Urine And Blood Culture
The purpose of urine culture is to identify bacteriuria and determine sensitivity to antibiotics. A bacterial count of 105 CFU/mL is usually considered significant bacteriuria, but lower counts can also be relevant in patients with symptoms of UTI. The diagnosis of UTI cannot be solely based on urine culture as bacteriuria may be present in asymptomatic patients as discussed above. In older adults, the rate of ASB is so high that bacteriuria cannot be considered an abnormal finding. The only occasions where etiological predictive values indicated a correlation between symptoms and UTI were presence of Escherichia coli in the urine and mental state changes for at least 1 month but < 3 months.
Thus, requests for urine culture in older people should be limited to two situations. The first is patients with acute urinary symptoms typical of a urinary tract infection, to confirm susceptibility to empirical antibiotic treatment. The second is patients who are unable to provide a history of acute urinary symptoms but have features of systemic inflammation and no other more likely source of infection or explanation for their acute illness.
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Why Do Women Get Urinary Tract Infections More Often Than Men
Women tend to get urinary tract infections more often than men because bacteria can reach the bladder more easily in women. The urethra is shorter in women than in men, so bacteria have a shorter distance to travel.
The urethra is located near the rectum in women. Bacteria from the rectum can easily travel up the urethra and cause infections. Bacteria from the rectum is more likely to get into the urethra if you wipe from back to front after a bowel movement. Be sure to teach children how to wipe correctly.
Having sex may also cause urinary tract infections in women because bacteria can be pushed into the urethra. Using a diaphragm can lead to infections because diaphragms push against the urethra and make it harder to completely empty your bladder. The urine that stays in the bladder is more likely to grow bacteria and cause infections.
Frequent urinary tract infections may be caused by changes in the bacteria in the vagina. Antibacterial vaginal douches, spermicides, and certain oral antibiotics may cause changes in vaginal bacteria. Avoid using these items, if possible. Menopause can also cause changes in vaginal bacteria that increase your risk for urinary tract infection. Taking estrogen usually corrects this problem but may not be for everyone.
Myth: Hygiene Habits And Clothing Fit Contribute To Utis
You may have heard that certain hygiene practices are risk factors for UTIs, particularly for women. But UTIs are not caused by how you wipe in the bathroom, by tampon use or by failing to empty your bladder after sexual intercourse. Theyre also not caused by wearing tight clothes.
A lot of women express concern about these, said Dr. Dielubanza. But studies have shown there is no association between these practices and UTIs.
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Some Myth Some Truth: Sexual Activity
Sexual intercourse indeed can be a strong trigger for a UTI, as can any activity that has the potential for putting infection-causing bacteria near the urethra.
Your partners anatomy can act as a ladder for infection of the urethra with bacteria that usually live in the bowel, said Dr. Dielubanza.
Use of spermicides with or without barrier contraceptives has been shown to increase the risk of urinary tract infections in sexually active women. Women may consider an alternative contraceptive regimen if they experience UTIs after intercourse.
What Are Risk Factors For Recurrent Utis
Having had a UTI in the past
Incomplete emptying of the bladder, such as after menopause
A weakened immune system
The influence of these risk factors also differs for women depending on their age. In young, pre-menopausal women, the most common risk factor for recurrent UTIs is frequency of sexual intercourse. Having sex more than 9 times a month makes them twice as likely to have recurrent UTIs compared to having sex 4 to 8 times in a month.
In postmenopausal women, the strongest risk factor is related to the ability to empty the bladder. If you have urinary incontinence or a condition that keeps you from being able to completely empty your bladder, your risk of recurrent UTIs is higher.
If you have recurrent UTIs, your healthcare provider may suggest antibiotics for prevention. That means youd be taking an antibiotic regularly to prevent another UTI, rather than treat an existing one.
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When Should You Call Your Doctor
An immediate visit to a physician is warranted if you have a fever, flank pain, flu-like symptoms, or four-smelling vaginal discharge. These may be signs that your body may be fighting more than an uncomplicated UTI. Contrary to a common assumption among patients, the smell or appearance of urine by itself is not a reliable measure of infection, said Dr. Dielubanza.
Here she addresses some other common myths and truths about UTIs.
Are Utis Caused By Bacteria Or Viruses
Most UTIs are caused by bacteria, and E. coli is the most common culprit. Some UTIs are fungal, in which case theyre usually caused by the Candida fungus. UTIs can also be viral, but viral UTIs are rare.
Since the urethra is open to the outside of your body, bacteria or other germs can enter your urethra and travel up the urinary tract to your bladder.
