A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection within any part of the urinary system consisting of the kidneys, urethra, ureters, bladder, and associated structures. Depending on the location of infection symptoms may differ. Infections are most common in the lower urinary tract of which the bladder and urethra are parts of. However, an infection is most severe if it affects the kidneys, potentially leading to dire consequences.
If you believe you have a urinary tract infection, you should visit a physician immediately or risk the infection progressing further and worsening. These urologist in Karachi are great options if you live in that city.
UTIs do not always present noticeable symptoms, but they may include the following:
- Urine appears cloudy
- Urine may appear reddish or dark, signaling the presence of blood
- A strong, and frequent, urge to urinate
- Passing small amounts of urine frequently
- A burning sensation when urinating
- Urine that smells strongly and foul
- Pelvic pain, particularly in women
Due to the nature of the symptoms, UTIs may be mistaken for other conditions in older people.
As mentioned earlier, depending on where the infection is localized the symptoms of the condition will differ.
Types of UTI
The different types of UTIs, their location, and symptoms are listed below:
- Acute Pyelonephritis: This condition is an infection of the kidneys, and the symptoms may include pain in the sides or back, a high fever, shaking and chills, nausea and vomiting.
- Cystitis: This is an infection of the bladder and may include symptoms like a feeling of pressure in the pelvis, discomfort in the lower abdomen, blood in the urine, and a frequent urge to urinate which may be painful at times.
- Urethritis: This is an infection of the urethra, which is commonly the initial point of infection. The symptoms of this condition may include a burning sensation when urinating, pain in one’s penis, and discharge.
Initial diagnosis of a UTI normally entails the analysis of a patient’s urine for red and white blood cells, which are good indicators of an infection. Otherwise, a urine culture may be used to determine whether there is an infection, and what kind of bacteria is causing it.
If initial treatments do not seem to work, the physician may order additional, more comprehensive tests, such as ultrasounds, cystoscopies, and CT scans.
The most common and effective means of combatting a UTI are antibiotics. Every antibiotic is different, targeting certain parts of a bacterial cell, which is why it is important to discuss which antibiotic is most suited to your condition with your physician. Some commonly used antibiotics include Amoxicillin, Nitrofurantoin, Doxycycline, and Cephalosporins. Antibiotics must be used within a strict regiment with no breaks, otherwise there is a risk of the infection returning, with immunity to the antibiotics that you were using.
- Women are more susceptible to UTIs, owing to their shorter urethras and proximity of the urethra to the colon, where E. coli may travel from. Falling levels of estrogen and the use of birth control may also increase risk.
- Tract Abnormalities: Issues that result in urine remaining in the tract will allow infections to take hold more easily.
- Compromised Immune Systems
- Catheter Use: Frequent introduction of a catheter to the urethra makes it more likely that bacteria are introduced into the system.
If you are worried about the potential of your urinary tract to be compromised, you can consult a physician on the likelihood of infection. These urologist in Lahore are great options for consultation if you reside in that city.