A urinary tract infection (UTI) occurs when the bladder or urinary tract gets infected with bacteria.
Around 50% of women will experience a urinary tract infection at least once in their life. UTIs are more common for women than for men because of the length of the urethra. Women have a shorter urethra, which allows bacteria to reach their bladder more easily.
If UTIs are left untreated, the bacteria can spread to neighboring organs and cause serious infections, such as kidney infections.
A UTI that is left untreated can even go on to cause infertility if the bacteria manage to spread to the uterus and fallopian tubes in women or to the prostate gland in men.
There are many symptoms of a UTI that are common in both men and women, such as:
Urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria — usually the bacteria E.coli — entering the bladder. The most common causes of UTIs include:
However, some individuals are more prone to UTIs than others, and this is likely due to their genetics.
You should seek treatment as soon as you suspect you have a UTI. You will be asked to give a sample of your urine, and the doctor will use the results of your urine test to determine if you have a UTI, and if you do, how severe it is.
If you have a UTI, you will generally be given antibiotics, such as trimethoprim and amoxicillin. Your doctor will tell you how long you need to take the antibiotics, but they are generally taken for 3-7 days. If your infection is more severe, you may need to take your antibiotics for a couple of weeks.
If you want to get tested for a UTI, book an appointment with Dr. Ronen OB/GYN online or over the phone today.