In this Urology Care Podcast, Dr. Lisa Hawes discusses the facts you need to know urinary tract infections (UTI’s). The Urology Care Podcast is the official podcast of the Urology Care Foundation. To listen to more Urology Care Podcasts and to subscribe to the podcast, go to: https://www.urologyhealth.org/living-healthy/podcast #UTI #UrologyCarePodcast #UrologyCareFoundation
Each year, urinary tract infections (UTIs) account for close to 10 million doctor visits. A UTI can occur when bacteria gets into your urine and settles in your bladder. Women are four times more likely than men to get a UTI, and the summertime may bring with it an increased risk to get one.
A UTI is when bacteria gets into your urine and travels up to your bladder. UTIs cause more than 8.1 million visits to health care providers each year. About 60% of women and 12% of men will have at least one UTI during their lifetime.
The role of the urinary tract is to make and stores urine. Urine is one of the waste products of your body. Urine is made in the kidneys and travels down the ureters to the bladder. The bladder stores the urine until it is emptied by urinating through the urethra, a tube that connects the bladder to the skin. The opening of the urethra is at the end of the penis in a male and above the vaginal opening in a female.
When you have a UTI, the lining of the bladder and urethra become red and irritated just as your throat does when you have a cold. The irritation can cause pain in your lower abdomen pelvic area and even lower back, and will usually make you feel like urinating more often. Burning or pain when urinating is the most common symptom. You may even feel a strong urge or need to urinate but only get a few drops. This is because the bladder is so irritated that it makes you feel like you have to urinate, even when you don’t have much urine in your bladder. At times, you may lose control and leak urine. You may also find that your urine smells bad and is cloudy.
Large numbers of bacteria live in the area around the vagina and rectum, and also on your skin. Bacteria may get into the urine from the urethra and travel into the bladder. They may even travel up to the kidney. But no matter how far they go, bacteria in the urinary tract can cause problems.
If you are worried about a UTI, then you should talk with your health care provider. UTIs can be found by analyzing a urine sample. The urine is examined under a microscope for bacteria or white blood cells, which are signs of infection. Your health care provider may also take a urine culture. This is a test that detects and identifies bacteria and yeast in the urine, which may be causing a UTI.