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Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary Tract Infection

A Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is an infection in any part of the urinary system, usually caused by bacteria that is able to enter the urinary system through the urethra, or occasionally through the bloodstream.

Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms

Urinary infection symptoms are often termed cystitis or urethritis, although this terminology refers to inflammation of the bladder or urethra, which can be caused by diseases other than those of bacterial origin. The symptoms of UTI can vary, depending on whether the infection affects the lower (bladder and urethra) or upper (kidneys and ureters) parts of the urinary tract.

Lower Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms

  • Burning sensation when urinating
  • The need to pass urine more frequently than normal
  • Need to hurry to the toilet to pass urine
  • Urine can be cloudy with a strong odour

Upper Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms

People with upper urinary tract infection are likely to experience the symptoms for a lower urinary tract infection (shown above) as well as those listed below.

  • Feeling unwell.
  • Having a high temperature and chills.
  • Loin (kidney) pain.
  • Patient is likely to be ill and could require hospital admission.

Types Of Urinary Tract Infections

Uncomplicated (simple) UTI

No structural or functional abnormality within urinary tract or underlying disease known to increase the risks of acquiring infection or failing therapy.

Complicated UTI

Structural or functional abnormality of the urinary tract or the presence of an underlying disease which increases the risk of acquiring an infection or failing therapy.

How Common Are Urinary Tract Infections?

UTIs are more common in women than in men. Approximately 50 per cent of women will need treatment for at least one UTI during their lifetime:

  • UTIs occur rarely in men and all such episodes warrant investigation.
  • UTIs in children can cause kidney damage, so prompt treatment is important.
  • Treating UTIs in pregnant women is also vital as, left untreated, a UTI can cause low birth weight or premature birth.

 Treatment Of Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections are normally treated with an antibiotic and symptoms usually start to improve within 24 hours. People who suffer recurrent UTIs usually find drinking sufficient fluids is helpful, washing and passing urine after sexual intercourse can also help. Occasionally patients with recurrent or difficult UTIs need to take continuous low doses of antibiotics.

Surgery is sometimes needed to correct an abnormality of the urinary tract that increases the likelihood of an individual having an infection. Children with vesico-ureteric reflux may require preventative antibiotics for a period of time, but the condition usually improves without surgery as they grow older. If the UTI is caused by the presence of renal stones, these will need to be removed using lithotripsy.

Contact London Urology

London Urology have years of experience in treating Urinary Tract Infections in both men and women and have a variety of specialist Consultants available to provide treatment. To book a consultation you can email us londonurology@hje.org.uk or call our unit coordinator on 020 7432 8297.

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