A urinary tract infection can cause pain and lead to complications if left untreated
If you have an infection in any portion of the urinary tract, you have a urinary tract infection, or UTI, and it’s important to discuss it with our Round Rock obgyns. In almost every case, a UTI begins when bacteria enters the urethra and moves up to the bladder. If the infection moves beyond the bladder into the ureters and on to the kidneys, it can cause a kidney infection, which is a more serious problem.
Signs and symptoms of a urinary tract infection
You should know and understand the signs and symptoms that signal a urinary tract infection.
- Dysuria, which is a sharp pain or burning sensation you feel when you urinate
- Feeling an urge to urinate frequently, even when there isn’t much urine in your bladder
- Noticing a strong odor in your urine
- Noticing cloudy urine or urine tinged with some blood
- Feeling lower abdominal pressure or pain
If you are experiencing chills, fever, back pain, nausea or vomiting, you should seek immediate medical treatment. You should also seek immediate treatment from our Round Rock obgyns if you are pregnant and feel like you may have a urinary tract infection.
Causes and risk factors
There are various factors that can cause a urinary tract infection and also increase your risk for getting one.
- After a bowel movement, wiping yourself from back to front can move bacteria from your bowel that is on your anus to your vagina.
- If you are just beginning to have sexual intercourse or are having it more frequently, you are more prone to a UTI.
- Using spermicides or a diaphragm during sexual intercourse increases your risk.
- Any anatomical or medical issue that makes it difficult to completely empty your bladder, including needing to use a catheter, may lead to a UTI.
- Menopause and the accompanying loss of estrogen and changes in the vagina are associated with a UTI.
In addition, women are at higher risk for developing a urinary tract infection if they have diabetes, have given birth many times, had previous UTIs or are obese.
There are some steps you can take to prevent a UTI, including always wiping from front to back; emptying your bladder when you feel the urge; and avoiding douches and feminine hygiene spray or powder.