Causes Of Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are usually caused by bacteria from poo entering the urinary tract.
The bacteria enter through the tube that carries pee out of the body .
Women have a shorter urethra than men. This means bacteria are more likely to reach the bladder or kidneys and cause an infection.
Things that increase the risk of bacteria getting into the bladder include:
do not use scented soap
do not hold your pee in if you feel the urge to go
do not rush when going for a pee try to fully empty your bladder
do not wear tight, synthetic underwear, such as nylon
do not drink lots of alcoholic drinks, as they may irritate your bladder
do not have lots of sugary food or drinks, as they may encourage bacteria to grow
How Are Chronic Urinary Tract Infections Diagnosed
Prompt diagnosis is key to treating chronic urinary tract infections. Testing may be performed to help rule out other conditions. Diagnostic testing may include:
- Urinalysis. To look for the presence of bacteria and red or white blood cells
- Urine culture. To determine which bacteria are present and possibly test different antibiotics
- Imaging. To view the health of the urinary tract , including CT scan, ultrasound, and x-ray: a special dye is used in some cases to aid in imaging
- Cystoscopy. Use of a scope to view inside the bladder and urethra and check for abnormalities
Can Urinary Tract Infections Be Prevented
These steps may help reduce the chance of getting UTIs:
- Drink plenty of water every day.
- Drink cranberry juice. Large amounts of vitamin C limit the growth of some bacteria by acidifying the urine. Vitamin C supplements have the same effect.
- Urinate when you feel the need. Do not wait.
- Take showers instead of tub baths.
- Clean the genital area before and after sex, and urinate shortly after sex.
- Women should not use feminine hygiene sprays or scented douches.
- Cotton underwear and loose fitting clothes help keep the area around the urethra dry. Tight clothes and nylon underwear trap moisture. This can help bacteria grow.
- Repeated bouts of urinary tract infections can be treated with small doses of regular antibiotics.
Please consult your health care provider with any questions or concerns you may have about UTIs.
What Is A Urinary Tract Infection
A urinary tract infection is an infection in the urinary tract, which runs from your kidneys, through the ureters, the urinary bladder and out through the urethra. UTIs are very common and, in general, easy to treat.
A lower UTI, the more common type, affects the lower part of the urinary tract, the urethra and urinary bladder. Infection of the urethra is called urethritis and of the bladder is called cystitis. If the kidney is infected, called pyelonephritis, this is an upper UTI, as the kidney is the highest part of the urinary tract.
A UTI can be caused by bacteria or a fungus.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Utis
Symptoms of a UTI can include:
- pain when peeing
- changes in how often a child needs to pee
- changes in the look or smell of pee
- lower belly pain
- lower back pain or discomfort
UTIs also can cause kids to wet their pants or the bed, even if they haven’t had these problems before. Infants and very young children may only show nonspecific signs, such as fever, vomiting, or decreased appetite or activity.
Don’t Miss: Can You Go To Urgent Care For A Tooth Infection
Do I Need To See A Doctor
Yes. Painful urination can be a symptom of a more serious problem. You should tell your doctor about your symptoms and how long youve had them. Tell your doctor about any medical conditions you have, such as diabetes mellitus or AIDS, because these could affect your bodys response to infection. Tell your doctor about any known abnormality in your urinary tract, and if you are or might be pregnant. Tell your doctor if youve had any procedures or surgeries on your urinary tract. He or she also need to know if you were recently hospitalized or stayed in a nursing home.
Kidney Infection Risk Factors
Anyone can get a kidney infection. But just as women get more bladder infections than men, they also get more kidney infections.
A womanâs urethra is shorter than a manâs, and itâs closer to their and . That means itâs easier for bacteria or viruses to get into a womanâs urethra, and once they do, itâs a shorter trip to the bladder. From there, they can spread to the kidneys.
Pregnant women are even more likely to get bladder infections. This is because of hormone changes and because a baby puts pressure on the motherâs bladder and ureters and slows the flow of urine.
Any problem in your urinary tract that keeps pee from flowing as it should can raise your chances of a kidney infection, such as:
- A blockage in your urinary tract, like a kidney stone or enlarged prostate
- Conditions that keep your bladder from completely emptying
- A problem in the structure of your urinary tract, like a pinched urethra
- Vesicoureteral reflux , which is when pee flows backward from your bladder toward your kidneys
Youâre also more likely to get an infection if you have:
Don’t Miss: Natural Medicine For Kidney Infection
Can Men Get Utis From Women
Men can get UTIs from women during sex, by getting the bacteria from a woman with the infection. However, this is unlikely.
Typically, the infection arises from bacteria that are already present in the mans body.
A doctor can diagnose a UTI by carrying out a physical examination, taking a medical history, and through laboratory tests.
The doctor may perform a physical examination that includes:
- checking the vital signs
- checking the abdomen, bladder area, sides, and back for pain or swelling
- examining the genitals
The doctor may ask if the person has had other UTIs in the past, or a family history of UTIs.
