Dealing with a Urinary Tract Infection

By Carolina Boyd

Every year urinary tract infections (UTIs) lead to more than 8 million visits to health care providers in the United States.  For women, the chance of developing a UTI is especially high.  Women have shorter urethras, which allow bacteria quick access to the bladder, causing an infection. To identify a UTI, keep an eye out for the following symptoms:

  • The frequent and urgent need to urinate
  • A burning sensation when you pee
  • Pain or pressure in the back or lower abdomen
  • Cloudy, dark, or bloody urine
  • Fatigue, fever, or chills

While a UTI can affect any part of your urinary system, most infections involve the bladder or urethra. If you think you have a UTI, it is important to see your doctor.

“A urinary tract infection that is left untreated can become worse and travel up your kidneys, causing a kidney infection,” said Dr. Vian Nguyen, Legacy’s medical director of OB/GYN. “Going to see your doctor would allow him or her to order a work up and get a better idea of what is going on.”

Most UTIs are treatable. A urinalysis will show any signs of bacteria or infection. Antibiotics are often prescribed and symptoms can begin to clear up within a few days of treatment.

“Drinking a lot of water and listening to your body help will help to prevent future UTI’s,” said Nguyen. “However, if you have symptoms that keep recurring,  it’s a good idea to talk with your doctor about ways to prevent the next one.”

Photo Courtesy of National Institutes of Health