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Facts about a Urinary Tract Infection

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While urinary tract infections usually affect women, they can also affect both genders. A UTI is caused by bacteria that enter the urinary system and overcome the body’s natural defenses.

The symptoms of a UTI vary. For example, symptoms in young women include frequent and intense urges to urinate, burning sensations during urination, and the small amount of urine withdrawn. Other symptoms include the presence of cloudy, dark, or foul-smelling urine.

Believe it or not, birth control devices also have an effect. Women who use a diaphragm are far more likely to contract an infection than those who do not. Others patients that are at a higher risk for infection include those with diabetes, those requiring a drainage tube for their bladder, those with problems with urine flow blockages, and those with spinal cord injuries or other nerve damage.

If you are present with symptoms of a urinary tract infection, your doctor will test a sample of your urine for bacteria. The sample will be viewed under a microscope for bacteria and white blood cells. The presence of white blood cells indicates that the body is actively fighting an infection. Generally, urinary tract infections are treated with a course of antibiotics.

There are many ways to reduce your risk of contracting a painful infection. In fact, simply changing some of your daily habits may help, including the following:

Diet: fluids, especially forty-eight ounces of water, can help flush bacteria from your system.
Personal Habits: it is important to remember to urinate frequently and when you first feel the urge. To help evacuate any bacteria, you should also urinate immediately after intimacy.
Wardrobe Choices: cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothing will help reduce your chances for an infection. When possible, avoid nylon underwear and tight-fitting jeans.
Birth control methods: women using a diaphragm or certain spermicidal substances might try switching to a different form of birth control.

While these painful types of infections can affect anyone, women are more than four times as likely to contract a urinary tract infection. If you think you may have one, it is important to visit a urologist in Rancho Mirage right away.

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