They may also question the person about their symptoms.
Laboratory tests are required to diagnose the infection as the symptoms of a UTI can be common to other diseases.
A urine sample is usually needed to look for the presence of pus and the bacteria causing the infection.
Men may be asked to give a urine sample. A man will need to start the urine stream to clean the urethra, and then collect a midstream sample in a cup. As bacteria multiply quickly at room temperature, this urine sample is either sent to the laboratory immediately or kept refrigerated until later.
The doctor may also ask for a urine test strip, also known as a urine dipstick test. This is a quick test in which a plastic or paper ribbon is dipped into the urine sample and then removed. If the person has a UTI, the ribbon will turn a particular color.
When To Seek Medical Advice
Contact your GP if you have a high temperature, persistent pain, or if you notice a change to your usual pattern of urination. Contact your GP immediately if you think your child may have a kidney infection.
If you have blood in your urine, you should always see your GP so the cause can be investigated.
Your GP can carry out some simple tests to help diagnose a kidney infection.
Also Check: Can Atorvastatin Cause Kidney Problems
Treating Urinary Tract Infections With Macrobid
If your doctor prescribes Macrobid for your UTI, youll likely take this drug at home. Treatment typically lasts seven days.
Be sure to take Macrobid exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Take the entire course of treatment, even if you start to feel better. Dont stop your treatment early. If you do, your UTI could return and could get worse.
Also, be sure to drink plenty of fluids during your treatment.
What Conditions Are Related To Recurrent Utis
Recurrent UTIs sometimes happen along with other conditions, such as:
- vesicoureteral reflux , which is found in 30%50% of kids diagnosed with a UTI. In this congenital condition, pee flows backward from the bladder to the ureters. Ureters are thin, tube-like structures that carry pee from the kidney to the bladder. Sometimes the pee backs up to the kidneys. If it’s infected with bacteria, it can lead to pyelonephritis.
- hydronephrosis, which is an enlargement of one or both kidneys due to backup or blockage of urine flow. It’s usually caused by severe VUR or a blocked ureter. Some kids with hydronephrosis might need to take daily low doses of antibiotics to prevent UTIs until the condition producing hydronephrosis gets better or is fixed through surgery.
But not all cases of recurrent UTIs can be traced back to these body structure-related problems. For example, dysfunctional voiding when a child doesn’t relax the muscles properly while peeing is a common cause of UTIs. Not peeing often enough also can also increase a child’s risk for recurrent infections. Both dysfunctional voiding and infrequent urination can be associated with constipation.
Rarely, unrelated conditions that harm the body’s natural defenses, such as diseases of the immune system, also can lead to recurrent UTIs. Use of a nonsterile urinary catheter can introduce bacteria into the urinary tract and also cause an infection.
Also Check: Does Monistat Clear Up Yeast Infections
Im Pregnant How Will A Uti Affect My Baby
If you have a UTI and it isnt treated, it may lead to a kidney infection. Kidney infections may cause early labor. Fortunately, asymptomatic bacteriuria and bladder infections are usually found and treated before the kidneys become infected. If your doctor treats a urinary tract infection early and properly, it wont hurt your baby.
Can Urinary Tract Infections Be Prevented Or Avoided
There are many lifestyle choices that can help you prevent UTIs. These are some of the things you can do to protect yourself from them:
- Drink plenty of water to flush out bacteria. For some people, drinking cranberry juice may also help prevent urinary tract infections. However, if youre taking warfarin, check with your doctor before using cranberry juice to prevent urinary tract infections. Your doctor may need to adjust your warfarin dose or you may need to have more frequent blood tests.
- Dont hold your urine. Urinate when you feel like you need to. Some children dont go to the bathroom often enough. If your child does this, teach him or her to go to the bathroom several times each day.
- Wipe from front to back after bowel movements. Teach your child to wipe correctly.
- Urinate after having sex to help wash away bacteria.
- Use enough lubrication during sex. Try using a small amount of lubricant before sex if youre a little dry.
- If you get urinary tract infections often, you may want to avoid using a diaphragm as a birth control method. Ask your doctor about other birth control choices.
- Avoid taking or giving your child bubble baths.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing , and dress your child in loose-fitting clothing.
- If you are uncircumcised, wash the foreskin regularly. If you have an uncircumcised boy, teach him how to wash his foreskin.
Preventing Urinary Tract Infections And Kidney Infections
Urinary tract infections and kidney infections can generally be prevented through similar means.
If you suffer from any symptoms of a urinary tract or kidney infection, talk to your doctor immediately. The faster you act, the more effective the treatment.
If you experience any symptoms of urinary tract infection or kidney infection, call or book online with PlushCare to set up a phone or video appointment with a top U.S. doctor today.
