Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are common conditions that can cause discomfort and pain when passing urine. You might develop a new UTI or have recurrent ones, but both may require professional help to experience relief. Flagstaff Surgical Associates in Flagstaff, Arizona, can help you find the treatments you need to manage a UTI effectively. To schedule a visit, call the office or book online today.request an appointment
What is a UTI?
Urinary tract infections, also known as UTIs, affect your urinary tract, including the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra.
Women are at a higher risk of developing a UTI due to the unique shape of their urinary system. It enables bacteria to move more quickly up the urethra (the part of your urinary system that carries urine away from your bladder and out of your body). Since men have a longer urethra, they’re at a lower risk of contracting UTIs.
What causes a UTI?
UTIs are caused by bacteria entering the urethra and moving through your urinary tract. In most cases, bacteria are flushed out of your system when you urinate, but sometimes your body can’t eliminate the bacteria.
You can develop a UTI from an infection in your:
Kidney infections can lead to serious complications and cause symptoms like shaking, chills, high fever, nausea, vomiting, and pain in your back or sides.
A bladder infection often leads to abdominal pain, pelvic pressure, or painful and bloody urine.
Urethra infections develop from inflammation or irritation in the tube that carries urine away from your bladder to the outside of your body. They often lead to a burning sensation while urinating.
What are some signs and symptoms of a UTI?
Some people might not have symptoms, while others experience symptoms such as:
- Frequent urination but a small amount of urine discharge
- Cloudy urine
- Strong-smelling urine
- Pelvic pain
- Burning sensation while urinating
- Red, bright pink, or brown urine (urine that contains blood)
Symptoms vary from person to person, depending on the severity of their UTI and which part of their urinary system is affected.
How are UTIs treated?
UTIs are often treated with antibiotics to help the body fight off bacterial infections. You may also be advised to drink plenty of water. Many patients find that a heating pad can help to relieve some of the discomfort associated with a UTI.
How do you test for a UTI?
If you are concerned that you have an infection, please call Flagstaff Surgical Associates to schedule an urgent appointment (same-day appointments are typically available). At that appointment, your provider will order a urinalysis and, when indicated, send a urine culture (results in 2-4 days) or a more sensitive urine PCR (results the next business day).
Your provider will typically prescribe antibiotics once the urine results are available, but when indicated, antibiotics will be prescribed at your initial appointment.
How can I prevent a UTI?
There are several steps you can take to reduce your risk of contracting a UTI. Flagstaff Surgical Associates recommend:
By keeping well hydrated, you’ll dilute your urine and need to pass urine more often. This helps to flush out bacteria.
Avoiding irritating products
Avoid using any irritating products that could enter the urethra. These may include bubble baths and feminine deodorant sprays. You may benefit from a nonbacterial growth-inducing birth control.
Additional personal hygiene tips to decrease the risk of developing a UTI include:
- Urinating after intercourse can help women decrease their frequency of infections
- Avoid feminine hygiene products which can cause irritation and sometimes introduce bacteria into the urine system (douches, etc.)
- Wipe front to back to avoid fecal contamination
If you have a UTI and need professional guidance and treatment, call Flagstaff Surgical Associates today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.