What Is The Prognosis For A Person With A Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections typically respond very well to treatment. A UTI can be uncomfortable before you start treatment, but once your healthcare provider identifies the type of bacteria and prescribes the right antibiotic medication, your symptoms should improve quickly. Its important to keep taking your medication for the entire amount of time your healthcare provider prescribed. If you have frequent UTIs or if your symptoms arent improving, your provider may test to see if its an antibiotic-resistant infection. These are more complicated infections to treat and may require intravenous antibiotics or alternative treatments.
Are Urinary Tract Infections Contagious
No. Urinary tract infections are not contagious.
- Lower abdominal pain or pelvic pressure or pain
- Mild fever , chills, and “just not feeling well”
- Urethra : Burning with urination
Upper urinary tract infection
Symptoms develop rapidly and may or may not include the symptoms of a lower urinary tract infection.
- Fairly high fever
- Shaking chills
- Flank pain: pain in the back or side, usually on only one side at about waist level
In newborns, infants, children, and elderly people, the classic symptoms of a urinary tract infection may not be present. Other symptoms may indicate a urinary tract infection.
- Newborns: fever or hypothermia , poor feeding, jaundice
- Infants: vomiting, diarrhea, fever, poor feeding, not thriving
- Children: irritability, eating poorly, unexplained fever that doesn’t go away, loss of bowel control, loose bowels, change in urination pattern
- Elderly people: fever or hypothermia, poor appetite, lethargy, change in mental status
Pregnant women are at increased risk for a UTI. Typically, pregnant women do not have unusual or unique symptoms. If a woman is pregnant, her urine should be checked during prenatal visits because an unrecognized infection can cause pregnancy health complications.
Although most people have symptoms of a urinary tract infection, some do not.
When Should I Call A Doctor For A Urinary Tract Infection
Sometimes, the bodys natural immune system fights off the infection quickly without medical intervention. Most urinary tract infections, however, will not resolve themselves, and they can become severe quickly. If symptoms persist for more than a few days, its a good idea to speak with a doctor and begin taking antibiotics. There are some over-the-counter test strips that can help identify the presence of bacteria in the urine if you wish to check for an infection before pursuing medical care.
If your primary symptom is frequent urination accompanied by burning, you may wish to try an over-the-counter remedy for a few days. Beware, however, that drugs like AZO can suppress the symptoms of a UTI without treating its cause, which may actually worsen the infection. Always use caution when using any home remedies without antibiotics.
If you develop lower back pain or pelvic pain in conjunction with a fever or nausea, be sure to get medical assistance right away. These are signs of a severe infection that has spread to the kidneys. Left untreated, this infection may cause kidney damage and ultimately lead to kidney failure. It could also release the bacteria into your bloodstream, leading to a life-threatening infection.
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How Can I Prevent Chronic Urinary Tract Infections
- Keep your genital area clean
- Wipe from front to back after a bowel movement
- Drink plenty of fluids, particularly water, to flush bacteria out of your urinary system
- Urinate immediately after intercourse to help eliminate any bacteria
- Use forms of birth control other than a diaphragm and spermicides
- Avoid douches, powder and deodorant sprays
- Wear un-dyed, full cotton underwear
Other prevention measures being studied include drinking cranberry juice and, for women past menopause, the use of estrogen cream or pills.
Diagnosing A Urinary Tract Infection In Older Adults
Vague, uncommon symptoms such as confusion make UTIs challenging to diagnose in many older adults. Once your doctor suspects a UTI, its easily confirmed with a simple urinalysis.
Your doctor may perform a urine culture to determine the type of bacteria causing the infection and the best antibiotic to treat it.
There are home UTI tests that check urine for nitrates and leukocytes. Both are often present in UTIs. Because bacteria are often in the urine of older adults to some degree, these tests arent always accurate. Call your doctor if you take a home test and get a positive result.
Antibiotics are the treatment of choice for UTIs in older adults and younger people. Your doctor may prescribe amoxicillin and nitrofurantoin .
More severe infections may require a broad-spectrum antibiotic such as ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin .
You should start antibiotics as soon as possible and take them for the entire duration of treatment as prescribed by your doctor. Stopping treatment early, even if symptoms resolve, increases the risks of recurrence and antibiotic resistance.
Antibiotic overuse also increases your risk for antibiotic resistance. For this reason, your doctor will likely prescribe the shortest treatment course possible. Treatment typically lasts no more than 7 days, and your infection should clear up in a few days.
Its important to drink plenty of water during treatment to help flush out the remaining bacteria.
