Education & Diagnosis
A urinary tract infection, also known as a UTI, is a common urological condition in which bacteria gets into the urinary system. The urinary tract is the area within the human body that produces, stores and eliminates urine through a system of integrated organs. Several things can cause a urinary tract infections including STDs, blockages in the urinary tract, certain types of medications, menopause/post-menopause, kidney stones, enlarged prostate, and individuals having other chronic illnesses.
UTIs can cause many symptoms including:
- Pelvic or lower abdominal pain
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Urge to urinate, but only a small amount of urine comes out
- Foul-odor urine
- Urine leakage
- Pain or burning when urinating
- Urine that looks cloudy or milky
- Blood in urine
- Penis discharge (in men)
Testing & Treatment
Urinalysis and Urine Culture are the most frequently used tests for the evaluation of potential urinary tract infection (UTI). The tests help the doctor identify a positive infection, as well as provide the possible cause of infection. People with recurrent UTIs may need to be checked for obstructions, stones, and/or anatomical abnormalities using a cystoscopy (small camera inside the bladder) or an ultrasound.
Usually doctors prescribe antibiotics to treat UTIs. Once you start taking medication, your symptoms should go away in a few days. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the kidneys, which will result in more severe symptoms.