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Urinary Tract Infection


Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are responsible for more than 8.1 million visits to physicians' offices per year and about five percent of all visits to primary care physicians. Approximately 40 percent of women and 12 percent of men will experience at least one symptomatic urinary tract infection during their lifetime.

Dr. HajMurad will diagnose your condition and plan a treatment that best fit your condition

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Urinary Tract Infection Treatment
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Symptoms
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in any part of your urinary system — your kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Most infections involve the lower urinary tract — the bladder and the urethra.

Women are at greater risk of developing a UTI than men are. Infection limited to your bladder can be painful and annoying. However, serious consequences can occur if a UTI spreads to your kidneys.

Antibiotics are the typical treatment for a UTI. But you can take steps to reduce your chance of getting a UTI in the first place.

Urinary tract infections don't always cause signs and symptoms, but when they do they may 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 cola-colored — a sign of blood in the urine
  • Strong-smelling urine
  • Pelvic pain, in women
  • Rectal pain, in men
Types of urinary tract infection

Each type of UTI may result in more-specific signs and symptoms, depending on which part of your urinary tract is infected.
  • Kidneys (acute pyelonephritis)
    • Upper back and side (flank) pain
    • High fever
    • Shaking and chills
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
  • Bladder (cystitis)
    • Pelvic pressure
    • Lower abdomen discomfort
    • Frequent, painful urination
    • Blood in urine
  • Urethra (urethritis)
    • Burning with urination
Causes
Urinary tract infections typically occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra and begin to multiply in the bladder. Although the urinary system is designed to keep out such microscopic invaders, these defenses sometimes fail. When that happens, bacteria may take hold and grow into a full-blown infection in the urinary tract.

The most common UTIs occur mainly in women and affect the bladder and urethra.
  • Infection of the bladder (cystitis).

    This type of UTI is usually caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli), a type of bacteria commonly found in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Sexual intercourse may lead to cystitis, but you don't have to be sexually active to develop it. All women are at risk of cystitis because of their anatomy — specifically, the short distance from the urethra to the anus and the urethral opening to the bladder.

  • Infection of the urethra (urethritis).

    This type of UTI can occur when GI bacteria spread from the anus to the urethra. Also, because the female urethra is close to the vagina, sexually transmitted infections, such as herpes, gonorrhea and chlamydia, can cause urethritis.

Complications
When treated promptly and properly, lower urinary tract infections rarely lead to complications. But left untreated, a urinary tract infection can have serious consequences.

Complications of UTIs may include:
  • Recurrent infections, especially in women who experience three or more UTIs
  • Permanent kidney damage from an acute or chronic kidney infection (pyelonephritis) due to an untreated UTI, especially in young children
  • Increased risk of women delivering low birth weight or premature infants
Tests and diagnosis
Tests and procedures used to diagnose urinary tract infections include:
  • Analyzing a urine sample.

    Your doctor may ask for a urine sample for lab analysis to look for white blood cells, red blood cells or bacteria. To avoid potential contamination of the sample, you may be instructed to first wipe your genital area with an antiseptic pad and to collect the urine midstream.

  • Growing urinary tract bacteria in a lab.

    Lab analysis of the urine is sometimes followed by a urine culture — a test that uses your urine sample to grow bacteria in a lab. This test tells your doctor what bacteria are causing your infection and which medications will be most effective.

  • Creating images of your urinary tract.

    If your doctor suspects that an abnormality in your urinary tract causes frequent infections, you may have an ultrasound or a computerized tomography (CT) scan to create images of your urinary tract. In certain situations, your doctor may also use a contrast dye to highlight structures in your urinary tract. Another test, called an intravenous pyelogram (IVP), uses X-rays with contrast dye to create images. Historically, doctors used this test for urinary tract imaging, but it's being replaced more often by ultrasound or CT scan.

  • Using a scope to see inside your bladder.

    If you have recurrent UTIs, your doctor may perform a cystoscopy, using a long, thin tube with a lens (cystoscope) to see inside your urethra and bladder. The cystoscope is inserted in your urethra and passed through to your bladder.

Treatments and drugs
Doctors typically use antibiotics to treat urinary tract infections. Which drugs are prescribed and for how long depend on your health condition and the type of bacterium found in your urine.

Simple infection

Drugs commonly recommended for simple UTIs include:
  • Sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim (Bactrim, Septra, others)
  • Amoxicillin (Amoxil, Augmentin, others)
  • Nitrofurantoin (Furadantin, Macrodantin, others)
  • Ampicillin
  • Ciprofloxacin (Cipro)
  • Levofloxacin (Levaquin)
Usually, symptoms clear up within a few days of treatment. But you may need to continue antibiotics for a week or more. Take the entire course of antibiotics prescribed by your doctor to ensure that the infection is completely gone.

For an uncomplicated UTI that occurs when you're otherwise healthy, your doctor may recommend a shorter course of treatment, such as taking an antibiotic for one to three days. But whether this short course of treatment is adequate to treat your infection depends on your particular symptoms and medical history.

Your doctor may also prescribe a pain medication (analgesic) that numbs your bladder and urethra to relieve burning while urinating. One common side effect of urinary tract analgesics is discolored urine — orange or red.

Frequent infections

If you experience frequent UTIs, your doctor may make certain treatment recommendations, such as:
  • Longer course of antibiotic treatment or a program with short courses of antibiotics at the start of your urinary symptoms
  • Home urine tests, in which you dip a test stick into a urine sample, to check for infection
  • A single dose of antibiotic after sexual intercourse if your infections are related to sexual activity
  • Vaginal estrogen therapy if you're postmenopausal, to minimize your chance of recurrent UTIs
Severe infection

For a severe UTI, you may need treatment with intravenous antibiotics in a hospital.
Prevention
Take these steps to reduce your risk of urinary tract infections:
  • Drink plenty of liquids, especially water.Drinking water helps dilute your urine and ensures that you'll urinate more frequently — allowing bacteria to be flushed from your urinary tract before an infection can begin.
  • Wipe from front to back.Doing so after urinating and after a bowel movement helps prevent bacteria in the anal region from spreading to the vagina and urethra.
  • Empty your bladder soon after intercourse.Also, drink a full glass of water to help flush bacteria.
  • Avoid potentially irritating feminine products.Using deodorant sprays or other feminine products, such as douches and powders, in the genital area can irritate the urethra.


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