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How Are Chronic Urinary Tract Infections Diagnosed
Prompt diagnosis is key to treating chronic urinary tract infections. Testing may be performed to help rule out other conditions. Diagnostic testing may include:
- Urinalysis. To look for the presence of bacteria and red or white blood cells
- Urine culture. To determine which bacteria are present and possibly test different antibiotics
- Imaging. To view the health of the urinary tract , including CT scan, ultrasound, and x-ray: a special dye is used in some cases to aid in imaging
- Cystoscopy. Use of a scope to view inside the bladder and urethra and check for abnormalities
Synthetic Antibiotics Derived From Dyes
Synthetic antibiotic chemotherapy as a science and development of antibacterials began in Germany with in the late 1880s. Ehrlich noted certain dyes would color human, animal, or bacterial cells, whereas others did not. He then proposed the idea that it might be possible to create chemicals that would act as a selective drug that would bind to and kill bacteria without harming the human host. After screening hundreds of dyes against various organisms, in 1907, he discovered a medicinally useful drug, the first synthetic antibacterial , now called arsphenamine.
The first and the first systemically active antibacterial drug, , was developed by a research team led by in 1932 or 1933 at the Laboratories of the conglomerate in Germany, for which Domagk received the 1939 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Sulfanilamide, the active drug of Prontosil, was not patentable as it had already been in use in the dye industry for some years. Prontosil had a relatively broad effect against , but not against . Research was stimulated apace by its success. The discovery and development of this sulfonamide opened the era of antibacterials.
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What Should I Do
The first thing you should do upon realizing you have a UTI is seeking out medical attention. Have your doctortest your urine for UTIand listen to the doctors recommendations and advice. The typical course of action will be to takeantibioticsin order to fight the infection. Cranberry is often recommended as it seems to fight the bacteria that tends to cause UTIs but do not expect cranberry juice to be a cure.
If you think you might be suffering from a UTI, contactUrgentMEDto get evaluated. We pride ourselves on our convenience, efficiency, and cost. Our 18 walk-in urgent clinics are conveniently located throughout Southern California, providing fast, professional service without a long wait. Visit us at the location closest to you today.
Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms And Signs
Symptoms of a urinary tract infection are similar in men, women, and children.
- Early symptoms and signs are usually easy to recognize and primarily involve pain, discomfort, or burning when trying to urinate.
- Accompanying this can be the sense that one needs to urinate urgently or the need for frequent urination . Even when there is a strong urge to urinate, you may pass only a small amount of urine.
- The urine itself may appear bloody or cloudy. Men may feel pain in the rectum, while women may experience pain around the pubic bone.
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How To Help Your Loved One Avoid Utis
Do you give the older adult in your life cranberry juice or probiotics to prevent a UTI? These products wont hurt them, but whether theyll help is unclear.
We dont have enough research to support their effectiveness in UTI prevention, although their medical benefits cant be ruled out completely, says Dr. Goldman.
Instead, he recommends these tried-and-true prevention strategies:
- Encourage sufficient fluid intake
- Promote genital and urinary hygiene
- Ask the doctor about low-dose vaginal cream for postmenopausal women
Dr. Goldman says researchers are also studying D-Mannose for UTI prevention. The supplement, which has few side effects, sticks to bladder receptors that normally attract the E. coli bacteria usually responsible for UTIs.
Researchers also believe D-Mannose may keep bad bacteria from colonizing the digestive tract, which can harbor the bacteria responsible for UTIs in women.
Following these tips should help your aging relative stay healthy, productive and out of the hospital.
How Are Utis In The Elderly Treated
Here comes some good news: after submitting to blood and urine tests and being diagnosed with a UTI, the treatment can be relatively easy. The majority of UTIs are cured by antibiotics and hydration to flush the bacteria out. This is much easier than in the past. UTIs were first documented in 1550 BC and up until the 1930s, they were treated by herbs and bloodletting!
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How To Feel Better
If your healthcare professional prescribes you antibiotics:
- Take antibiotics exactly as your healthcare professional tells you.
- Do not share your antibiotics with others.
- Do not save antibiotics for later. Talk to your healthcare professional about safely discarding leftover antibiotics.
Drink plenty of water or other fluids. Your healthcare professional might also recommend medicine to help lessen the pain or discomfort. Talk with your healthcare professional if you have any questions about your antibiotics.
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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Check If It’s A Urinary Tract Infection
Symptoms of a UTI may include:
- pain or a burning sensation when peeing
- needing to pee more often than usual during the night
- pee that looks cloudy
- needing to pee suddenly or more urgently than usual
- needing to pee more often than usual
- lower tummy pain or pain in your back, just under the ribs
- a high temperature, or feeling hot and shivery
- a very low temperature below 36C
Uti Tests And Diagnosis
If you suspect that you have a urinary tract infection, go to the doctor. You’ll give a urine sample to test for UTI-causing bacteria.
