Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary tract infections are not uncommon, especially among women. Without prompt and proper care, the UTIs can spread to the bladder and kidneys, causing serious damage. At Broadway Gynecology in New York City’s Financial District, Dr. Goltyapina offers state-of-the-art testing and treatment for UTIs to help women avoid serious complications.

What causes urinary tract infections?

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) develop when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the tiny opening that releases urine (the urethra). The body’s natural defense system is capable of “fighting off” a small invasion of bacteria, but when many bacteria are present or when the immune system is already weakened, the bacteria can colonize the urinary tract, beginning at the urethra and extending all the way to the bladder and kidneys if treatment is not provided.

Once infection reaches the kidneys, the bacteria can cause significant damage if treatment is not provided right away. Ideally, a UTI should be treated as early as possible to prevent the infection from spreading to the kidneys. UTIs occur much more frequently among women than men, and they’re also more common among people with diabetes and those who have kidney stones frequently.

What symptoms do UTIs cause?

UTIs are associated with these symptoms:

  • painful or burning sensations when urinating
  • urgent need to urinate, even though very little urine may be excreted
  • problems emptying the bladder or sensation the bladder remains full even after urinating
  • urine with a strong odor
  • urine that looks cloudy or pinkish
  • pain in the lower back or sides
  • fever and chills
  • nausea or vomiting

Symptoms may become worse as the disease progresses.

How is a UTI diagnosed?

Most UTIs can be definitively diagnosed with a urine test using a small sample of urine. In some cases, blood tests or diagnostic imaging may also be ordered, especially when an infection is very difficult to treat with antibiotics or if UTIs recur frequently.

How is a UTI treated?

Antibiotics are effective in treating most UTIs. It’s very important to take the entire course of antibiotics, even once symptoms have subsided, to ensure all the bacteria are destroyed. Drinking plenty of fluids during treatment will help flush harmful bacteria out of the urinary tract faster. One popular belief is that cranberry juice will prevent or treat urinary tract infections. Unfortunately, that is just a myth and there is no evidence showing that cranberry juice is helpful in treating UTIs.

Chronic infections could be an indication of a more serious underlying issue that may require other types of treatment in order to prevent infections from recurring.

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