Providing New Orleans residents with health awareness
Urinary tract infections (UTI) account for millions of doctor visits each year. They are among the most common infections and affect approximately 20% of women. When bacteria are able to multiply at the opening of the urethra, they can travel into the urethra or into the bladder, likely causing an infection. The Urology department at West Jefferson Medical Center deals with UTI cases frequently and can help.
What is a UTI?
Infections in the urinary tract are caused by the production and proliferation of bacteria. When these bacteria enter the body in this way, they can elicit a response that causes pain and discomfort. If the body’s urinary system is functioning properly, it will expel waste products through excess water and keep this bacteria out. However, if there is blockage in the bladder or urethra, a patient is more likely to have an infection. Those who have had a UTI are also more likely to have another later on.
Symptoms of a UTI can be:
- Frequent need to urinate
- Burning sensation during urination
- Overall fatigue and sickness
- Lack of appetite
- Small amounts of urine during voiding
Diagnosis & treatment of UTI
Doctors will need a urine sample to detect an infection. As it is important that the bacteria outside the urethra not enter the sample, they will collect a sample taken midstream and examine it in a laboratory setting to check for antibodies and other signs of infection. If further examination is required, it may be done via ultrasound.
Treatments for UTI are typically drug-based. If there is an obstruction along the urinary tract, however, there may need to be more significant procedures performed. Provided that the medication works, a UTI will clear up usually in no more than a couple of days.
As the issue with infections along the urinary tract involve stagnant bacteria, making the right lifestyle changes could be pivotal in reducing the occurrence of UTIs.
Some steps to prevent suffering from a UTI include:
- Drinking at least two quarts of water every day
- Avoid douching or using other feminine hygiene sprays as they can cause irritation
- Shower instead of taking baths
- Cleanse genital are before sex and urinate after
- Urinate when you feel the urge rather than holding it
- When wiping, do so away from the vagina to avoid transmission of bacteria
- Drink cranberry juice to help with UTI symptoms