A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a very common infection that affects the tube by which urine leaves the body (urethra), the tubes that drain urine from the kidneys to the bladder (ureters), the bladder, or the kidneys. Most urinary tract infections can be cleared up quickly with the right treatment.
If you get frequent urinary tract infections in Northern California, Find a Doctor who will treat you with a philosophy of care, dignity, and respect. Dignity Health North State offers a range of women’s services in gynecology and breast health.
What Causes Urinary Tract Infections?
Urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria that enters the urinary tract from:
- Incomplete emptying of the bladder. Bacteria thrives in moist, dark places such as a partially filled bladder. Kidney stones and other conditions that make it hard to empty the bladder completely increase your risk of developing a urinary tract infection. Diaphragms used for birth control can also cause urine to stay in the bladder.
- Wiping from back to front. Bacteria from bowel movements can enter the urethra and cause infection.
- Using a catheter to drain urine.
- Changes in the vaginal environment. Urinary tract infections are common during menopause due to hormonal changes that increase the risk of infection.
- Having sex. Intercourse can push germs up into a woman’s urinary tract.
Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms
Signs of a urinary tract infection include:
- Burning or pain during urination
- Urine that is reddish, cloudy, or smells bad
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Feeling tired or sick
- Pressure in the lower belly
Urinary Tract Infection Treatment at Dignity Health North State
If you have the symptoms of a urinary tract infection, you should see your doctor right away. You will need a test to confirm the presence of bacteria and to figure out which antibiotic is best. Oral antibiotics can cure most urinary tract infections in a few days. Your doctor may also give you medicine to relieve uncomfortable symptoms. Most women feel better soon after beginning treatment.
If you get more than three urinary tract infections in a year, you may need additional treatment or antibiotics. Your doctor may order tests to determine why you are getting so many infections. If you tend to get urinary tract infections after sex, even when you urinate after intercourse, a prophylactic dose of antibiotic may help prevent infection.
You may be able to prevent urinary tract infections by:
- Urinating whenever you feel the urge.
- Urinating after sex, to flush out bacteria.
- Wiping front to back.
- Avoiding douching.
- Wearing loose-fitting cotton underclothes.
- Drinking lots of water. Drinking cranberry juice may also help prevent urinary tract infections.
Talk to a Dignity Health North State women’s health specialist to get the personal care you deserve.
Dignity Health North State provides comprehensive treatment for urinary tract infections in Mt. Shasta, Red Bluff, and Redding, CA.