Do I Have a UTI? UTI Symptoms and Treatment

UTI stands for urinary tract infection. If you’ve ever had one, you’re not likely to forget that acronym. You’re also not likely to forget the burning, stinging, and urgency to urinate that accompanies a UTI. This type of infection is incredibly painful, but our team of providers can quickly identify and treat your UTI.

What causes a UTI?
A UTI is not necessarily symptomatic of a larger gastrointestinal (GI) tract problem; however, it can become a grave health concern if left untreated. It’s an infection of your kidneys, ureter, bladder or urethra generally caused by bacteria such as E. coli from the anus. Because women typically have a shorter skin distance between their urethra and their anus than men do, they are more prone to bacterial infections of the urinary tract. In fact, women are 50 percent more likely than men to develop a UTI.

What are the symptoms of a UTI?
A UTI is uncomfortable and can often be so painful that you need to stop what you’re doing to find relief. The symptoms include:

  • Frequent or painful urination (burning sensation)
  • Discharge or blood with urine
  • Discomfort or pressure in your lower abdomen or pelvis
  • Back pain
  • High fever with fever symptoms (such as body ache and chills)
  • Nausea or vomiting

It’s important to call your doctor as soon as these symptoms occur. A simple urinalysis test can usually determine whether you indeed have a UTI. Diagnosis and treatment of UTIs generally fall under the umbrella of complete gynecological care.

How can my UTI be treated?
Gynecologists typically prescribe medication. Once treatment begins, symptoms should resolve pretty quickly. Your doctor might recommend over-the-counter painkillers to minimize discomfort, or the use of a heating pad. He or she will likely tell you to drink plenty of water to flush out residual bacteria, and to avoid drinking acidic or caffeinated beverages — such as coffee, alcohol or soda, which can irritate the bladder.

If you suffer from recurrent UTIs, your gynecologist might recommend cystoscopy, a CT scan or MRI to get a better sense of the inside of your urinary tract, including your urethra, bladder, ureters and kidneys. He or she might also recommend some homeopathic approaches to UTI prevention, such as drinking cranberry juice or taking a cranberry supplement to keep bacteria from attaching to the walls of your urinary tract.

It’s important that you take your UTI seriously. Make an appointment to see your doctor if you experience UTI symptoms or are concerned about chronic infections of your urinary tract.

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