According to the Urology Care Foundation™, an estimated 8.1 million urinary tract infections (UTIs) are diagnosed every year. This painful type of infection can affect your ability to urinate and can lead to other health complications.
As a skilled urgent care specialist, Amneh Amro, PA-C, can diagnose and treat UTIs in the comfort of your own home through her concierge urgent care services at Revival Health Clinic in Houston, Texas. Amneh also works closely with you to prevent additional urinary tract infections from developing.
Why you have a urinary tract infection
Your urinary tract is responsible for making and storing urine, a liquid made up of waste products. Your kidneys make urine, which travels down into your bladder, where it’s stored until you urinate. During urination, urine passes out of your body through a tube known as the urethra.
In men, the urethra is at the end of the penis; in women, the tube is just above the opening of the vagina. If bacteria enter the urethra, it can travel up into the urinary tract and settle in any of the structures, causing a urinary tract infection.
Women are more likely to develop a UTI because their urinary tract is shorter than men’s, so bacteria can get into the tract more easily. Often, bacteria come from the rectum and enter the vagina if you wipe from back to front after using the bathroom.
Symptoms of a urinary tract infection
When you have a UTI, the lining of your urinary tract can become irritated and inflamed. This can cause symptoms like:
- Cloudy urine
- Upper back pain
- Burning during urination
- Nausea and vomiting
You may also feel a persistent need to urinate but are able to produce only a few drops. Some people also experience uncontrollable urine leaks.
It’s important that you schedule a diagnostic evaluation with Amneh right away if you have any of these symptoms. If the infection enters your kidneys, there’s a chance it can spread into your bloodstream, which can be a life-threatening condition that requires emergency care.
Most often, Amneh can clear your infection by prescribing a course of antibiotics. She also provides guidance to help you prevent new infections from developing.
Tips for preventing recurrent urinary tract infections
To lower your risk for a painful urinary tract infection and the complications it can cause, here are some tips to follow:
One of the easiest things you can do to reduce your risk for a UTI is to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, aiming for at least 2 liters daily.
Don’t delay urination
If you often hold in urine, you may increase your risk for a UTI. When you need to urinate, go as soon as you can and take your time, so your bladder can empty fully.
Double-check your birth control
If you use a diaphragm or spermicides as a method of birth control, you should speak with Amneh about other options. Some forms of birth control can increase your UTI risk, and she may recommend other options to keep you free of infections.