Urinary Tract Infections

What is a urinary tract infection (UTI)?

Urinary tract infections are an infection of the urinary system–the urethra, bladder, ureters or kidneys. A majority of UTIs are centralized to the lower urinary tract (the bladder and urethra). These infections can be very painful and irritating, and the effects can be serious if it spreads to the kidneys.  UTIs are more likely to develop in women than men because women have shorter urethras, shortening the distance that bacteria has to travel to get to the bladder. Women who use diaphragms or spermicidal agents for birth control are also at a higher risk, as are menopausal and postmenopausal women.

What are the causes?

Urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria that enters the urinary tract through the urethra. The bacteria will then multiply in the bladder. Our urinary system does work to keep bacteria out, but it isn’t always successful. With enough bacteria built up, an infection develops.

What are the symptoms?

If you do have a urinary tract infection, you may not notice any symptoms. Women and men who do have UTIs may experience:

  • Cloudy urine
  • Pink, red or cola-colored urine (a indication of blood)
  • Strong, persistent urges to urinate
  • Burning sensations when urinating
  • Urine that smells especially strong
  • Small, frequent trips to the bathroom
  • Pelvic pain (women only), around the area of the pubic bone and in the center of the pelvis.

Acute pyelonephritis is an infection of the kidneys and also includes the following symptoms: pain in the upper back or sides, fever, chills, nausea and vomiting. Cystitis is an infection of the bladder and also includes: pain in the lower abdomen and frequent, painful urination. Urethritis is an infection of the urethra and can also include a discharge.

Diagnosis and treatments in Torrance, California

Shelby Morrisroe, MD, diagnoses and treats patients with UTIs from our office in Torrance. If you are suffering from any of the symptoms above, please schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Urine samples can help to determine if bacteria is infecting your urinary tract. MRIs and cystoscopes can also provide Dr. Morrisroe with a better view of any potential problems. Treatments may include antibiotics and pain medication, but this can also depend on the severity of your infection. To get help from a local urologist, schedule your appointment online or give us a call.

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*Individual results may vary; not a guarantee.

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