Urinary tract infections (UTI) are a very common condition that tends to affect women more often than men. The proximity of the urethra to the anus, as well as the shortness of the urethra make women more vulnerable to a bacterial infection. The bacteria can easily spread from the urethra to the bladder, and even up to the kidneys if left untreated.
The cause of a urinary tract infection is typically due to the following:
Some women experience recurrent UTI for an unknown reason.
There are several factors that can increase your risk for UTI, including pregnancy, menopause, sexual activity, urinary catheter use, and a history of having a UTI.
A severe urinary tract infection can spread from the urethra to the bladder, and into the kidneys. Left untreated, this can cause scarring and damage to the kidneys. Rarely, a UTI may result in sepsis, a reaction by your entire body to the uncontrolled bacterial infection. This can require hospitalization, and may even result in death. Having a UTI may also make you more vulnerable to UTI in the future.
In pregnant women, urinary tract infections can result in a premature birth, or low birth weight.
If you suspect you may be having a urinary tract infection, it's a good idea to consult with your doctor. He or she can help recognize your symptoms and recommend the best treatment. The physicians at Magee Women's Hospital of UPMC specialize in care for women, and are conveniently located with more than 30 locations throughout western Pennsylvania.
To make an appointment, or for more information about any of our services, please call 1-866-MyMagee (696-2433).
You might have a UTI if you are experiencing the following symptoms:
Fortunately, UTI is easy to diagnose with a simple urine test. You will be asked to provide a urine sample that will either be submitted to a laboratory, or will be tested on a special test strip in the doctor's office. A physical exam, looking for pain in the abdomen or lower back, will also be done, as well as taking your temperature.
If you have recurrent UTI, your doctor may recommend more in-depth testing to determine the cause.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of UTI, you should consult with your doctor as soon as possible. You can request an appointment with the expert doctors at Magee Womens Hospital of UPMC who will thoroughly assess your symptoms and get you the care that you deserve.
If you are diagnosed with UTI, it's likely that your doctor will prescribe an oral antibiotic to help kill the bacteria. More severe infections that result in sepsis or a bladder infection may need to be treated with intravenous antibiotics.
In addition to antibiotics, your doctor may advise you to drink plenty of water, and urinate frequently, completely emptying your bladder each time.
If symptoms do not resolve, you may be required to do further tests, or take a different form of antibiotic to prevent complications.
Antibiotics can occasionally cause allergic reactions in some people, so if you are having a reaction to the antibiotic, inform your doctor right away. If you are having an anaphylactic reaction (swelling of the throat preventing breathing) call 911.
Also, antibiotics may kill helpful bacteria in the vagina and perianal area. This can increase your likelihood of getting an overgrowth of yeast, resulting in a yeast infection. An antifungal can be used to treat this side effect of antibiotic use.
Magee Womens Hospital of UPMC is consistently ranked in the top gynecological hospitals in the U.S. You can expect competent, compassionate care from our medical professionals.
University of Pittsburgh Physicians Division of Gynecologic Specialties
300 Halket St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences |
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