If you get frequent UTIs and your doctor suspects a problem in your urinary tract, they might take a closer look with an ultrasound, a CT scan, or an MRI scan. They might also use a long, flexible tube called a cystoscope to look inside your urethra and bladder.
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Does Cranberry Juice Prevent A Urinary Tract Infection
Many people say that cranberry juice can help treat, or even prevent, a UTI. Researchers are currently looking into the topic, but havent found a definitive answer yet. Healthcare providers recommend drinking lots of fluids if you have, or have a history of getting, a UTI. Adding a glass of unsweetened cranberry juice to your diet isnt a proven way to prevent a UTI, but it typically wont hurt you either.
Confusion Alone Does Not Signal A Urinary Tract Infection
When an older adult becomes confused, many people both medical and non-medical assume that a UTI is responsible.
But aging increases the incidence of confusion and delirium, especially among those who are cognitively impaired, depressed, malnourished or completely dependent.
Delirium can be caused by various factors, the most common one being dehydration, notes Dr. Lathia.
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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
How Can I Prevent Utis
It’s not always possible to prevent UTIs, but there’s things you can do to try.
Things to do
Things to avoid
If you or someone you look after needs help washing, going to the toilet or getting dressed, it’s important to get the help you need. Find out more about arranging care and support.
My 94-year-old father got a UTI and the hospital staff assumed he had dementia, because he wasn’t making any sense. I had to make sure they knew this wasn’t normal for him.
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Older Adults Dont Need Powerful Antibiotics For Utis
Treatment for UTIs should begin with narrow-spectrum antibiotics, say Dr. Lathia and Dr. Goldman.
These drugs are less likely to lead to antibiotic resistance and problematic side effects than broad-spectrum antibiotics.
Today, amoxicillin is commonly prescribed as first-line treatment for UTIs in older adults.
Other common narrow-spectrum must be used with caution when patients have chronic kidney disease or take blood pressure medication, as many older adults do or because their side effects can be serious in older adults.
Bacteria In The Urine Isnt Necessarily A Problem
Elevated urinary bacteria doesnt cause any symptoms and can often be corrected by increasing fluid intake.
The condition occurs in about 6 to 16 percent of women over age 65, 20 percent of women over age 80, and 25 to 50 percent of women living in nursing facilities.
Doctors should not treat urinary bacteria with antibiotics unless there are multiple other signs or symptoms of a UTI. This can encourage antibiotic resistance and make future UTIs harder to treat, says Dr. Lathia.
The presence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the urine also increases the risk of serious complications, including C. difficile infection and death.
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Anatomy Of The Bladder And Outlet
The main organs involved in urination are the and the . The of the bladder, known as the , is innervated by fibers from the and fibers from the spinal cord. Fibers in the constitute the main afferent limb of the voiding reflex the parasympathetic fibers to the bladder that constitute the excitatory efferent limb also travel in these nerves. Part of the urethra is surrounded by the or , which is innervated by the somatic originating in the cord, in an area termed .
Smooth muscle bundles pass on either side of the urethra, and these fibers are sometimes called the , although they do not encircle the urethra. Further along the urethra is a sphincter of skeletal muscle, the sphincter of the membranous urethra . The bladder’s epithelium is termed which contains a superficial layer of dome-like cells and multiple layers of stratified cuboidal cells underneath when evacuated. When the bladder is fully distended the superficial cells become squamous and the stratification of the cuboidal cells is reduced in order to provide lateral stretching.
Whats The Difference Between A Urinary Tract Infection And Bladder Infection
A urinary tract infection is a more general type of infection. There are many parts of your urinary tract. A UTI is a term for an infection that takes place throughout the urinary tract. A bladder infection, also called cystitis, is a specific infection. In this infection, bacteria makes its way into the bladder and causes inflammation.
Not all urinary tract infections become bladder infections. Preventing the spread of the infection is one of the most important reasons to treat a UTI quickly when you have symptoms. The infection can spread not only to the bladder, but also into your kidneys, which is a more complicated type of infection than a UTI.
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You’re Making Potty Stops All The Timebut Not Much Is Coming Out
Feeling like you have to pee all the time, even right after using the bathroom, is a telltale sign of a urinary tract infection, Ross says. It isn’t that you really have to pee every 10 minutes, but rather that you feel the urge to pee constantly. Why? When you have a UTI, bacteria irritate the urethra and bladder.
However, since you likely arent actually filled with pee, when you do sit on the toilet instead of finding sweet, sweet relief, not much urine comes out. All you get for your trouble is frustration . If you constantly feel the need to pee, but only a drop or two is coming out, it’s time to call your doctor, Ross says.