The Impact of Urinary Tract Infections

A UTI, or urinary tract infection, is a painful but common condition. Approximately 50 percent of all women will experience a UTI in their lifetime, while 10 percent of men will deal with one. For many people, UTIs can become a recurring issue.

Although a UTI normally is not cause for major concern, it is still important to discuss your symptoms with your doctor to receive proper treatment and make a quick recovery.

What is a UTI?

A UTI is an infection in any part of the urinary system, but most commonly it affects the bladder and the urethra. This type of UTI can cause painful urination, a frequent urge to go and cloudy or discolored urine, which can be a sign of blood in the urine. A UTI is usually caused by bacteria entering the body via the urethra. Women are more likely to get a UTI because their urethras are shorter than men’s.

What parts of the body are affected by a UTI?

Most UTIs affect the lower part of the urinary system, causing pain in the urethra and issues with the bladder. A UTI becomes more serious when it spreads to the kidneys, so it is important to seek medical treatment to keep this from occurring.

How can UTIs be prevented?

Because UTIs are normally caused by bacteria entering the urinary system via the urethra, it is important to be careful with this delicate area of the body. The most important thing you can do to prevent a UTI is to drink plenty of fluids and regularly relieve yourself. For women, it is also important to wipe carefully after using the bathroom, urinate after sex, and avoid potential irritants like scented feminine hygiene products.

How are UTIs treated?

Your doctor may choose to prescribe antibiotics to help clear up a UTI. It is important to follow your doctor’s directions regarding the medication and to complete the full course of treatment. Pain relief medications like ibuprofen or easing discomfort with a heating pad may also be part of your treatment plan. One commonly mentioned home remedy is drinking unsweetened cranberry juice; some studies have found it can help reduce the frequency of UTIs.

Whatever treatment options you pursue, it is important to consult with your doctor regarding your symptoms if you suspect you have a UTI. The specialists at St Pete Urology are here to help you deal with both the prevention and treatment of UTIs and any other urological conditions you experience. For more information, visit the St Pete Urology website.

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St Pete Urology is a team of medical professionals who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of urological diseases and conditions. We offer quality care with compassion. For an appointment, call us at (727) 478-1172