What is a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)?
A urinary tract infection is an infection caused when bacteria from the rectal area or colon (typically E. Coli) enters through the urethra and sticks to the bladder walls. As the bacteria builds up, it causes an infection. Contrary to popular belief, both men and women can contract a UTI; however it is more common in women. Females between the ages of 16 and 35 are the most susceptible, while men who are older than 55 are more typical male candidates. A UTI can be contracted by wiping back to front, holding urine for too long, or by having sexual intercourse. Women who use diaphragms or have a loss of estrogen are more at risk of contracting a UTI, as well as anyone with diabetes or a catheter in place.
What Are the Symptoms of a Urinary Tract Infection?
Common symptoms of a UTI are:
- Pain or stinging with passing urine
- Frequent small amounts of urine leakage
- An increased urge to urinate
- Urine that is cloudy or red, bright pink, or cola colored (from blood entering the urine)
- Strong smell
- Pelvic pain (women)
- Rectal pain (men)
What Should I Do If I Have A UTI?
If you think you have contracted a urinary tract infection, you should schedule an appointment with the Urology Specialists today. They will administer a simple test. It involves taking a urine sample and having it tested in a lab. If you wait too long to treat a urinary tract infection, the infection can spread to your kidneys. If this occurs, the situation becomes much more serious.
The treatment is not difficult. Typically, UTI’s are treated by an oral antibiotic over a three-day period with results showing up to 36 hours after starting treatment. In order to prevent UTI’s, you should drink lots of fluids, especially pure cranberry juice. Other ways of prevention include:
- Choosing showers over baths
- Urinating after sexual intercourse
- Cleansing genitalia before sex
- Making sure you empty your bladder each time you urinate
- Wearing clothing that will keep your genitalia dry