Symptoms Of A Urinary Tract Infection
Signs and symptoms of a urinary tract infection often vary from person to person. Factors such as age, gender and the type of UTI may determine precisely which symptoms are experienced and to what degree. However, there are some common symptoms to look out for as an indication of a urinary tract infection.
Burning Or Painful Urination
People with UTI often feel a burning sensation when they urinate. This symptom is one of the key signs that a person may have a urinary tract infection.
Burning urination or painful urination is medically known as dysuria. It can be caused by infectious and noninfectious conditions.
A urinary tract infection makes the lining of the bladder and urethra become red and irritated.
In addition to the burning sensation, there is also an itchy or stinging feeling as the urine comes out. The pain can be felt at the start of urination or after urination.
Pain is often felt in the urethra. These are the tubes that carry urine to the bladder. The pain can also extend to the area around the genitals.
What Is Urinary Tract Infection In Men
- A Urinary Tract Infection in Men is an infection that occurs within the urinary tract system, which consists of the urethra, bladder, ureter, and kidneys, as well as the prostate and testicles
- The infection is named after the location in the urinary tract, where it occurs:
- Infection of the ureter is urethritis
- Infection of the bladder is cystitis
- Infection of the prostate is prostatitis
- Infection of the testicles is orchitis
- Infection of the epididymis is epididymitis
- Infection of the kidneys is pyelonephritis
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Seek Medical Attention For Utis
It is important to seek medical attention if you think you may have a UTI particularly if you think you may have a bladder or kidney infection, both of which are very serious conditions. Early treatment of urinary infection can help to prevent infection spreading to the bladder or kidneys.
Your doctor will test your urine to check which micro-organism is present. Urinary tract infections usually respond quickly and well to antibiotics.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Kidney Infection
Symptoms usually develop quickly, over a few hours or so, and may include:
- Pain in a loin or flank. .
- High temperature which may cause shivers.
- Feeling sick and/or being sick .
- Blood in the urine.
- There will also usually be symptoms of a bladder infection for example, pain on passing urine, and going to the toilet often.
Not all of the symptoms may develop, and sometimes a kidney infection can just cause vague symptoms. For example, just feeling generally unwell but not being able to say why.
In older people a kidney infection may cause confusion. This is why a urine test is often done when an elderly person suddenly becomes confused or appears generally unwell.
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How Are Utis Treated
UTIs are treated with antibiotics. After several days of antibiotics, your doctor may repeat the urine tests to be sure that the infection is gone. It’s important to make sure of this because an incompletely treated UTI can come back or spread.
If someone has a lot of pain from a UTI, the doctor may recommend a medicine to help relieve the spasm and pain in the bladder. This will turn pee a bright orange color, but it’s harmless and will usually make a person much more comfortable within hours. In the case of a kidney infection, a doctor may prescribe pain medicine.
If you’ve finished all the medicine or if your symptoms aren’t much better after 2 to 3 days of treatment, contact your doctor.
Drink lots of water during and after treatment because each time you pee, the bladder cleanses itself a little bit more. Cranberry juice may also be helpful. Skip drinks that containe caffeine , such as soda and iced tea.
People who get a doctor’s help for a UTI right away should be clear of symptoms within a week. Someone with a more severe infection may need treatment in a hospital so they can get antibiotics by injection or IV .
A doctor may tell people with UTIs to avoid sex for a week or so, which lets the inflammation clear up completely.
Can Uti Cause Any Complications In Men
UTI rarely causes complications. If they occur, they may include:
- Infection of the kidney : If a lower UTI remains untreated for a long time, it can spread to the kidneys and result in pyelonephritis.
- Chronic kidney disease: Untreated kidney infection can result in permanent damage to the kidneys and lead to chronic kidney disease or kidney failure.
- : refers to widespread infection in the body and is a life-threatening condition. It may result from a kidney infection that has turned serious.
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Most Common Signs Of Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections are infections of any part of the urinary system, such as kidneys, bladder, ureters and urethra. UTIs typically occur when bacteria access the urinary tract via the urethra and start to multiply in the bladder. While the urinary system is equipped to keep out the bacteria, the systems defenses may sometimes fail and allow bacteria to take hold and multiply, resulting in a full-blown urinary tract infection. Abnormalities in the urinary tract that interfere with drainage of urine , foreign bodies in the bladder , diabetes, and immune-suppressing drugs and disorders increase the risk of urinary tract infections.
