A UTI, or urinary tract infection, is uncomfortable and inconvenient, and if the infection spreads, it can lead to more serious illness. The highly qualified multidisciplinary obstetrics and gynecology team at Southern Crescent Women's HealthCare, serving the populations of Fayetteville, Newnan, and Stockbridge, Georgia, has the expertise to diagnose and treat UTIs successfully, and prevent them from leading to kidney infections. If you’re experiencing symptoms of a UTI, call the clinic today and book an appointment, or use the online tool.
A UTI is a urinary tract infection involving the bladder and urethra. As the urethra provides access into the body, bacteria can travel up to the bladder and cause cystitis, one of the most common types of UTI.
Sometimes the infection spreads from the bladder back into the kidneys, causing a kidney infection, or pyelonephritis. If infection reaches the kidneys, it can present a more serious problem than an infection in the lower urinary tract.
There are several ways in which bacteria can enter the urethra, and having sex is a frequent cause of UTIs, as the urethral opening is directly adjacent to the vagina. This means bacteria from your partner’s fingers, mouth, or genitals can enter the urethra.
UTIs are more likely if:
Anything that blocks the free flow of urine can increase the risk of infection, such as stones in the ureters, kidneys, or bladder, or a kink or narrowing in your urinary tract.
A common sign of a UTI is an urgent need to pass urine, which very often results in leakage if you aren’t very close to a bathroom. Other symptoms include:
If the infection spreads into your kidneys, you may start to feel very sick, developing a fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, and distinctive, severe pain across your back. If you develop these symptoms or see any blood in your urine, contact your provider immediately, as kidney infections are a serious condition.
If you have symptoms of a UTI, your provider can perform a urinalysis test in-office to check for infection.
UTIs are bacterial infections, so antibiotics are the most effective form of treatment. You should always complete a course of antibiotics even if you start to feel better.
If you have pyelonephritis, you may need hospital treatment, as an infection in the kidneys takes longer to treat, and you might require intravenous treatment.
UTIs are usually just an uncomfortable nuisance, but could lead to something more serious, so if you have any symptoms of a UTI, call Southern Crescent Women's HealthCare today, or book an appointment online.