Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Specialist Questions and Answers
UTI’s can get severe and life-threatening if not treated properly. If you have a UTI or are showing symptoms, visit Midlands Family Urgent Care for comprehensive treatment. For more information, call us or book an appointment online. We have convenient locations to serve you in Papillion NE, and Omaha NE.
The urinary tract is an elaborate system responsible for the removal of fluid waste from the body. It comprises the bladder, ureters, urethra, and kidneys; each of these organs is intricately connected. If any one of these organs becomes infected, it is known as a UTI. Infections of this system most commonly affect the lower urinary tract, including the bladder and urethra. Women are much more likely to have a UTI than men because their urethra is shorter and bacteria can more easily travel this distance.
What are the main causes of UTI?
There are several causes of UTIs, including:
- Some forms of birth control, such as:
- Spermicides can cause skin irritations that allow bacteria to invade and flourish
- Diaphragms, as they can slow urinary flow, encouraging bacteria to multiply
- Unlubricated condoms or spermicidal condoms can cause irritation, which can help bacteria grow
Other factors that can cause bacteria to grow, and therefore contribute to the development of a UTI include:
- Not drinking enough fluids
- Holding in urine for long periods
- Spinal cord injuries or other nerve damage, as these can make it difficult to empty the bladder completely and regularly
- Conditions that block urine flow, including:
- kidney stones
- enlarged prostate
- Conditions that reduce the immune system’s ability to fight off infections
- Hormonal changes in the urinary tract, common in pregnant women
- Weak bladder muscles or muscle spasms
- Damage to nerves that control the bladder
- Age-related or behavioral changes
- Any injury, disability, or disease that affects mobility or makes it difficult to get to the bathroom quickly and easily
How can you tell if you have a urinary tract infection?
Urinary tract infections do not always cause signs and symptoms, so in some cases, they can be hard to identify. However, when they do present symptoms, they often include:
- A strong, persistent urge to urinate
- A burning sensation when urinating
- Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
- Urine that appears cloudy
- Urine that appears red, bright pink, or brown (indicates blood in the urine)
- Strong-smelling urine
- Pelvic pain, in women
In older adults, UTIs may be overlooked or mistaken for other conditions, so it is important to always receive a thorough evaluation when a UTI is suspected.
What is the test for UTI?
Procedures used to diagnose UTIs include:
⦁ Analyzing a urine sample — A doctor may order a urine sample for lab analysis to look for bacteria, white blood cells, or red blood cells.
⦁ Growing urinary tract bacteria in a lab — In some cases, a urine culture may be performed after a lab analysis of the urine. This test tells the doctor what bacteria are causing the infection and which medications will be the most effective, improving the chances of a propitious recovery.
⦁ Creating images of the urinary tract — Frequent infections may be caused by an abnormality in the urinary tract, in which case an ultrasound, computerized tomography (CT) scan, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be ordered.
⦁ Using a scope to see inside the bladder — In cases of recurrent UTIs, a doctor may perform a cystoscopy, which uses a long, thin tube with a lens (known as a cystoscope) to see inside the urethra and bladder.
How do you treat UTI?
In the vast majority of cases, antibiotics are the first line of treatment for UTIs. The type of drugs that are prescribed and for how long will depend on the individual’s health condition and the type of bacteria found in their urine. In most cases, UTI symptoms clear up within a few days of starting treatment; antibiotics may need to be taken for a week or more.
If you are experiencing symptoms of a UTI or have repeated UTIs, come to Midlands Family Urgent Care for professional treatment. Call us today to book an appointment for UTI treatment. We serve patients from Papillion NE, Omaha NE, La Vista NE, Fairview NE, Ralston NE, Bellevue NE, Springfield NE, and surrounding areas.