How common are urinary tract infections?
5 most common signs of urinary tract infection
Urinary tract infections are easy to treat when detected early, but untreated or undiagnosed UTI may lead to kidney damage. To help detect UTIs and seek early treatment, it is important to familiarize yourself with their most common signs.
Often, the most frequent sign of a urinary tract infection is a noticeable change in urination, such as frequent urination, burning sensation when passing urine or strong-smelling urine.
The most common signs of a UTI include:
What Causes Urinary Tract Infections
UTIs usually happen because bacteria enter the urethra, then make their way up into the bladder and cause an infection. Girls get UTIs much more often than guys, most likely due to differences in the shape and length of the urethra. Girls have shorter urethras than guys, and the opening lies closer to the anus and the vagina, where bacteria are likely to be.
Bacteria can get into the urethra several ways. During sex, for example, bacteria in the vaginal area may be pushed into the urethra and eventually end up in the bladder, where pee provides a good environment for the bacteria to grow. This is why females who are sexually active often get UTIs.
Bacteria may also get into a girl’s bladder if she wipes from back to front after a bowel movement , which can contaminate the urethral opening. The use of spermicides and diaphragms as contraceptives also may increase the risk of UTIs.
Sexually transmitted diseases may cause UTI-like symptoms, such as pain with peeing. This is due to the inflammation and irritation of the urethra or vagina that’s sometimes associated with chlamydia and other STDs. If untreated, STDs can lead to serious long-term problems, including pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility. Unlike UTIs, STDs are contagious.
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Types Of Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections can occur anywhere within the urinary tract, which includes the:
- Urethra, the tube that passes urine out of the body from the bladder. Infection of the urethra is also known as urethritis
- Bladder, the organ that collects and stores urine. Infection of the bladder is also known as cystitis
- Ureters, the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder
- Kidneys, the organs that filter blood, eliminating waste via the urine. Infection of one or both kidneys is also known as pyelonephritis
The majority of UTIs affect the bladder and/or the urethra. These are known as lower urinary tract infections.
However, the infection can also travel up the urinary tract to reach the kidneys. In rare cases, the ureters may also become infected. These are called upper urinary tract infections. They are less common than lower tract infections and tend to be more severe.
How Utis In Men Are Diagnosed
A urinary tract infection occurs when bacteria enters the urinary tract. In fact, according to the National Kidney Foundation, one particular bacteria, E. coli, causes 80 to 90 percent of all UTI cases.
Diagnosing a urinary tract infection in men is initially the same as it is for women, consisting of a urine culture. But because a UTI in a man is often considered complicated, according to Dr. Trost, additional testing is usually necessary to determine why he got a UTI.
This typically includes not only a urinary culture to confirm an infection, but also a special study to evaluate how much urine he leaves behind after urinating, and an imaging study, such as a CT scan, to evaluate for kidney stones or other anatomic abnormalities that may be causing this, he explains.
If a man has recurrent infections or infections with the same organism, or UTI-like symptoms without a positive urine culture, then further testing may be necessary.
Any man who suspects he may have a UTI should see his doctor right away so that he can begin treatment as soon as possible.
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How Is Uti In Males Diagnosed
Urine tests can confirm a diagnosis of UTI, typically a urine culture and sensitivity test to identify the bacteria that has caused the infection.
Further tests are usually not necessary but may be ordered if UTIs keep recurring or if there is a problem in one of the organs of the urinary tract system. Tests may include:
- Digital rectal examination, which looks for enlargement of the prostate gland or hard prostate
- Prostate-specific antigen blood test
- Ultrasound scan of the pelvis
- X-ray of the pelvis
- Urodynamic tests
Eat Healthy And Exercise
A healthy diet and exercise are two of the best ways for most everyone with SCI to boost their immune system. A healthy immune system helps you to fight off infections.
- Ask your health professional for advice before starting an exercise program or changing your diet.
- Consider taking vitamin and mineral supplements. Zinc magnesium and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, and E may help to boost your immune system. Ask your health professional for advice before taking any supplements.
