A urinary tract infection (UTI) can occur at any age and may affect one or several areas of your urinary system. Early treatment can resolve your discomfort and prevent worsening infection. And if you have recurring UTIs, the experts at Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists in Bellingham, Washington, can help with that, too. Schedule a visit today. Call the office or book your visit online.
The symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI) can vary and often depend on which part of the urinary system is affected. The most common type of UTI occurs in women and is related to the urethra, the small tube that carries urine away from your bladder and out of your body.
Symptoms usually include burning with urination, fever and urgency.
Other UTI types and symptoms can include:a kidney infection (pyelonephritis), which may cause upper back and side pain, fever, shaking and chills, nausea and vomiting; and a bladder infection (cystitis) which can bring pelvic pressure, lower abdominal discomfort, frequent painful urination, and blood in your urine.
It’s important to note that symptoms of infection can vary greatly and may worsen and spread suddenly without treatment. If you’re experiencing fevers or chills, lethargy, or other warning signs of a worsening infection, seek medical attention immediately.
It’s likely due to your anatomy. The female urethra is very short and straight, leading directly to the bladder. It’s felt this shortened version allows infection-causing bacteria an easier entrance to the female urinary system.
The male urethra, on the other hand, takes a much longer, winding course from the tip of the penis to the urinary bladder. Conversely, however, male UTIs are often much more complex and may require more extensive treatment.
UTIs are often bacterial in origin, and standard therapy typically includes a round of antibiotics. But because bacteria types respond differently to certain antibiotics, the first step in treating a UTI usually includes a urinalysis and culture that helps identify the bacteria.
Depending on the nature of your symptoms and the frequency of your UTIs, the providers may also recommend further diagnostic options, including imaging studies such as CT scans or ultrasounds to identify functional abnormalities, strictures, or other problems that might be causing recurrent infections.
Another diagnostic study your Pacific Northwest Urology professionals may recommend is a cystoscopy, which uses a small, flexible tube with a lens at the end to provide a real-time image of the inside of your urethra and bladder. Once they’ve identified the cause of your UTIs, they can take steps to treat the infection and any underlying issue causing the problem.
Whether it’s your first UTI or you’ve been dealing with an infection every few months, schedule a visit with one of the experts at Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists today.