Removing waste from your body is a vital part of keeping you healthy, and that’s the work your urinary system does. Using bean-shaped kidneys about the size of your fist, foot-long ureters, and a bladder that can hold up to two cups of urine, your body voids the material it doesn’t need through your urethra.
Unfortunately, a lot can go wrong if something in this system isn’t working, resulting in conditions like urinary tract infections, or UTIs. While it is a more common condition in women, men struggle with it as well. To get treatment as soon as possible, it’s important to know the signs. Let’s examine how UTIs work, what causes them, and identify the symptoms of them.
If you live in the Pompano Beach, Fort Lauderdale, or South Florida area and think you might have a UTI, Drs. Craig Herman, Steven Kester, and their experienced team at Urology Center of Florida are here to help.
As the name of the condition indicates, this infection can affect any part of your urinary system, including your urethra (urethritis), bladder (cystitis), or kidneys (pyelonephritis). Despite being part of the system that removes waste, urine is not actually known for having bacteria, and a healthy urinary tract is also germ-free. When bacteria does manage to get in, however, it can lead to infection in any of the system’s organs.
What causes a UTI?
Several bacteria are responsible for UTIs, including Escherichia coli (E Coli), Proteus mirabilis, Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus saprophyticus, and Klebsiella pneumoniae. These bacteria can enter your body in several ways, including via sexual activity. Problems emptying your bladder, kidney stones or other obstructions, diabetes, poor hygiene and a history of previous UTIs can also be responsible. The use of a catheter can lead to infection, and with men, an enlarged prostate increases the risk of the condition.
Signs you may have a UTI
Here are some common signs that may indicate you have a UTI:
This can mean urine that is oddly colored (red, pink, or brown), looks cloudy, or smells odd.
Pain or burning while trying to urinate is common as the works its way through the system.
Pain at the center of your pelvis or around your pelvic bone can mean several conditions, UTIs among them.
The infection can also cause you to make repeated trips to the bathroom, especially if your bladder isn’t emptying properly.
An untreated UTI can lead to repeated infections, kidney damage, a narrowed urethra, and sepsis. If you notice these signs, seek help as soon as possible.
UTIs can be frustrating and painful, but caught early, they are quite manageable. If you notice these signs, call or message the Urology Center of Florida today and schedule an appointment with Drs. Herman, Kester, and the team.