Urologists on Urinary Tract Infections – Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention

When a patient has symptoms of a UTI, they should see their doctor right away. Urologist like Dr Marlon Perera will evaluate the patient’s history and perform a physical exam. This may include a genital and prostate exam for men and a pelvic exam for women.

They will also order a urine test, which looks for bacteria and infection-fighting white blood cells. They may also perform a cystoscopy to see inside the bladder and urethra with a thin scope.

Symptoms

The urinary system drains waste and extra water from the body (as urine, or ‘wee’). It includes 2 kidneys, 2 tubes called ureters that join the kidneys to the bladder, and the urethra that exits the body. The body’s immune system usually prevents germs from growing in the kidneys, ureters, or bladder. But some people are more prone to infection, because of their genes, the shape of their urinary tracts, or health conditions that make it harder for them to fight germs.

UTIs can cause pain or burning when you pee. They can also cause a tingling feeling in the lower abdomen or pelvic area, and a loss of sensation in the genital area. You may also have blood or cloudy urine. The most common type of UTI is cystitis, or inflammation of the bladder lining. UTIs can spread to the kidneys, but this is less common.

Doctors diagnose a UTI by taking a sample of urine and testing it for signs of infection — including red and white blood cells, bacteria, and chemicals that help them grow. They also do a physical exam and ask about your past health. Some doctors order tests, such as an intravenous pyelogram and a cystoscopy, to look for a blockage or other problems in the kidneys, ureters, and bladder. The test results help doctors choose the best antibiotics for you.

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Diagnosis

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection of any part of the urinary system. This includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Your kidneys filter your blood to remove waste and extra water, which is stored in the bladder until you feel the urge to go to the toilet (urinate). The urine leaves the body through a tube called the urethra.

Your body’s defences usually stop bacteria getting into the bladder, but they may fail. UTIs can cause pain or burning when you urinate, cloudy or bad-smelling urine, feeling the need to urinate often or right away, or blood in the urine. In some cases, the infection can spread to the kidneys (pyelonephritis).

Women are more likely than men to get a UTI. This is because the bacteria that cause UTIs live on the skin and around the rectum and vagina. They can then enter the urethra and travel up into the bladder.

Doctors treat UTIs with antibiotics. The type of antibiotic depends on where the infection is and what part of the urinary tract it affects. The most common antibiotics used to treat a UTI are nitrofurantoin, sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim, or first-generation cephalosporins. You may need to take these for up to 6 weeks. If you have a serious or life-threatening infection, you will need to be treated in hospital so you can have IV antibiotics.

Treatment

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are very common and can affect any part of the urinary tract – the kidneys, bladder or urethra. The treatment depends on whether the infection is bacterial or viral, and where in the urinary tract it occurs. Bacterial UTIs are treated with antibiotics, typically a combination of sulfonamides (sulfa drugs) or fluoroquinolones (quinolone drugs). The bactericide cidofovir is used to treat viral UTIs. Antibiotic resistance is a concern, so your doctor may try to minimize the length of the prescription by using “mini-dose” antibiotics.

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Most UTIs are caused by germs that enter the urethra and then the bladder. Other types of UTIs include urethritis, cystitis and pyelonephritis. The bacteria that cause these infections are usually E coli, but sometimes they are other types of bacteria.

The best way to prevent recurrent UTIs is to empty the bladder often, especially after each bowel movement. You should also drink plenty of fluids – six to eight glasses daily. Women should use sanitary products that are free of perfumes and odors, wipe from front to back after using the toilet and take showers instead of tub baths. Avoid loofahs and bath sponges, which can hold onto bacteria from the skin and transfer it to the urethra and bladder. Wear loose cotton underwear and avoid scented soaps, feminine hygiene sprays or douches and talcum powder around the anus and genital area.

Prevention

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an illness that happens when bacteria infect any part of the lower urinary tract. The upper urinary tract includes the kidneys and ureters; the lower urinary tract contains the bladder and urethra. A UTI can cause pain or burning during urination, the sensation that you have not finished urinating, urine splashing out of the bladder after urination and blood in the urine. Women are more likely to get a UTI than men. A UTI can be caused by bacteria and is usually treated with antibiotics.

Drinking lots of fluids — especially water — can help prevent a UTI. It also helps clear bacteria from the body, and it can help you urinate more often. That can help flush out germs before they can become infections in the urethra or bladder.

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Your doctor will do lab tests on your urine to find out which type of bacteria is causing the infection. He or she may also do an imaging test called a cystoscopy to see inside your bladder. This uses a thin tube with a camera and light on the end. It can also find things like blockages and other structural changes in the bladder. Your doctor can also use a computerized tomography (CT) scan for more detailed images of the kidneys, ureters and bladder.

Perera Urology
Suite 118/55 Flemington Rd,
North Melbourne VIC 3051
1300 884 673
www.pereraurology.com