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When To See A Professional
If you are experiencing the early signs of a UTI, see a doctor as soon as possible. Putting off a visit to the doctor if you have symptoms of a UTI will not only prolong your discomfort, but could also lead to complications. If detected early, a UTI is usually easy to treat and has no lasting effect on your urinary tract. However, if left untreated, a UTI can also affect your bladder and kidneys.
To help rid yourself of a painful UTI, contact the Urology Specialists of the Carolinas today for an appointment. A simple examination and urine or blood test could save you a lot of trouble in the long run. With a proper diagnosis and treatment plan, you will be on the road to recovery in no time.
In addition to seeing a professional, your nutrition and lifestyle play a huge role in a happy and healthy urinary tract system. Download our Nutrition and Lifestyle Guide to learn our top tips and tricks for maintaining and achieving optimal urology health.
This content was originally published in February 2015 and was refreshed in December 2020.
Condom Use During Sex
Non-lubricated latex condoms may increase friction and irritate the skin during sexual intercourse. This may increase the risk of a UTI.
To help prevent friction and skin irritation from condoms, be sure to use enough water-based lubricant during sex.
Avoid using condoms that have been coated with spermicide.
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How Is A Urinary Tract Infection Diagnosed How Do Healthcare Providers Test For A Uti In Toddlers
After interviewing you about your childs history and performing a physical examination, the healthcare provider may order the following tests:
- Urine tests like the leukocyte esterase and a urine culture to test for the presence of bacteria or white blood cells.
- Blood tests looking for infection or kidney function.
- Ultrasound or CT of the kidneys and bladder.
- Voiding cystourethrogram , which evaluates the bladder and urethra to detect vesicoureteral reflux .
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Eating Diet & Nutrition
Experts dont think eating, diet, and nutrition play a role in preventing or treating bladder infections. If you have any type of UTI, talk with a health care professional about how much to drink each day to help prevent or relieve your infection.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and other components of the National Institutes of Health conduct and support research into many diseases and conditions.
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Pregnancy And Urinary Tract Infections
Pregnant women with a UTI that develops into a kidney infection are at higher risk of developing additional complications, which may affect both them and the fetus. Such complications include anemia, premature labor, low birth weight and, in very rare cases, stillbirth.
Fortunately, early medical intervention means that urinary tract infections in pregnant women can usually be treated successfully. If the affected person has a lower urinary tract infection, a course of oral antibiotics is the most common treatment method. If an upper urinary tract infection is suspected, the doctor may recommend administering antibiotics intravenously in hospital instead.
Once the infection has cleared, a doctor may choose to prescribe low-level, prophylactic antibiotics for the remainder of the pregnancy to reduce the risk of a UTI returning.
Pregnancy can increase the likelihood of developing a UTI. This is due to numerous factors, including hormonal changes and the increased weight of the uterus putting pressure on the bladder.
Preventing Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are most often caused by bacteria spreading from the anal or genital region and entering the urinary tract. Because of this, there are a number of preventative methods that can minimize the risk of experiencing a UTI:
- Regular urination
- Emptying the bladder after sexual intercourse
- Drinking lots of water, ideally at least 1.5 liters a day. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can irritate the bladder
- Wiping from front to back after using the toilet to avoid spreading bacteria from the anal region
- Maintaining good personal hygiene and keeping the genital area clean and dry
- Taking showers instead of baths
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What Is My Risk For Uti
Anyone can get UTI. However, people with SCI have a higher risk than normal.
- People with SCI who use an indwelling Foley or suprapubic catheter may be at higher risk for UTI than those who use a clean intermittent catheterization technique or have an external sheath or condom catheter.
- Talk to your health professional about lowering your risk for UTI if you average more than one UTI per year. Your health professional may suggest another method of bladder management that works better for you.
How Can It Be Diagnosed And Treated
Initial confirmation of having a UTI and its responsible bacteria is by performing a urine test. Your doctor will start you on antibiotics once its confirmed.
Further investigations to find underlying cause is performed by a urologist. Apart from physical examination, a number of tests are required such as:
- An ultrasound of the urinary tract.
- A CT scan and cystoscopy .
- Treatment is successful, once the underlying cause is removed.
If youre looking for expert assistance regarding a UTI, make an appointment with Mr Virdi via his Top Doctors profile.
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