UTI

Prince William Urology Associates

Urologists located in Manassas, VA & Haymarket, VA

If you’ve ever passed urine and had it burn like molten lava, chances are you’ve experienced the pain of a urinary tract infection (UTI). The doctors at Prince William Urology Associates know how terrible a UTI can be, and they’re here to help. From their convenient locations in Manassas and Haymarket, Virginia, Prince William Urology Associates can help relieve you of your burning, fast. If you think you may suffer from a UTI, call Prince William Urology Associates or schedule an appointment online today.

UTI Q & A

What is a urinary tract infection?

Urinary tract infections are microbial infections of any part of your urinary system, which includes your urethra, bladder, ureters, and kidneys. Most UTIs affect the lower urinary tract, which extends from your urethra to your bladder. Bacteria such as E. coli are usually the cause of UTIs, but they can also be the result of fungal infections or, more rarely, even some types of viruses.

What are the symptoms of a UTI?

The symptoms of UTIs may vary depending on what part of your urinary tract is affected. However, common symptoms of lower urinary tract infections include:

  • Burning during urination
  • Increased urgency of urination
  • Increased frequency of urination, often with less urine being passed than normal
  • Bloody urine
  • Cloudy urine
  • Urine that looks like cola or tea
  • Urine that carries a strong odor
  • Pelvic pain in women, and rectal pain in men

Upper urinary tract infections infect the kidneys and are more dangerous than lower UTIs. These infections may be accompanied by fever, chills, nausea, and vomiting.

If left untreated, upper UTIs can even spread to your bloodstream, a condition known as urosepsis. Urosepsis is extremely dangerous and can be fatal. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment at Prince William Urology Associates immediately.

What causes UTIs?

Every year, UTIs account for over 8 million doctor’s visits in the United States alone, making them one of the world’s most common diseases. Risk factors for UTIs include:

  • Frequent sexual activity
  • Sexual activity with a new partner
  • Certain types of birth control, such as diaphragms and spermicidal agents
  • Menopause
  • Abnormalities in your urinary tract
  • Kidney stones
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Weak immune systems
  • Use of catheters
  • Recent urinary procedures

Though men can also be affected by UTIs, the disease is much more prevalent in women, as women have shorter urethras. In fact, between 40-60% of women will develop a UTI in their lifetime, with 1 in 4 women likely to suffer from repeat infections.

How are UTIs treated?

If you believe you might have a urinary tract infection, your doctor at Prince William Urology Associates can help. A simple urine sample can tell your doctor if you’ve been affected, and they can prescribe treatment accordingly.

As often as not, antibiotics can clear up your UTI within a few days. Remember to follow your doctor’s instructions and take the full course of antibiotics, even after you start to feel better. Drinking lots of water can also help flush the bacteria from your system.

While cranberry juice is often thought of as a home remedy for UTIs, most studies call its effectiveness as a cure into question, and it should not be used as a replacement for antibiotics. Drinking cranberry juice may help lessen your risk of catching UTIs, however. Other preventive measures include:

  • Wiping from front to back after going to the bathroom
  • Emptying your bladder after sexual intercourse
  • Avoiding potentially irritating feminine products, such as douches and powders
  • Changing your birth control method

If you think you may have a urinary tract infection, call Prince William Urology Associates or schedule an appointment online today.