When a urinary tract infection spreads to the kidneys, it can cause severe complications. Nurse Practitioner Tamara Washington of the Elite NP Clinic treats patients with urinary tract infections in DeSoto, Texas and the surrounding communities. From accurate and efficient diagnostic testing to personalized and comprehensive treatment plans, Nurse Washington prioritizes spending time with each patient and exceeds the scope of traditional medicine. To visit Elite NP Clinic for your healthcare concerns, request your consultation online or call the DeSoto office.
What is a urinary tract infection?
A urinary tract infection, or a UTI, is an infection that involves any part of your urinary system: your ureters, bladder, urethra, and kidneys. If the infection spreads to your kidneys, there can be serious complications.
What are the symptoms of a urinary tract infection?
Symptoms of a UTI can include:
- Pelvic pain
- Cloudy urine
- Blood in the urine
- Frequent urination
- A burning sensation during urination
- Urine with a strong and unusual odor
Signs of a more severe UTI infection of the kidneys include fever, chills, widespread back pain, nausea, and vomiting.
What causes a urinary tract infection?
Urinary tract infections usually occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra. The bacteria settle and multiply in the bladder. Your body’s defense system is designed to keep these foreign invaders out, but these defenses sometimes fail.
An infection of the urethra, or urethritis, typically occurs when gastrointestinal bacteria spread from the anus to the urethra. Certain sexually transmitted diseases, such as herpes and chlamydia, can also lead to urethritis.
Most commonly, UTIs occur in women and affect the bladder and urethra.
The risk factors for a UTI include:
- Being female
- Catheter use
- Recent urinary procedures
- Certain types of birth control
- A suppressed immune system
- Having multiple sexual partners
- Urinary tract abnormalities and blockages
How can I prevent urinary tract infections?
Working with a specialist like Nurse Washington is helpful when it comes to preventing urinary tract infections. You should also:
- Maintain proper hygiene
- Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water
- Empty your bladder shortly after intercourse
- Avoid irritating feminine products, such as deodorant sprays or powders
- Change your birth control method to one that doesn’t have the risk of contributing to bacterial growth
What are the treatments for a urinary tract infection?
Nurse Washington first determines the type of urinary tract infection you have through a series of tests, such as a urine sample test, imaging of the urinary tract, and a cystoscopy.
A cystoscopy involves using a scope to examine your urethra and bladder. Nurse Washington gently inserts the cystoscope in your urethra and through to your bladder.
Treatments for UTIs include:
- Pain medication, if necessary
- Lifestyle changes to prevent further infections
- Vaginal estrogen therapy for postmenopausal women