Symptoms of a bladder infection can include:
A constant urge to pee
A painful, burning sensation when urinating
Peeing only small amounts of urine at a time
Bloody or cloudy urine
Pressure or discomfort in the pelvis
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The Other Two Reasons That Are Not So Common For Urinary Infections Men Are As Follows:
- Diabetes- Men who are diabetic have poor blood circulation that increases the risk of developing urinary infections. Also, of course, high blood sugar levels contribute majorly to developing UTIs in men. It is because while passing urine, some remnants of urine remain on the penis, the high sugar content allows the bacteria to thrive and result in a urinary tract infection.
- Indulging in anal sex, – Especially, the E. coli bacteria found in the anus, when enters the urinary system makes a person prone to developing a urinary infection.
Other Ways To Prevent Recurring Utis
If you have more than 3 UTIs in 1 year, or 2 UTIs in 6 months, there are other things that may help prevent UTIs.
There is some evidence that women under 65 years old who keep getting UTIs may find it helpful to take:
- a supplement called D-mannose this is not recommended for pregnant women
- cranberry products, such as juice or tablets
Speak to your doctor before taking any of these during pregnancy.
Be aware that D-mannose and cranberry products can contain a lot of sugar.
Page last reviewed: 18 November 2020 Next review due: 18 November 2023
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Treatment Of Urinary Tract Infections
Doctors treat the upper and lower urinary tract infections with antibiotics. Laboratory testing can also determine the best antibiotic for the treatment.
Most of the uncomplicated lower tract infections can be treated with the help of a three-day process but for women who are pregnant or suffering from diseases such as diabetes should take the antibiotics for longer.
People suffering from the upper tract infections are treated with a 14-day course of antibiotic therapy. Those having upper tract infections may require hospital treatment with the antibiotics which are given through the vein.
This is true if there is an increase in vomiting and fever increases the risk of dehydration and it prevents the person from taking the oral antibiotics.
Video Answer: Urinary Tract Infection In Dogs Signs And Symptoms
Antibiotics for dogs and cats, like Cephalexin or Clavamox, are the most common treatment for UTIs due to their ability to destroy and inhibit the growth of bacteria.
Some veterinarians recommend a follow-up urine culture after antibiotic treatment is complete to confirm that the infection has been eradicated.
Urinary tract infections are common in dogs and often result from entry of bacteria into the urinary tract through the urethra. This mostly occurs when its health is compromised. They are quite uncomfortable for dogs and can even result in health complications and sometimes death if left untreated.
The most common cause of UTIs in dogs is bacteria, which enters upwards through the urethral opening.
The bacteria can develop when feces or debris enter the area, or if your dog’s immune system is weakened from lack of nutrients.
In most cases, E. coli is the bacterium that causes such infections.
Any dog breed can get a urinary tract infection, but breeds such as Shih Tzu, Bichon Frise, and Yorkshire Terriers are predisposed to urinary tract stones, a similar condition. Female dogs are prone to these infections male dogs have a longer urethra, meaning bacteria takes longer to travel upwards.
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Myths And Truths About Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are one of the most common infections in women.
A UTI can occur anywhere along the urinary tract, including in the kidneys and along the tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder. More commonly, though, infections involve the lower urinary tract: the bladder and the urethra tube that empties urine .
After Youve Had One Your Risk For Having Recurrent Utis Increases With Each Uti You Have And 27 Percent Of Women Have More Than Two Utis Every Year
Ladies: Most of us have had a urinary tract infection at least once. If you havent, theres a pretty good chance you will. The National Kidney Foundation states one in five women will have at least one UTI in her lifetime. After youve had one, your risk for having recurrent UTIs increases with each UTI you have. And 27 percent of women have more than two UTIs every year.
What Can You Do If You Keep Getting Utis
If you keep getting UTIs, you must talk to your doctor. After talking with you, your doctor will either recommend treatments for recurring urinary infections or send you to a special doctor called a urologist. A urologist focuses on diseases and problems of the entire urinary system, so he may be able to better pinpoint what is causing your infections and how to treat and prevent them.In addition to the tips mentioned above, you can also take some other simple steps to help prevent UTIs, such as:
- Drink plenty of water.
What Are The Complications Of Untreated Utis In Women
- Recurrent UTIs, especially in women who experience 2 or more UTIs in 6 months or 4 or more UTIs within a year
- Preterm delivery or low-birth-weight infant
- , especially if the infection spreads from the urinary tract to the kidneys
Are Some Women More At Risk For Utis
- Are sexually active. Sexual activity can move germs that cause UTIs from other areas, such as the vagina, to the urethra.
- Use a diaphragm for birth control or use spermicides with a diaphragm or with condoms. Spermicides can kill good bacteria that protect you from UTIs.
