The urinary tract includes the kidney, ureters (tubes that take urine from each kidney to the bladder), the bladder itself and the urethra, which empties the bladder of urine. Urinary tract infections (UTI) can be present anywhere along the urinary tract. UTIs may be very uncomfortable especially during urination. Prevention is fairly simple: drink plenty of water and keep the ureter area clean by wiping from front to back.
- Cloudy urine accompanied by pain in urination
- Frequent or urgent need to urinate, especially at night
- Painful ejaculation in a male
- If infection persists: fever and back or flank pain may develop
- Mental confusion in the elderly
Who is at risk?
Women and especially elderly women are at greater risk for UTI than men. This generally is due to the very short urethra in women that doesn’t provide as much of a barrier to contamination. Hygiene could be an issue with the elderly or infirm.
A urinalysis will analyze a sample of urine taken in a cup for bacteria. If the test is positive, a doctor will prescribe an antibiotic, which should alleviate the symptoms within a few days. Recurring UTIs will require stronger antibiotics. While recovering at home, drink plenty of water to flush bacteria from your urine and avoid caffeine, alcohol and citrus beverages until your infection has cleared.
Emergency Warning Signs: When should I see a doctor?
Contact a physician or proceed to an emergency department if customary symptoms are accompanied by back or side pain, chills, fever and/or vomiting.
Treatment for Urinary Tract Infections is available now at Omni-Med in Florham Park, NJ.
For more information on UTIs, see the following websites:
AARP Report on Urinary Tract Infection
American Academy of Family Physicians article on UTI in Adults
About.com on UTI and Intercourse
Disclaimer: The links above are to sites independent of omnimedmd.com. The pages will open in a new browser window. The information provided is for educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your doctor. Always follow your doctor’s recommendations regarding your specific medical questions, treatments, therapies, and other needs.