Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary Tract Infections

The urinary tract infection, or UTI, is a commonly known issue. Even though they are so common, there’s still a lot of misinformation around it.

What is a UTI?

A UTI is an infection of the urinary tract. This means from the kidneys to the ureters, the bladder, and all the way to the urethra that’s the small tube that connects the bladder to the orifice where urine comes out.

The most common infections are lower urinary tract infections; which involves the bladder and urethra. Lower UTIs are less complicated and easier to manage.

When talking about upper or complicated UTIs, it means that it has reached the ureters or the kidneys, and often referred to as Pyelonephritis (renal infection). The infection is usually caused by bacterias but can also occur because of viruses or yeast (Candida).

Symptoms:

It’s important to remember that symptoms will vary depending on the sex and age. Typical symptoms include pain or a burning sensation while peeing (dysuria), constant need to pee, a sensation of bladder fullness or lower abdominal discomfort and suprapubic tenderness.

Other symptoms can include: fever, chills, and malaise may appear when the infection has reached the upper urinary tract. Lower back pain and bloody urine is reported in some cases.

Diagnosing:

At VirtualMD, our doctors will be able to help diagnose you over the phone. For more complex cases, we will need to get you in for an appointment.

A urine analysis can be ordered that will show if there is a presence of bacteria and leucocytes in the urine. A complete blood cell count could also help to tell the levels of leucocytes in the bloodstream but is especially useful because higher levels of white blood cells usually indicate a complicated or upper UTI.

Treatment:

Treatment options include oral therapy with an antibiotic that works against the most common bacterias, which cause the infection.

Treatment usually lasts between 3 days to a week. If we are in the presence of a complicated UTI or the patient has some other comorbidities such as diabetes, or if he or she is immunocompromised, that could complicate the course of the infection, and endovenous antibacterial treatment might be needed.

Prevention and patient education is key. Proper adherence to the outpatient medical regime, behavior modification such as drinking the right amount of liquids to enhance diuresis, practicing post intercourse voiding, and maintaining healthy hygiene habits are ways to prevent infection. 

If you have comments or questions regarding UTIs, don’t hesitate to call us free at 1-800-594-0537 and a doctor will be there to help you. We are able to fax a prescription to your pharmacy of choice if required.