UTI stands for Urinary Tract Infection. It is a common infection that can occur in any part of the urinary system, including the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra.
Causes of UTI
UTIs are typically caused by bacteria. The most notorious bacteria causing UTI is Escherichia coli (E. coli). It normally lives in the large intestine. When it gets into the urinary tract, it can cause an infection.
Some of the factors that heighten the risk of bacteria getting into the urinary tract are:
Sexual activity – can introduce bacteria into the urinary tract, especially in women.
Anatomy – the female anatomy makes it easier for bacteria to enter the urinary tract than for men. Women’s urethras are shorter and closer to the anus than men’s. It makes it easier for bacteria to reach the bladder.
Urinary tract abnormalities – if you have urinary tract abnormalities, you may be more susceptible to UTIs. An example of such an abnormality is a blockage or narrowing of the urinary tract.
Using a catheter – if you must use a urinary catheter for a long time, it heightens your risk of UTI.
A weakened immune system – some health conditions, like HIV/AIDS or diabetes, increase your susceptibility to UTIs.
Prolonged use of certain types of birth control – most women who use diaphragms or spermicidal agents for birth control has a higher risk of UTIs than the average woman.
Poor hygiene – the stakes are higher for women than men. Wiping from front to back after using the toilet can help prevent bacteria from entering the urethra.
Main Symptoms of UTI
Some common symptoms of UTIs include:
Pain or burning sensation during urination
Frequent need to urinate – can happen even when little or no urine is present.
Pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen
Blood in the urine
Nausea or vomiting
Strong-smelling or cloudy urine
Fever and chills – occur in severe cases, often indicating a more serious infection that has spread to the kidneys or other parts of the lower abdomen.
When to See a Doctor for UTI
Generally, plan to visit urgent care in Houston when you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above. Do not allow your UTI to go too long without treatment. However, consider it an urgent matter if you face any of the following conditions:
If you have a history of recurrent UTIs
If you are pregnant
If you have a weakened immune system
If you have other health conditions that put you at risk for complications
Treatment Options Available for UTI
Urgent care clinics near you exist to offer speedy services for conditions like UTIs. You do not have to wait until the infection is advanced and severe before seeking treatment. Besides, doctors have several treatment protocols for UTIs, including:
Antibiotics – some of the antibiotics we prescribe to patients at NeuMed Modern Urgent Care are Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra), Nitrofurantoin (Macrobid), Ciprofloxacin (Cipro), and Amoxicillin-clavulanate (Augmentin). Be sure to complete the dosage of antibiotics even if the symptoms improve before the medication is finished. This way, the medicine can be effective in fighting the bacteria in your system.
Pain relievers, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) – are typically for relieving discomfort.
Can You Prevent UTIs?
Yes. Some of the tips to help you prevent UTIs and avoid urgent care near you are:
Maintain good hygiene. Keep the genital area clean and dry at all times. For women, avoid using harsh soaps or douches that can irritate the urinary tract.
Drink plenty of water and fluids, like cranberry juices.
Urinate frequently to flush bacteria from the urinary system. Do not hold in urine for too long, as this can allow bacteria to build up in the urinary tract.
Mind the products you use. Irritating products such as perfumes, sprays, powders, or bubble baths in the genital area can irritate and increase the risk of UTIs.
Urinate after sexual activity. It is a good practice to help flush out any bacteria that may have entered the urinary tract during sex.
Wear loose-fitting and breathable clothing.
Many patients hardly understand the benefits of seeking treatments for UTIs. A proper diagnosis and treatment for your condition are crucial to make a full recovery. If left untreated, UTIs can lead to more serious complications, such as kidney damage or sepsis, high is a life-threatening infection.
The NeuMed blog is published by NeuMed Modern Urgent Care + IV Therapy, an innovative urgent care and IV infusion therapy clinic with locations in Houston, Texas.
Any general advice posted on our blog, or website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace or substitute for any medical or other advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation arises in which you require medical advice, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified medical services provider.