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Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Did you know that millions of men and women suffer from urinary tract infections each year and that almost half of all women will experience one during their lifetime? Advanced Urology Centers of New York treats thousands of patients each year for urinary tract infections.

A urinary tract infection (UTI) occurs when urine, which is normally germ-free, becomes infected and rises from the urethra into the bladder and sometimes even into the kidney. Approximately one out of ten men and half of women will experience a urinary tract infection during their life. Children can be affected as well with infection rates of almost one in ten girls and one in fifty boys.

Symptoms include:

  • Persistent urge to urinate, often with a burning sensation
  • Cloudy, strong odor, or blood-tinged urine
  • Pelvic pain in women
  • Urethritis or infection of the urethra — burning on urination and possible discharge
  • Cystitis or bladder infection — pelvic or lower abdominal ache, frequent painful urination with possible blood-tinge
  • Pyelonephritis or kidney infection — back or flank pain with possible fever, chills, nausea, and vomiting

Risk factors include:

  • Being female increases the risk of getting a UTI because of the relative shortness of the urethra and proximity to the anus and bladder. It is especially common in those who are sexually active, use insertional birth control methods, or are post-menopausal
  • Abnormalities of the urinary tract including blockages due to kidney stones or an enlarged prostate
  • Suppressed immune system including diseases like diabetes or use of certain medications (steroids) which interfere with the body’s ability to fight infection.
  • Recent urinary surgery or catheter use

Diagnostic tests used by AUCNY urologists may include:

  • Detailed history and physical examination – requesting details on symptoms, personal and family medical history, social history including smoking habits, physical examination with special emphasis on the bladder area including rectal/pelvic exam
  • Urine sample analysis both placing a sample under the microscope and attempting to grow bacteria from the sample in a lab
  • Blood test to determine if bacteria has spread into the bloodstream
  • Imaging procedures (X-ray, CT, MRI, and ultrasound)
  • Cystoscopy – a procedure in which a thin “camera” tube is inserted into the urethra for visualization

As urinary tract infections can result in bacterial spread throughout the bloodstream known as sepsis, prompt urologic treatment is advised. Complications may include recurrent infections, chronic or permanent kidney infection and urethral scarring in men.

Treatment Options

If you are diagnosed with a urinary tract infection (UTI), your AUCNY urologist will determine the best treatment option. The therapy may involve the use of antibiotics, either oral or intravenous depending on the organism causing the infection, the degrees of spread, if bloodstream involvement is present, and the general overall medical condition of the individual patient.

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