What is a UTI?
A urinary tract infection, commonly known as a UTI, is most often a bacterial infection in any part of the urinary system including: kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Most UTIs involve the bladder and are among the most common infections in people. Women are usually at greater risk of developing a urinary tract infection, but they can occur in men and children as well. If you think you or your child may have a UTI, it is important to seek medical attention. The sooner you receive treatment for a UTI, the less chance it will spread to your kidneys, which can have more serious consequences.
Causes and Prevention of Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections can occur when bacteria enters the urinary tract through the urethra and begin to multiply. Bacteria from the GI tract are often the culprit of urinary tract infections. Rarely, patients can have an anatomical reason for frequent urinary tract infections.
There are ways to help reduce the risk of urinary tract infections especially if you happen to be susceptible to them, including:
- Drinking plenty of water helps to dilute urine and flushes the urinary tract out regularly
- Drinking cranberry juice can help prevent UTIs
- Wiping from front to back after urination and bowel movement will reduce the spread of harmful bacteria towards the urethra
- Avoid irritating feminine products and choose unscented feminine products when necessary
Symptoms of a Urinary Tract Infection
Occasionally, UTIs do not cause any symptoms. However, most do and the symptoms may include:
- Strong urge to urinate frequently
- More frequent urination
- Passing urine in frequent and small amounts
- Pink, red or dark colored urine
- Burning sensation during urination
- Cloudy urine
- Strong smelling urine
- Pelvic pain in the center of the pelvis
If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, we urge you to see a physician. At AFC Urgent Care Suffolk, we offer quick, easy and affordable visits with highly trained physicians to diagnose and treat you in your time of need.
Treatment for Urinary Tract Infections
If you are experiencing urinary tract infection symptoms, the physician will ask for a urine sample for analysis. The urinalysis will evaluate the white blood cells and bacteria in your urine and the doctor will be able to diagnose and treat your infection. A UTI is usually treated with a course of oral antibiotics and you can expect a full recovery.