- Are pregnant. Pregnancy hormones can change the bacteria in the urinary tract, making UTIs more likely. Also, many pregnant women have trouble completely emptying the bladder, because the uterus with the developing baby sits on top of the bladder during pregnancy. Leftover urine with bacteria in it can cause a UTI.
- Have gone through menopause. After menopause, loss of the hormone estrogen causes vaginal tissue to become thin and dry. This can make it easier for harmful bacteria to grow and cause a UTI.
- Have diabetes, which can lower your immune system and cause nerve damage that makes it hard to completely empty your bladder
- Have any condition, like a kidney stone, that may block the flow of urine between your kidneys and bladder
- Have or recently had a catheter in place. A catheter is a thin tube put through the urethra into the bladder. Catheters drain urine when you cannot pass urine on your own, such as during surgery.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Uti
One of the most common symptoms of a UTI is a frequent and urgent need to pee. You might feel like you need to pee all the time, even if you just went. Other UTI symptoms include:
pain or burning when you pee
bad-smelling or cloudy urine
blood or pus in your urine
soreness, pressure, or cramps in your lower belly, back, or sides
If the infection goes to your kidneys, your UTI symptoms may also include:
pain in your mid-back
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What Is A Urinary Tract Infection
If you’re a woman, your chance of getting a urinary tract infection is high. Some experts rank your lifetime risk of getting one as high as 1 in 2, with many women having repeat infections, sometimes for years. About 1 in 10 men will get a UTI in their lifetime.
Here’s how to handle UTIs and how to make it less likely you’ll get one in the first place.
Why Are Women And Older Adults More At Risk
E. coli or other bacteria cause UTIs, which are infections in your kidneys, bladder, ureters or urethra. Unfortunately, women are more likely to get them mainly because of their anatomy.
A womans urethra is shorter than a mans and closer to the anus. The urethra is also close to the vagina, which can collect bacteria during sex. So bacteria from both the anus and vagina have easy access to a womans urinary tract.
Post-menopausal women are also at higher risk because pH changes in the vagina make it more susceptible to infection.
Both men and women are more likely to get UTIs as they age. Certain medical conditions, such as bladder prolapse in women and enlarged prostate in men, cause incomplete bladder emptying in older adults. Urine that stays in your bladder too long can encourage bacteria to grow.
Some newer diabetic drugs can also promote sugar in the urine and create conditions ideal for a UTI, Dr. Vasavada adds.
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Risk Factors For Uti In Children
UTIs occur more often in girls, especially when toilet training begins. Girls are more susceptible because their urethras are shorter and closer to the anus. This makes it easier for bacteria to enter the urethra. Uncircumcised boys under 1 year old also have a slightly higher risk of UTIs.
The urethra doesnt normally harbor bacteria. But certain circumstances can make it easier for bacteria to enter or remain in your childs urinary tract. The following factors can put your child at a higher risk for a UTI:
- a structural deformity or blockage in one of the organs of the urinary tract
- abnormal function of the urinary tract
- vesicoureteral reflux, a birth defect that results in the abnormal backward flow of urine
- the use of bubbles in baths
- tight-fitting clothes
Youre Using Certain Methods Of Birth Control
When it comes to UTI prevention, not all birth control methods are created equal. Luckily, only one method is associated with UTIs: a diaphragm.
Because of where the diaphragm sits, it puts pressure on the urethra, which might lead to an increased risk, says Minkin. The good news? There are plenty of other great birth control options.
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Why Do Utis Return Despite Treatment
There are about a half-dozen oral antibiotics that treat UTIs. Sometimes a doctor will prescribe one drug, then switch to another after a urine culture identifies which bacteria is at work. Adjusting the medication can take time, and recurrent infections may occur in the meantime.
Sometimes a person starts to feel better and decides to stops taking the antibiotic contrary to the doctors instructions and another infection soon follows. Its never a good idea to stop taking antibiotics before your dosage is complete.
But even people who take medication as the doctor prescribes may get recurrent infections, Dr. Vasavada says.
If youre a younger woman who is sexually active, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic to take before and after sexual activity. For post-menopausal women, a vaginal estrogen cream may help reduce infections.
If infections persist, your doctor may test for other health problems in the kidney, bladder or other parts of the urinary system.
Im Pregnant How Will A Uti Affect My Baby
If you have a UTI and it isnt treated, it may lead to a kidney infection. Kidney infections may cause early labor. Fortunately, asymptomatic bacteriuria and bladder infections are usually found and treated before the kidneys become infected. If your doctor treats a urinary tract infection early and properly, it wont hurt your baby.
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