Burning and pain when you urinate and suffering a sudden attack of urge incontinence are classic symptoms of urinary tract infections (UTIs). If you have these symptoms, Patel & Patel, MD, Inc. of South Charleston, West Virginia, can help. OB/GYN Kiran Patel, MD, family medicine physician Leela Patel, MD, and their team can diagnose and treat your UTI before it develops into a more serious kidney infection. Call Patel & Patel, M.D., Inc. today to book an appointment, or schedule a consultation using the online form.

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What is a urinary tract infection?

A urinary tract infection (UTI) could affect any part of your urinary tract but usually involves the urethra (urethritis) or bladder (cystitis). Both men and women can get UTIs, but they’re more likely to affect women. UTIs are also a common problem in older age.

Bacteria access your body via your urethra, which is the channel coming down from your bladder through which you urinate. The bacteria can travel up your urethra into your bladder, and in some cases, continue up into your kidneys.

A kidney infection (pyelonephritis) can be a serious and very painful condition.

Why would I have a urinary tract infection?

One common method of getting a UTI is through sex. Contact between you and your partner’s genitalia, fingers, mouth, or anus can introduce bacteria into your urethra, setting up an infection.

UTIs are more common in people who:

  • Recently started having sex
  • Are having sex frequently
  • Use a diaphragm and spermicide
  • Have had a UTI before
  • Have had several children
  • Have diabetes
  • Are overweight or obese

You’re also more likely to develop a UTI if anything is interfering with the flow of urine. Narrowing or distortion of any part of your urinary tract and stones in your kidneys, bladder, or ureters (tubes that transport urine from your kidneys to your bladder) can all cause blockages that lead to UTIs.

What symptoms does a UTI cause?

UTIs often cause urge incontinence, which is a sudden and urgent need to urinate that can be impossible to hold.

Other symptoms of UTIs include:

  • Sharp pain during urination
  • Burning feeling when urinating
  • Needing to urinate more often
  • Soreness in your lower abdomen
  • Pain in your back or sides
  • Cloudy, strong-smelling urine
  • Blood in your urine

A kidney infection can make you very sick with a fever and chills, nausea and vomiting, and intense, often unbearable back pain.

If you have any of these UTI symptoms, Patel & Patel, M.D., Inc. has on-site facilities where they can conduct a rapid urinalysis test.

What treatments are there for urinary tract infections?

The right antibiotics are the most effective treatment, as UTIs are bacterial infections. It’s essential to follow your provider’s instructions and complete the full course of medication, even if you feel better after a few days of taking antibiotics.

If you have a severe kidney infection, it’s possible you might need hospital treatment. An infection in your kidneys takes longer to respond to antibiotics, and you might need to have intravenous medication and fluids.

If you have symptoms of a UTI, get prompt diagnosis and treatment by calling Patel & Patel, M.D., Inc. today, or book an appointment online.