Every year in the United States, up to 10 million people develop a urinary tract infection (UTI). Although the problem affects men, women, and children alike, women are particularly susceptible — more than half of all women experience a UTI at least once in their lives. The top-rated team of physicians at the Associated Urologists of North Carolina provides comprehensive care for patients with UTIs at seven locations in Apex, Cary, Clayton, Clinton, Dunn, Raleigh, and Wake Forest, North Carolina. Call the office nearest you, or request an appointment online today.
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection that develops anywhere in your urinary tract, which includes your urethra, bladder, ureters, and kidneys. UTIs generally occur in the lower urinary tract or your urethra and bladder.
Most UTIs are caused by E. coli, a type of bacteria that lives in your gastrointestinal tract. If these bacteria make their way to your urethra, they can travel to your bladder and begin to multiply. This stage of infection is sometimes referred to as cystitis or a bladder infection.
UTI symptoms range from bothersome to severe and painful, depending on the extent of your infection. Many men and women with UTIs experience a strong, persistent urge to urinate, but they’re only able to pass a small amount of urine. Other symptoms include:
If you have red, pink, or light brown urine, you may be passing blood and should make an appointment with your doctor at the Associated Urologists of North Carolina as soon as possible. Likewise, if your UTI symptoms are accompanied by fever, fatigue, or weakness, you should seek prompt care.
If you experience two UTIs in six months, or three within a year, you have recurrent UTIs. Women are more likely to develop recurrent UTIs than men simply because their urethras are shorter and easier for bacteria to traverse.
Having an active sex life, changing sexual partners, using diaphragms or spermicides, and going through menopause can also increase a woman’s risk of developing recurrent UTIs.
Recurrent UTIs can also be a problem for women and men who have diabetes or any other chronic condition that inhibits or compromises immune system function.
Staying well-hydrated, heading to the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge to urinate, and draining your bladder completely every time you urinate can help reduce your risk of recurrent UTIs.
Before you can receive proper treatment for a UTI, your doctor at the Associated Urologists of North Carolina conducts an in-office urine analysis to evaluate your red and white blood cells and any bacteria that are present. A clinical urine culture helps reveal what type of bacteria is causing your UTI.
Antibiotics are the first line of defense against most UTIs. Simple UTIs may respond well to a short course of antibiotic medications, while complicated UTIs generally require a longer or more intensive course of antibiotics.
To learn more about UTI diagnosis or treatment, call your nearest Associated Urologists of North Carolina office today or use the online booking tool to schedule a visit at any time.