Urinary tract infections often go unnoticed until they become severe enough to nearly block your ability to urinate. Even if you think your symptoms are too mild or generic to worry about, Dr. Stephen Weinstein encourages you to call his office in Walnut Creek, California, or schedule an appointment online. With a quick test, a urinary tract infection can be diagnosed or ruled out and you can obtain treatment to relieve the problem.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) develop when bacteria find their way into the urinary tract. UTIs typically occur in the bladder and urethra, which is the tube that carries urine out of the bladder. In more severe cases, the infection affects your kidneys.
UTIs have different names based on their location:
Men rarely develop UTIs before the age of 50. Women aren’t so lucky; their anatomy makes them more susceptible because bacteria can quickly reach the bladder from the urethral opening.
Women have other risk factors, too. Menopause, having had several children or using a diaphragm for birth control also increase the chance of developing a UTI.
You may not have any symptoms, especially if your UTI is mild. Most people, however, experience one or more of the following:
If the infection spreads to your kidneys, additional symptoms often appear. You may have a fever, shaking or chills due to the fever, pain in your upper back or side, and nausea.
Before Dr. Weinstein recommends treatment, he needs to run tests such as a urinalysis or a urine culture to verify you have a UTI. If you have frequent UTIs, he may use diagnostic imaging such as ultrasound, a CAT scan, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to see if you have abnormalities in urinary tract structures.
In most cases, treatment for a UTI includes a prescription antibiotic to eliminate the bacteria. Women with recurrent cystitis — when you have more than two UTIs in a year — may also benefit from drinking more water because that helps flush bacteria out of your bladder.
If you tend to get a UTI after sexual activity, Dr. Weinstein may prescribe a single-dose antibiotic to take after sex.
Don’t wait to call Dr. Weinstein or book an appointment online if you develop UTI symptoms. Prompt treatment prevents the infection from spreading to your kidneys.