Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, can be uncomfortable and painful. If you’re experiencing frequent urination and pain in your abdomen, you may have a urinary tract infection. Our team can help determine the right course of treatment that prevents the infection from spreading to your kidneys.
Questions and Answers
What is a Urinary Tract Infection?
Your urinary tract extends from your urethra to your bladder to your kidneys. Your urethra is the tiny duct off your bladder through which you urinate. When bacteria and fungi make their way into your urethra, it can become infected, resulting in a urinary tract infection, or UTI.
Most infections occur in the lower urinary tract, starting in your urethra and spreading to your bladder. UTIs are more common in women since their shorter urethra allows bacteria easier access to their bladders. While inconvenient and painful, lower tract infections tend to be harmless — unless the infection spreads to your kidneys.
If the infection reaches your kidneys in the upper urinary tract, you should seek medical attention immediately to prevent permanent kidney damage or a life-threatening condition called sepsis.
How Do I Know if I Have a UTI?
The most common symptoms of a UTI are an increased urge to urinate and a burning sensation when urinating. Other symptoms include:
- Cloudy urine
- Signs of blood in your urine
- Strong-smelling urine
- Pelvic pain
If you’re experiencing shaking, accompanied by a fever and vomiting, there’s a good chance your infection has spread to your kidneys and you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
How is a UTI Treated?
Minor UTIs usually respond well to antibiotics. Depending on your symptoms, your course of antibiotics may be prescribed for only a day or two, while other treatments can last over a week. If you’re postmenopausal, vaginal estrogen therapy can help with frequent infections.
A common home remedy is consuming cranberries or cranberry juice. There’s a chemical in cranberries that may make it difficult for some types of bacteria to remain in the bladder. This is a good preventative measure for urinary tract infections; however it’s not a solution for an existing UTI.
If you experience UTIs often, more testing may be done to rule out any issues in your urinary tract — such as an obstruction.
For an evaluation with a qualified physician, schedule an appointment today.