Urinary tract infections can affect young and older women alike. Recurrent urinary tract infections are often a source of tremendous frustration and distress, which is why Northeast Ohio Urogynecology takes a compassionate patient-centered approach at their office in Akron, Ohio. The caring specialists focus on symptom relief while also protecting your long-term health. To schedule an appointment for urinary tract infection relief, call the office or book online today.
UTIs are bacterial infections affecting any part of your urinary system. Bladder infections are by far the most common type. However, if a UTI isn’t properly treated, it can move farther inward to become an even more serious infection in the kidneys.
Some women may have UTIs only once or very rarely, but others experience this problem very frequently. Recurrent urinary tract infections means two UTIs within six months or three in a year.
UTIs can cause a number of symptoms, such as:
Symptoms can vary from mild to severe, and they often grow worse if ignored.
A urine culture is the most common way to diagnose UTIs. Escherichia coli, also known as E. Coli, causes up to 95% of bladder infections (it’s obvious during a urine culture). You may need molecular testing to find the specific cause of recurrent UTIs if your urine culture is negative.
Your provider considers all the information they have gathered about your health, including your symptoms and test results, to determine whether you have a UTI. In some cases, they may also need to perform a procedure to view your bladder and check for inflammation.
UTIs occur when bacteria gets into the urethra, the tube that urine passes through as it leaves your body. Then, the bacteria take hold in the bladder wall to cause the infection. This bacteria normally comes from your stool, which contains an abundance of bacteria (including E. Coli).
Women are especially prone to UTIs because the urethra and rectum are fairly close together and accidental bacteria transfer can easily occur while wiping. However, bacteria can also enter the urinary tract through sexual intercourse.
In addition, some women are prone to recurrent UTIs because of genetics.
Treatment of active UTIs involves antibiotics. You may need antibiotics for a limited time, long-term daily antibiotics, or a dose of antibiotics immediately after each sexual encounter.
Traditional theories hold that urine is sterile, but most women have bacteria in their urine — and that bacteria can actually be protective. So, if you have asymptomatic bacteria in your urinary tract, you probably don’t need treatment.
If you take antibiotics frequently, you could develop antibiotic resistance and could also lose your beneficial bacteria. In this case, your provider may recommend probiotics that replenish beneficial bacteria in the vagina.
Depending on your particular situation, you may also need vaginal estrogen or Mona Lisa Touch® therapy at Northeast Ohio Urogynecology. Ultimately, the goal is to manage your recurrent UTIs with as few antibiotics as possible while protecting your health and wellness long-term.
To get the caring help you need for a urinary tract infection, please reach out to Northeast Ohio Urogynecology in Akron, Ohio, by calling the office or book online today.