If you’re experiencing changes to your bladder functions, a urinary tract infection may be to blame. More than 50% of women will experience a UTI at some point in their lives. At Gaia Urology P.C., in Amesbury and Danvers, Massachusetts, Susan Pursell, MD, provides accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment for patients experiencing urinary tract infections. To schedule your visit, book an appointment by phone today.
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a bacterial infection that can affect any part of the urinary tract, including the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. The most common is a bladder infection.
UTIs occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract, typically through the urethra. Because of the short length of the female urethra, women are at a higher risk of UTIs than men.
The most common symptoms of a UTI include, but are not limited to:
Urinary tract infections can be quite painful, depending on the severity of your infection. If left untreated, UTIs can result in permanent kidney damage or urethral scarring.
The team at Gaia Urology typically UTIS using urine tests. There are two kinds of urine tests:
A urinalysis is used to look for signs of bacteria, blood cells or other abnormalities. A UTI is only one thing that can cause abnormalities, so a culture is needed to confirm that there is an infection.
A urine culture is a lab test where the lab grows the bacteria from urine in a broth (culture). Once the bacteria have multiplied, the lab can identify what type of bacteria is growing in your urine.
The lab can also test different antibiotics against the bacteria (sensitivities), so the doctor can be sure to use the right antibiotic for your case.
Most UTIs can be effectively treated with oral antibiotics. Symptoms usually clear up within the first few days of treatment. But in the cases of severe or resistant infections, IV antibiotics, or even hospitalization may be necessary.
If you suffer from recurrent infections other treatment options may be offered, like local estrogen therapy, urine acidification or (rarely) low dose daily antibiotics.
To find out if these treatments might help you, schedule a visit with the Gaia Urology team.
The team at Gaia Urology recommends any or all of the following steps to help reduce your risk of infection:
Drink plenty of fluids
Empty your bladder after intercourse
Timed voiding (don’t hold your bladder more than three hours while awake)
Wipe the bowel away from the urethra
If you are experiencing the symptoms of a UTI, book an appointment with the medical team at Gaia Urology PC by phone today.