Urinary tract infections (UTIs) happen when bacteria that doesn’t belong in the urinary system makes its way into the urinary tract via the urethra. Due to anatomical differences, women are far more likely to get UTIs than men.
A mild urinary tract infection affects the urethra, but a UTI can also spread to your bladder or kidneys. A UTI that has reached the bladder is called cystitis and an infection that has reached the kidneys is called pyelonephritis.
If you get UTIs repeatedly, you’re probably already familiar with the symptoms of a urinary tract infection. However, you might also have symptoms but attribute them to something else.
Depending on their location along the urinary tract, UTIs can cause:
You shouldn’t ignore symptoms of a urinary tract infection even if they seem mild. A UTI can migrate upward along the urinary tract to reach organs like the bladder or kidneys, which can become a more complex issue.
Recurrent UTIs usually develop repeatedly because of the same pathogen. Women get more UTIs because of the urinary tract opening’s proximity to the anus, which has a different set of natural bacteria. A woman’s urinary tract is also shorter than a man’s, so it’s easier for bacteria to travel to the bladder.
You may also be at an increased risk of recurrent urinary tract infections if you:
Your providers at Valley Urogynecology Associates help you assess your risk and explore ways to prevent recurrent infections.
Your providers at Valley Urogynecology Associates can treat current urinary tract infections with antibiotics, which kill the bacteria causing the infection. For antibiotics to be effective, you need to complete the entire round of them and follow your provider’s instructions closely.
A medication called phenazopyridine will not clear the infection, but Valley Urogynecology Associates may provide it to reduce the discomfort that comes with a UTI.
If you have recurrent UTIs, Valley Urogynecology Associates takes a urine culture test before proceeding with treatment. They also review your medical history to find possible causes of the recurrent infections and may examine the bladder with cystoscopy.
Learn more about recurrent urinary tract infections by calling Valley Urogynecology Associates for an appointment or booking online today.