UTI Treatment in Atlanta, GA
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection that affects any part of the urinary system, which includes the kidneys, ureters (tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to your bladder), and the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of your body). UTIs are most commonly caused by bacteria that enter the urinary tract and multiply, leading to infection and inflammation.
UTIs are more common in women than men due primarily to anatomical differences. In women, the urethra is shorter and located closer to the anus, which makes it easier for bacteria to enter the urinary tract. The symptoms of a urinary tract infection can be painful and uncomfortable but can be easily treated by your AWOG Physician. when caught early on. If you are experiencing symptoms of a UTI, call (404) 352-3616 to request an appointment at Atlanta Women’s Obstetrics & Gynecology, PC.
Symptoms of a Urinary Tract Infection
If you experience one or more of these common UTI symptoms, contact your OBGYN as soon as possible to receive early intervention and treatment:
- More frequent urination
- Unusual urgency to urinate
- Burning pain during urination (dysuria)
- Cloudy or bloody urine
- Strong-smelling urine
- Pelvic pain or pressure
- Lower abdominal pain
- Fever and chills (especially with kidney infection)
Common Causes of a Urinary Tract Infection in Women
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) in women are commonly caused by bacteria that enter and multiply in the urinary tract. The most common bacteria responsible for UTIs is Escherichia coli (E. coli), which is normally present in the digestive system but can migrate to the urethra and cause infection. Other bacteria, such as Klebisiella, Enterococcus, and Staphylococcus saprophyticus, can also cause UTIs, but they are far less common.
There are several factors that can increase a woman’s chance of getting a UTI:
- Anatomy: Women have a shorter urethra compared to men, which makes it easier for bacteria to reach the bladder.
- Sexual Activity: Sexual intercourse can introduce bacteria into the urethra and lead to infection. This is often referred to as “honeymoon UTI” or “honeymoon cystitis.”
- Poor Hygiene: Insufficient personal cleaning habits, such as wiping back-to-front instead of front-to-back can spread bacteria from the anus to the urethra.
- Urinary Catheters: the use of catheters, often in medical settings, can introduce bacteria into the urinary tract and increase the risk of infection.
- Hormonal Changes: Fluctuations in hormone levels during pregnancy or menopause can make the urinary tract more susceptible to infections.
- Suppressed Immune System: Conditions and/or medications that weaken the immune system (diabetes, for example) can make women more vulnerable to urinary tract infections.
Treatment for a Urinary Tract Infection
Our providers usually treat urinary tract infections with antibiotics. The duration of treatment is usually 3-7 days, depending upon the severity of the UTI. Pregnant women with UTIs may require long treatment durations, typically 7-14 days to ensure complete eradication of infection and to reduce the risk of recurrent infection.
If UTI is severe or recurrent, further evaluation may be needed to determine any underlying causes or contributing factors. It is important to seek medical treatment if you suspect that you have UTI because an untreated UTI can lead to further complications such as kidney infection.
Tips to Help Prevent Urinary Tract Infection
Follow these lifestyle tips to prevent urinary tract infections:
- Hydrate: drink plenty of water throughout the day to help flush out bacteria form the urinary tract and maintain proper urinary functions.
- Practice Good Hygiene: cleanse your genital area properly by wiping front-to-back after using the bathroom.
- Don’t Hold It: empty your bladder regularly and avoid holding urine for extended periods. Urinating before and after sexual intercourse can also help minimize the risk of bacteria entering the urethra.
- Avoid Irritating Feminine Products: Avoid using harsh soaps, douches, powders, bubble baths, bath bombs, body sprays,etc. in your genital area, as they can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria and irritate the urethra.
- Let It Breathe: Choose cotton underwear and avoid tight-fitting clothing. It’s better to have proper airflow and keep your genital area dry.
- Boost Your Immune System: Maintain a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and stress management to support a strong immune system that can help fight off infections.
- Consider Cranberry: Some studies suggest that consuming cranberry products (juice or supplements) may have a protective effect against UTIs by preventing bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract.
Request an Appointment
It is important to note that while these preventive measures can significantly reduce your risk of UTIs, there is no guarantee of complete prevention. If you think you are experiencing symptoms of a urinary tract infection or have any additional questions on prevention, contact Atlanta Women’s Obstetrics & Gynecology today at (404) 352-3616.