A urinary tract infection can stop you in your tracks and derail an otherwise normal day. At Cornerstone Family Medicine, you have access to a team of skilled family medicine physicians who can quickly diagnose and treat a urinary tract infection. Family care physician J. Wesley Earley, MD, and his team of dedicated professionals are committed to restoring your sense of wellness and quality of life. Don’t let a UTI sideline you another day when effective treatment options are available! Call the office in Washington, North Carolina, today.
A urinary tract infection, or UTI, is a microbial infection in your kidneys, bladder, ureters, or urethra. Your kidneys and ureters comprise the upper portion of your urinary tract, and your bladder and urethra make up your lower urinary tract.
Urinary tract infections are among the most common types of infections. According to data collected by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, as many as 8.1 million annual doctor visits are due to UTIs.
UTIs are primarily caused by bacteria that access your urinary tract. Most often, that bacteria originates in your bowels.
When you urinate, your urine stream flushes bacteria from your body, preventing infection by impeding bacteria from reaching your bladder. Even if the bacteria does enter your urinary system, your body can often fight it off before it multiplies to the level where symptoms begin.
One of the primary causes of UTI is when bacteria from your bowel is transferred to the urethra by improper hygiene habits, specifically (in females), by wiping from back to front after bowel movements. Women are far more likely than men to suffer from UTIs simply because their urethra and anus are located closer together.
Women can also develop a UTI due to hormonal changes from pregnancy, menopause, or starting a new form of birth control.
Some UTIs are impossible to prevent, but you can establish good habits to reduce your risk:
Taking these additional precautions can help save you from the discomfort associated with UTIs.
UTIs are uncomfortable and inconvenient but can clear up within a few days of receiving treatment. Diagnosis is usually accomplished through an evaluation of your symptoms and, in some cases, X-ray imaging.
Treatment consists of antibiotics or antimicrobial medication. Once you receive your prescription, it’s critical to complete the entire course of medication exactly as advised. Otherwise, the bacteria can multiply, and your infection could worsen instead of improving.
If you experience pain or any other symptoms of a urinary tract infection, visit Cornerstone Family Medicine to seek treatment. Call the office to speak with a team member directly.