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Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary Tract Infections

What Is Meant By Urinary Tract Infection?

A urinary traction infection (UTI) is a very common type of infection in your
urinary system. A UTI can involve any part of your urinary system, including the
urethra, ureters, bladder and kidneys. Symptoms typically include needing to
urinate often, having pain when urinating and feeling pain in your side or lower
back. Most UTIs can be treated with an antibiotic.

UTIs have different names depending on where they occur. For example:
A bladder infection is called cystitis.
A urethra infection is known as urethritis.
A kidney infection is called pyelonephritis.

What is the urinary tract?
The urinary tract makes and stores urine, one of the body liquid waste products.
The urinary tract includes the following parts:
Kidneys: These small organs are located on the back of your body, just above
the hips. They are the filters of your body — removing waste and water
from your blood. This waste becomes urine.
Ureters: The ureters are thin tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to
your bladder.
Bladder: A sac-like container, the bladder stores your urine before it leaves
the body.
Urethra: This tube carries the urine from your bladder to the outside of the
body.
What causes a urinary tract infection (UTI)?

Urinary tract infections are caused by microorganisms — usually bacteria — that
enter the urethra and bladder, causing inflammation and infection. Though a UTI
most commonly happens in the urethra and bladder, bacteria can also travel up
the ureters and infect your kidneys.
More than 90% of bladder infection (cystitis) cases are caused by E. coli, a
bacterium normally found in the intestines.

What are the symptoms of a urinary tract infection
(UTI)?
A urinary tract infection causes the lining of the urinary tract to become red and
irritated (inflammation), which may produce some of the following symptoms:
Pain in the side (flank), abdomen or pelvic area.
Pressure in the lower pelvis.
Frequent need to urinate (frequency), urgent need to urinate (urgency)
and Incontinence (urine leakage).
Painful urination (dysuria) and blood in the urine.
The need to urinate at night.
Abnormal urine color (cloudy urine) and strong or foul-smelling urine.
Other symptoms that may be associated with a urinary tract infection include:
Pain during sex.
Penis pain.
Flank (side of the body) pain or lower back pain.
Fatigue.
Fever (temperature above 100 degrees Fahrenheit) and chills.
Vomiting.
Mental changes or confusion.

Diagnosis
A doctor will usually diagnose a UTI after asking about a person’s symptoms and
testing a urine sample to assess the presence of white blood cells, red blood cells,
and bacteria.
In some cases Trusted Source, a doctor may culture the urine to identify the type
of bacteria causing the infection.
If someone has recurrent UTIs, a doctor may request further diagnostic testing to
determine if anatomical or functional issues are the cause. Such tests may
include:
Diagnostic imaging: This involves assessing the urinary tract
using ultrasound, CT and MRI scanning, radiation tracking, or X-rays.
Urodynamics: This procedure determines how well the urinary tract stores
and releases urine.
Cystoscopy: This allows the doctor to see inside the bladder and urethra
with a camera lens inserted through the urethra via a long thin tube.

How are urinary tract infections (UTI) treated?
You will need to treat a urinary tract infection. Antibiotics are medicines that kill
bacteria and fight an infection. Antibiotics are typically used to treat urinary tract
infections. Your healthcare provider will pick a drug that best treats the particular
bacteria that’s causing your infection.

Some commonly used antibiotics can
include:
Nitrofurantoin.
Sulfonamides (sulfa drugs).
Amoxicillin.
Cephalosporins.
Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole.
Doxycycline.                                                                                                          Quinolones.
It’s very important that you follow your healthcare provider’s directions for taking
the medicine. Don’t stop taking the antibiotic because your symptoms go away
and you start feeling better. If the infection is not treated completely with the full
course of antibiotics, it can return.
If you have a history of frequent urinary tract infections, you may be given a
prescription for antibiotics that you would take at the first onset of symptoms.
Other patients may be given antibiotics to take every day, every other day, or
after sexual intercourse to prevent the infection. Talk to your healthcare provider
about the best treatment option for you if you have a history of frequent UTIs.

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