Why Choose Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital for Urinary Tract Infections Treatment?
The experienced urologists at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital evaluate and analyze each patient's affection and formulate personalized treatment plans. Additionally, our specialists have access to some of the most effective and innovative medical techniques available, which helps them cure the patients' conditions and alleviate their symptoms effectively.
Urinary tract infections, also known as UTIs, are bacterial infections that affect the urinary system. Although these infections can affect both sexes, they are most commonly detected in women, due to the differences between the male and the female anatomy. In the majority of cases, UTIs are caused by the E. coli bacteria, by fungi or by other bacteria. Urinary tract infections are the most common type of bacterial infections in women and their most common symptoms are frequent urge to urinate and the burning sensation felt while urinating.
Considering the fact that UTIs are usually caused by bacterial infections, the most commonly prescribed treatments consist of antibiotics. The type of antibiotics that will be prescribed depends on the type of bacteria that causes the patient’s infection and on their current symptoms. It is highly recommended to go through the full course of treatment, and it is important not to disrupt the antibiotics treatment when the symptoms start to ameliorate. Although the symptoms may be gone, this does not automatically mean that the infection is completely gone as well, and in some cases, the patients could be dealing with something known as an antibiotic resistance. All things considered, some of the most common treatment methods used when dealing with urinary tract infections are:
Treatment For Recurrent Infections »
Treatment For Severe Infections »
Treatment For Simple Infections »
There are two types of urinary tract infections:
Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infections
The most common symptoms experienced by patients affected by UTIs are:
- A burning sensation during the process of urination;
- Pain while urinating;
- The urge to urinate frequently;
- Pressure in the lower abdomen;
- Feeling tired and having a fever (this can be a sign that the infection has reached your kidneys);
- The urine has a strange smell or has a dark, bloody color;
Diagnosis of Urinary Tract Infections
When the patients show signs that they might be suffering from kidney failure, doctors usually recommend the following tests:
- Urine samples: Your doctor might recommend a urine test, a procedure that is very helpful when dealing with UTIs because it exposes any abnormalities in the consistency of the urine such as the presence of certain bacteria or blood.
- Growing urine cultures: If the patient’s urine has tested positive for bacteria, the doctor generally recommends this procedure that is meant to determine the exact nature of the bacteria responsible for the infection.
- Imaging tests: Ultrasound tests, CT scans, or MRIs are recommended to patients whose frequent urinary tract infections might indicate other underlying conditions.
- Cystoscopy: This is a procedure during which the doctor inserts a thin tube with a camera at one end, known as a cystoscope, through the patient’s urethra in order to see inside their bladder.
Risk Factors for Urinary Tract Infections
There are certain factors that can increase a person’s risk of developing a UTI:
- Sexual intercourse: Sexual activity can cause bacteria to be pushed into the urethra. Additionally, studies have shown that sexually active women tend to be affected by UTIs more often.
- Female anatomy: Unlike men, women have shorter urethras located closer to the anus, thus making them more susceptible to UTIs.
- Menopause: As women go through menopause, their ovaries produce a significantly smaller amount of estrogen, thus increasing the chances for UTI-causing bacteria to develop.
- Diabetes: Patients who are suffering from diabetes have a weaker immune system.
- Prostate problems: Men with an enlarged prostate are more susceptible to urinary tract infections.
- Kidney stones: Having kidney stones or other obstructions in the urinary tract can affect the flow of the urine, making the patients more susceptible to bacterial infections.
- Obesity: Overweight and obese patients are more susceptible to a wide range of affections including urinary tract infections.
Causes of Urinary Tract Infections
In the majority of cases, UTI happens as a result of bacterial infection, but this is not always the case. Some of the most common causes that can lead to urinary tract infections are:
- Bacterial infections: E. coli and Staphylococcus saprophyticus are the two most frequently encountered bacteria when dealing with urinary tract infections.
- Rare urination: Postponing the urination process often means that the urine sits in the bladder for too long giving the bacteria more time to grow.
- Dehydration: Not drinking enough water reduces the production of urine, thus increasing your chances of developing an infection.
- Being sexually active: Sexual intercourse can facilitate the migration of bacteria from the vagina towards the urethra.
- Diabetes: Patients who suffer from this condition have a weakened immune system making it more difficult for them to fight infections.
With UTIs being one of the most common bacterial infections, especially in women, it is only natural for people to try to find different methods of dealing with these affections and their symptoms. However, these treatments have not been scientifically confirmed so it is extremely important to always ask for a doctor’s advice before trying any of them. Some of the most popular alternative remedies for urinary tract infections are:
- Cranberry juice: Drinking cranberry juice can be helpful when dealing with UTIs as it might inhibit the growth of certain bacteria such as E. coli.
- Probiotics: These live bacteria can help boost the immune system, which in turn will help you fight off bacterial infections.
- D-mannose: This is a nutritional supplement similar to glucose that can prevent bacteria from developing in the urinary tract.
- Vitamin C: Increasing your Vitamin C intake can inhibit the growth of bacteria while also boosting your immune system.
- Myrrh oil: This oil is thought to have antibacterial and antifungal properties and it has been used to treat and prevent infections for centuries.
- Staying hydrated: One of the most important measures of prevention when dealing with urinary tract infections is keeping yourself hydrated, as this is important for the health of your kidneys and it will make your urine sufficiently diluted to eliminate large amounts of toxins and bacteria from your body.
- Taking precautions Taking precautions after having sexual intercourse is also important in order to prevent the migration of bacteria. After intercourse, it is important to empty your bladder and for patients who are more susceptible to UTIs, the doctor may recommend taking urinary antiseptics.
- Avoiding obesity: Keeping your weight under control and avoiding obesity can also help prevent urinary tract infections.
- Taking estrogen supplements: For women who are going through menopause, it is recommended to apply an estrogen cream two to three times a week because low levels of estrogen can allow and encourage the multiplication of certain bacteria.
Are you suffering from urinary tract infections? You can always learn more about urinary tract conditions and how to treat and cure them by getting in touch with our highly-skilled urologists at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital.