Some 40% of women will have symptoms associated with urinary tract infection (UTIs) at least once in their lifetime. Bacteria entering the urinary tract cause symptoms. If the infection spreads to the kidneys, it is called pyelonephritis.
“UTI’s occur in both men and women but are 4 time more common in women due to their anatomy,” said McLeod Urologist Dr. Kelly Maloney. “Bacteria have an easier time moving up a woman’s shorter urethra tube into the bladder.”
These symptoms may be seen in other conditions and do not always mean a UTI is present, but the most common signs of a UTI are:
In addition to being a female, other key risk factors are:
It is very important to obtain a urine culture to determine if bacteria is present and, if so, what type. This helps determine the appropriate treatment or therapy.
Most patients will respond to a course of antibiotics. The type and treatment duration depend upon results of the culture and associated medical conditions the patient may have.
Some patients will require further evaluation with an imaging scan of the kidneys (X-ray, ultrasound or CT scan) in addition to an in office test, called a cystoscopy, to look inside the bladder.
In some cases, a UTI will be caused by conditions other than bacteria and won’t require antibiotics.
ACTION YOU CAN TAKE TO PREVENT UTIs
Prompt evaluation by your doctor should be performed if you have signs/symptoms of a UTI. Failure to treat a UTI can result in more serious conditions.
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