How Are Urinary Tract Infections Treated
Your health care provider will figure out the best treatment based on:
- How old you are
Treatment for UTIs may include:
You may also need to make lifestyle changes such as:
- Drinking plenty of water to help wash bacteria out of the urinary tract
- Avoiding coffee, alcohol, and spicy foods
- Quitting smoking
Recommended Reading: What Antibiotics Are Used For Infected Tooth
Diagnosis Of Kidney Infection
Imaging tests Imaging Tests of the Urinary Tract There are a variety of tests that can be used in the evaluation of a suspected kidney or urinary tract disorder. X-rays are usually not helpful in evaluating… read more are done in people who have intense back pain typical of renal colic, in those who do not respond to antibiotic treatment within 72 hours, in those whose symptoms return shortly after antibiotic treatment is finished, in those with long-standing or recurring pyelonephritis, in those whose blood test results indicate kidney damage, and in men . Ultrasonography or helical computed tomography studies done in these situations may reveal kidney stones, Stones in the Urinary Tract Stones are hard masses that form in the urinary tract and may cause pain, bleeding, or an infection or block of the flow of urine. Tiny stones may cause no symptoms, but larger stones… read more structural abnormalities, or other causes of urinary obstruction.
How Are Urinary Abnormalities Diagnosed
Its important for a doctor to rule out any underlying problems in the urinary system when a child gets UTIs repeatedly. Kids with recurrent infections should see a pediatric urologist to see what is causing the infections.
Some problems can be found before birth. Hydronephrosis that develops before birth can be seen in an ultrasound as early as 16 weeks. In rare cases, doctors may consider neonatal surgery if hydronephrosis affects both kidneys and is a risk to the fetus. Most of the time, though, doctors wait until after birth to treat the condition, because almost half of all cases seen prenatally disappear by the time a baby is born.
Doctors will closely watch the blood pressure of a newborn thought to have hydronephrosis or another urinary system abnormality, because some kidney problems can cause high blood pressure. Another ultrasound may be done to get a closer look at the bladder and kidneys. If the condition appears to be affecting both kidneys, doctors usually will order blood tests to check kidney function.
Read Also: Can You Have An Odor With A Yeast Infection
Reasons Why You Might Get Recurring Utis
Many women who get a urinary tract infection may get one again at some point in their lives. In fact, one in five women experience recurrent UTIsan infection that occurs two times or more within six months or at least three times in a year. Men can get recurrent UTIs too, but it is not as common and is often due to some type of urinary tract blockage.
What Does Flank Pain Indicate
Flank pain refers to discomfort in your upper abdomen or back and sides. However, constant or severe flank pain may indicate a serious medical condition, such as dehydration or a urinary tract infection. Kidney stones or another kidney problem may also cause persistent flank pain.
In respect to this, what does flank pain feel like?
Kidney pain, or flank pain, typically feels like a dull ache on one side of your upper back. The pain usually begins on your side or back. Attributes of kidney pain, including how severe it is, how often it occurs, and whether its isolated or radiating, vary.
One may also ask, how do you get rid of flank pain? Treatment depends on the cause. Rest, physical therapy, and exercise may be recommended if the pain is caused by muscle spasm. You will be taught how to do these exercises at home. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy may be prescribed for flank pain caused by spinal arthritis.
Also to know, when should I be worried about flank pain?
Flank pain has many possible causes, including a kidney stone, a urinary tract infection, or back strain. Flank pain may get better on its own. But dont ignore new symptoms, such as fever, nausea and vomiting, urination problems, pain that gets worse, and dizziness. These may be signs of a more serious problem.
Is flank pain a sign of cancer?
You May Like Also
Also Check: What Do Kidney Stones Feel Like
You May Like: Does Monistat Get Rid Of Yeast Infection
Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes
Recurrent UTIs often have a typical presentation of dysuria, urinary frequency or urgency, and suprapubic pain with/without fever, chills, flank pain, costovertebral angle tenderness, and nausea/vomiting. The diagnosis is often not in question. But, according to the literature, there exists a gap in the perception of the symptom severity between the clinician and the patient, which may be attributed to misinformation, misconceptions, or miscommunication.
The American Urological Association Guidelines are evidence-based guidelines for recurrent UTIs reviewed by an interprofessional expert committee. The current guidelines, published in 2019, have been developed after an exhaustive review of current medical literature from peer-reviewed journals. The only non-antibiotic-based therapies for recurrent UTIs currently recommended by the AUA Guidelines are cranberry prophylaxis and vaginal estrogen.
Use Your Health Insurance Just Like You Normally Would To See Your Doctor
During your UTI treatment, you can take steps to ensure that you get the maximum effect out of your antibiotics while promoting your own comfort.
- Use a heating pad on your abdomen to soothe any pain and discomfort and relieve pressure.
- Drink plenty of water to help flush out the bacteria in your urinary tract.
- Avoid any food and drink that may irritate your urinary system. This includes coffee, alcohol, and sugary sodas that contain citrus juice or caffeine.
You May Like: Can I Go To Urgent Care For Kidney Infection