Urinary Tract Infection
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection that affects any part of the urinary tract, including the kidneys, ureters, bladder or urethra.
Bacteria from the bowel are the most common cause of UTIs, but fungi and viruses can also cause infection.
Your kidneys, bladder and urethra are responsible for removing excess waste and water from your blood. Your urinary system also helps regulate blood pressure. It can be affected by blood sugar levels, blood pressure and electrolytes. That is why urinary tract infections, known as UTIs, must be taken seriously.
Your ureters are the tubes, about 10 inches long, connecting each kidney to your bladder. The bladder holds the urine until you’re ready to void. You contract the muscular lining of your bladder, forcing the urine down your urethra. The urethra is a small tube that connects your bladder to the outside of your body. Infection in any part of this system can result in unpleasant symptoms.
The Common Causes of a Urinary Tract Infection
There seem to be three main causes for UTIs to develop:
- The introduction of E. coli from your anus to your urethra. With a shortened distance between the anus and urethra in women’s’ bodies, you are most susceptible to contamination.
- Bacteria introduced into the urethra through vaginal intercourse. Intercourse may allow bacteria to travel up your urethra to the other urinary tract organs.
- Some sexually transmitted diseases, which can cause UTIs.
What Are The Most Common Symptoms of UTI?
- A burning sensation when you urinate
- Frequent, intense urges to urinate, even when very little urine comes out
- Pain or pressure in your abdomen or back
- Pelvic pain
- Cloudy, dark, bloody or strange-smelling urine
- Feeling tired or shaky
- Fever or chills, which may be an indication that the infection has reached your kidneys
- Nausea or vomiting
Less common symptoms might include abdominal pain or anus bleeding.
If you have any number of these symptoms, you should consult your gynecologist in Queens, NYC for a urinary tract infection treatment. UTIs can become serious when they reach your kidneys, but they are rarely a sign of cancer.
Risk Factors for Urinary Tract Infections
Some women only experience a UTI once or twice in their lifetime. Others are more susceptible to them. The highest risk factors for a UTI include:
- Genetic predisposition
- Abnormalities along your urinary tract system
- Blockages in your urinary tract system
- Multiple sclerosis
- Kidney stones
- Spinal cord injury
- Sexual activity
- Certain types of birth control
- Suppressed immune system
- Catheter use
- Recent urinary procedure
If you fall into one of the above categories, maintain regular communication with your gynecologist in Queens, NYC. Like all infections, they’re easier to treat successfully if caught early. Without proper and timely treatment, UTIs can cause medical complications such as:
- Recurrent infections
- Permanent kidney damage
- Increased risk for pregnant women — delivering low birth-weight infants
- A change in mental status in elderly patients
- Sepsis, a life-threatening complication of infection if it spreads to your kidneys
UTI Tests and Treatments
When you visit your gynecologist in Queens, NYC, he goes over your medical and surgical history. You need to provide an in-office urine sample that’s tested for signs of infection. Your doctor may discuss your lifestyle, habits and medications. Rarely, depending on the severity of your pain and the number of UTIs you’ve had in the past, your doctor may request an ultrasound, cystoscope or CT scan to see further into your bladder to determine underlying causes. Fluoroscopic tests and specialized X-rays involving contrasting dyes are available, though rarely used.
Urinary tract infection treatment usually includes a round of antibiotics, as prescribed by your doctor. He will likely suggest you drink lots of water or cranberry juice until your infection clears up. You may be given some medication for the pain. Heating pads may also be helpful. If you are postmenopausal, you may be advised to use vaginal estrogen therapy.
In rare instances, if you’ve had to deal with three or more UTIs in a year, you may need to follow a specialized urinary tract infection treatment that includes:
- A low dose of antibiotics over a longer period of time
- A single dose of antibiotics after sex
- Antibiotics for a day or two every time symptoms appear
- Use of an at-home UTI test kit when symptoms appear
Urinary tract infections are the second most common infections in adults, after respiratory infections. It’s estimated that one in two women will have a UTI and need urinary tract infection treatment at some point in their lifetimes. As many as 12 percent of men will also get UTIs in their lifetimes.
Urinary tract infection treatment has been relatively effective in resolving the worst symptoms for most people. Uncomplicated cases can be completely cleared within a few days of the beginning of treatment.
Here are some tips that might lower your risk of a UTI:
- Empty your bladder as soon as you feel the need; don’t rush, just empty it completely
- Wipe from front to back to reduce the chance of contamination
- Drink lots of water or cranberry juice, which some tests conclude is helpful
- Avoid coffee, alcohol and spicy foods
- Choose showers instead of baths
- Don’t use feminine sprays, douches, or scented bath products.
- Cleanse thoroughly after sex to flush away bacteria
- If you used a diaphragm, unlubricated condoms, or spermicidal jelly for birth control, you may want to consider a different method
- Wear cotton underwear and loose clothing, avoiding tight jeans and nylon underwear — they trap moisture
Forest Hills Medical Services is a comprehensive clinical practice. In our office we believe that how you are treated is just as important as the medical care we provide. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality obstetrics and gynecology with warmth and compassion. Our physicians are easy to talk to and our entire staff is friendly and attentive to your needs.
The best gynecologists in Queens who are part of the Forest Hills Medical Services team are renowned for their extensive skills in diagnosing and treating urinary incontinence.
We will listen to all your concerns and together we will come up with the treatment plan that works for you and your unique circumstances.
Call FHMS to meet our staff in our state-of-the-art offices and be heard.
Gynecologists Dr. James Gohar (OBGYN Doctor), Dr Nithya Gopal and Maris Huffman, NP
Forest Hills Medical Services
108-16 63rd Rd
Forest Hills, NY 11375
☎ (718) 897-5331