration or cloudiness of the urine, as well as pain when urinating.
- Pain during sexual intercourse.
- Fever, fatigue, or vomiting.
- Mental fog or confusion.
These are some common urinary tract infection symptoms you may experience. If you have concerns about a urinary tract infection, consult with your doctor to determine your prognosis and a proper plan of treatment.
Diagnosing a Urinary Tract Infection
There are two primary processes used to diagnose a UTI. The first is a urine analysis that detects infection by screening the number of red and white blood cells present.
If a UTI is detected, your doctor may proceed with a urine culture to identify the type of bacteria found. These procedures will help your healthcare professional determine a proper treatment plan to fit your needs.
Common Treatment for UTIs
Treating a urinary tract infection will typically involve taking an antibiotic. Some examples of these may include nitrofurantoin, amoxicillin, doxycycline, quinolones, and more.
When prescribed an antibiotic treatment, remember to complete the entire course of treatment. This ensures that your body receives the full spectrum of medication prescribed. This will help your body recover and prevent a more serious infection from spreading.
Full Spectrum Care with BASS Urgent Care
If you live in Walnut Creek, California, and are seeking a quality healthcare provider, consider BASS Urgent Care. BASS Urgent Care is home to a team of in-house Doctors, an onsite blood laboratory, and an X-Ray imaging center. Book an appointment today to receive healthcare catered specifically to your needs.