A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection of the kidneys, the bladder, the tubes that drain urine from the kidneys to the bladder (ureters), or the tube by which urine leaves the body (urethra). It is a very common type of infection. Most urinary tract infections go away quickly with appropriate treatment.
For frequent urinary tract infections in Central California, Find a Doctor at Dignity Health who can help you get to the root cause of the problem. Our doctors are experts at treating bladder issues and other gynecological concerns.
What Causes a UTI?
Urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria. These germs can enter the urinary tract from:
- Wiping from back to front. Bacteria from bowel movements can cause infection if the germs get into the urethra.
- Changes in the vaginal environment. Hormonal changes during menopause increase the risk of infection.
- Incomplete emptying of the bladder. Bacteria grow best in moist, dark places such as a partially filled bladder. Conditions that make it hard to empty the bladder completely, such as kidney stones, increase the risk of developing a urinary tract infection. Using a diaphragm for birth control can also make it hard to empty the bladder completely.
- Having sex. During intercourse, germs can be pushed up inside a woman’s urinary tract.
- Using a catheter to drain urine.
Common UTI Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of a urinary tract infection include:
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Burning or pain during urination
- Urine that is reddish, cloudy, or smells bad
- Pressure in the lower belly
- Feeling tired or sick
Urinary Tract Infection Treatment at Dignity Health Central California
See your doctor as soon as possible if you have any signs of a urinary tract infection. To know which antibiotic to prescribe, your doctor will need to take a culture to confirm the type of bacteria responsible. Most women feel better soon after beginning treatment. Antibiotics taken by mouth (oral antibiotics) can clear up most urinary tract infections in a few days. You may also need medicine to relieve uncomfortable symptoms.
If you have more than three urinary tract infections in a year, additional antibiotics or other treatments may be necessary. You may also need tests to figure out why you are getting repeated infections. A prophylactic dose of antibiotic may help prevent infection if you tend to get urinary tract infections after sex.
You may be able to prevent urinary tract infections by:
- Wiping front to back
- Drinking lots of water or cranberry juice
- Urinating after sex, to flush out bacteria
- Urinating whenever you feel the urge
- Wearing loose-fitting cotton underclothes
- Avoiding douching
Your Dignity Health Central California doctor can help you find other ways to improve your gynecological health. Don’t hesitate to ask questions or ask for advice.
Dignity Health provides fast and effective treatment for urinary tract infections in Central California, including Bakersfield, Merced, San Andreas, and Stockton, CA.