Learn More About UTIs
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the most common outpatient infections, affecting about half of all adult women in their lifetime. Men can also get UTIs, but this is less common. The infection may start as just a nuisance, but it can become a real health issue if left untreated. Let’s dig into the symptoms, causes, and what you can do about a urinary tract infection.
What is a UTI?
A UTI is a bacterial infection in your urinary system, which comprises two main parts: the bladder, a sac that holds urine until it’s ready for elimination, and the urethra, a small tube that funnels urine out of the body.
UTIs come in two basic forms. Cystitis is a bladder infection, and urethritis is a urethra infection. Ignoring either can lead to a more severe kidney infection, making early identification and treatment crucial.
What Causes a UTI?
Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria from the genital or anal areas migrate into the urinary tract. You don’t need to be sexually active to develop a UTI, but intercourse can certainly exacerbate the problem. UTIs can also be triggered by other factors such as obesity, diabetes, and certain contraceptives like spermicides or diaphragms. Some people even get UTIs from kidney stones or other obstructions in the urinary tract.
Spotting the Symptoms of an Urinary Tract Infection
Recognizing a UTI early can make all the difference. One symptom is an overwhelming urge to urinate frequently, even if you just went to the bathroom. Here are some other indicators to watch out for:
- A burning sensation during urination
- Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
- Blood or pus in the urine
- Pain or cramps in the lower abdomen, back, or sides
If the UTI progresses to affect your kidneys, you might also experience:
- Mid-back pain
- Fever and chills
- Nausea and vomiting
- General fatigue
Finding Relief from a UTI
Once you suspect a urinary tract infection, consult a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis, which usually starts with a urinalysis. Treatment predominantly involves antibiotics to wipe out the infection. While most symptoms should vanish within a few days, you must complete your antibiotic course to eliminate the bacteria and prevent a recurrence.
How to Stop a UTI Before it Starts
Nobody wants to deal with recurring urinary tract infections, but the good news is there are ways to stave them off. Simple measures like staying hydrated, urinating before the urge becomes unbearable, and maintaining genital hygiene go a long way. Also, using barriers like condoms during sexual activity can minimize bacterial transfer.
Visit Village Emergency Centers for UTI Treatment
When you’re dealing with a urinary tract infection, the last thing you want is to sit in a waiting room. At Village Emergency Centers, our board-certified doctors are ready to treat you around the clock, with virtually no wait times. Plus, our facilities offer rapid lab results and fast admission and discharge, all while being in network with most major insurance providers. Our six convenient locations in the Greater Houston Area mean we’re always within reach. For more information, please visit our website and find a Village near you.