Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) in Cincinnati, OH
Most women will suffer from at least one Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) during their lives while some women suffer from chronic UTIs. Board-certified gynecologists (OB-GYN) Drs. Chandra Gravely and Cindy Hansel at Crescent Women’s Medical Group offer excellence in gynecological care and treatment of UTIs for women in Cincinnati, Blue Ash, and the surrounding communities of Ohio.
What Are Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)?
Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria invades the otherwise sterile parts of the body that form and excrete urine, causing inflammation, pain, and irritation.
What Are The Different Types Of Urinary Tract Infections?
UTIs may involve different sections of the urinary tract including the following:
- Urethritis – an infection affecting the urethra, the hollow tube that drains urine from the bladder to the outside of the body.
- Cystitis – a bacterial infection inside the bladder that often has spread from the urethra.
- Pyelonephritis – an infection of the kidneys that often results from a UTI that has spread up the tract, or may be caused by an obstruction in the urinary tract, causing urine to back flow into the ureters and kidneys.
What Causes Urinary Tract Infections?
Normal urine is sterile and free of bacteria, viruses and fungi, containing only fluids, salts, and waste products. A UTI occurs when microorganisms, usually bacteria from the digestive tract, attach themselves to the opening of the urethra and reproduce there. Most infections are caused by the Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria, which normally inhabits the colon.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Urinary Tract Infection?
Although every individual may experience symptoms differently, the following are the most common symptoms of UTIs:
- Frequent urination
- A painful, burning sensation during urination
- Urine appears cloudy or reddish in color (blood may be present in the urine)
- Bladder pain even when not urinating
- Pain in the back or side, below the ribs
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Despite an intense urge to urinate, only a small amount of urine is passed
- Women may experience pressure above the pubic bone
How Are UTIs Diagnosed?
Screening for UTIs requires a complete medical history and physical examination, as well as diagnostic tests and procedures that may include the following:
- Urinalysis – laboratory examination of urine for specific cells and chemicals, such as red blood cells, white blood cells, infection or excessive protein.
- Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP) – a series of X-rays taken of the kidneys, ureters and bladder using the injection of a contrast dye to detect tumors, abnormalities, kidney stones or any obstructions, and to assess renal blood flow.
- Cystoscopy (Also called Cystourethroscopy) – an examination in which a flexible tube with lens attached is inserted through the urethra to examine the bladder and urinary tract for abnormalities or obstructions, such as tumors or stones.
- Renal Ultrasound – a non-invasive test that involves passing a transducer over the kidney, producing sound waves, which bounce off the kidney, transmitting an image of the organ onto a video screen. This test detects the size and shape of the kidney and may detect a mass, kidney stone, cyst or other obstruction or abnormalities.
How Is A Urinary Tract Infection Treated?
Several very effective antibiotics are used to treat UTIs that are caused by bacteria. In some cases of urethritis and simple cystitis, a single antibiotic dose can cure the infection. In cases of more severe UTIs, longer antibiotic treatment may be indicated. Urethritis associated with STDs or other vaginal infections may also require more extensive treatment.
Pyelonephritis typically requires an extended course of antibiotics and may even require hospitalization to administer IV antibiotics. Hospitalization may also be indicated for women who are diabetic, pregnant or who cannot tolerate oral antibiotics.
Preventing Future Urinary Tract Infections
To reduce the likelihood of developing another UTI, consider the following recommendations:
- Drink lots of water daily.
- Drink cranberry juice daily. Large doses of vitamin C inhibit the growth of many bacteria by acidifying the urine. Vitamin C supplements also have the same effect.
- Urinate as soon as you feel the need to go and do not hold back the urge to urinate.
- Wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria from the anal area from entering the vagina or urethra.
- Choose showers over tub baths.
- Cleanse the genital area thoroughly before and after sexual intercourse.
- Avoid feminine hygiene sprays and scented douches.
UTIs can cause a number of health concerns and should be detected and addressed appropriately. At Crescent Women’s Medical Group, we offer confidential testing and treatment for the residents of Cincinnati, Blue Ash, and the surrounding communities of Ohio suffering from UTIs. Contact our office today if you suspect you may be suffering from a UTI.