Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the cause of approximately 10 million doctor visits every year. Without quick treatment, UTIs can create dangerous side effects and cause severe discomfort and pain. At First Med Marin in Greenbrae, California, Barry Landfield, MD, runs comprehensive diagnostics to track the severity of your symptoms and recommends quality treatment accordingly. To learn more, schedule an appointment online or by phone today.
A UTI refers to an infection of your lower urinary tract, though it can target any area of your urinary system, including your bladder, urethra, kidneys, and ureters.
Generally speaking, urinary tract infections affect women more than men because of the shape of their urinary system. The urethra is responsible for carrying urine away from the bladder and out of the body.
Women are much more likely to get a urethral infection because their urethra is much shorter than that of men. As a result, women are prone to infection in the vaginal and anal areas.
While some UTIs don’t exhibit any symptoms, common symptoms can include:
The severity of these symptoms greatly depends on the infected area:
Kidney infections usually manifest themselves through upper back and side pain. You can also identify a kidney infection if you have chills, shake, or vomit.
Bladder infections are also known as cystitis. They generally cause lower abdominal pain, affect your urinating patterns, and can create intense pelvic pressure.
Urethra infections, or urethritis, function similarly to bladder infections, though the infection is in a different location. You might experience discharges from the urethra, which can induce burning sensations while urinating.
Urinary tract infections can cause permanent damage to your kidney, sepsis, and recurring infections if left untreated. UTIs can also cause reduced urinary flow and urethral narrowing.
UTIs can happen to anyone, though there are specific steps you can take to prevent the infection from developing. Dr. Landfield recommends that you drink plenty of fluids, such as water, to dilute your urine and make you urinate more often to flush out bacteria.
Since women are more at risk of developing a UTI, Dr. Landfield suggests that you:
Find out more about what you can do to prevent urinary tract infections by scheduling an appointment at First Med Marin online or by phone today.