Urinary Tract Infection

Internal Medicine, Physical Therapy, Pediatrics & Pulmonology located in San Antonio, TX

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) range from irritating, painful bladder infections to severe, agonizing kidney infections. At San Antonio Premier Internal Medicine in Texas, the experienced medical team offers prompt diagnosis and expert treatment for all kinds of UTIs. To get swift and effective relief from your UTI symptoms, call one of the practice’s three San Antonio offices or book an appointment online today.

What is a urinary tract infection?

A urinary tract infection (UTI) results from bacteria getting into your urethra (the tube through which urine from your bladder leaves your body). These bacteria (and occasionally other kinds of microorganisms) might stay in the urethra, causing cystitis, which is inflammation of the bladder. They can also travel into your bladder and, in some cases, up to your kidneys.

The kidneys create urine, which your body stores in the bladder. A kidney infection (pyelonephritis) can be extremely painful and could cause complications if left untreated. Other UTIs are an uncomfortable nuisance but can make you feel quite sick.

What symptoms do UTIs cause?

UTIs typically cause symptoms, such as:

  • Burning sensation when urinating
  • Pelvic discomfort or pain
  • Urge to urinate more frequently
  • Incontinence (being unable to retain your urine)
  • Cloudy, foul-smelling urine
  • Blood in your urine

If a UTI reaches your kidneys, you might develop intense back pain, fever, and vomiting. 

Anyone can get a UTI at any age, but they tend to be a more common occurrence in later life. UTIs also affect women more often than men because the female urethra is shorter and close to the anus, so it’s easier for bacteria to invade.

How is a UTI diagnosed?

Diagnosing a UTI usually requires a clean catch urine sample. That means you pass some urine before collecting a sample midstream. This technique helps to prevent other bacteria from contaminating the sample.

The lab technicians test your urine for an increased white blood cell count, which is a sign of infection. They also test for bacteria and other problems like blood in your urine (hematuria). You might also need a blood test, but most people only need a clean urine sample for a positive diagnosis.

How are UTIs treated?

If you have a bacterial UTI, your doctor at San Antonio Premier Internal Medicine can prescribe antibiotics. These medications kill the bacteria, resolving your symptoms.

It’s also important to drink fluids regularly to help flush out your urinary tract. Many people find drinking cranberry juice daily is an effective way to keep the urinary tract healthy and prevent UTIs.

If you have a hormonal imbalance that’s increasing your risk of UTIs, you might benefit from hormone replacement therapy (HRT). UTIs are a common problem for women entering menopause.

To find out what’s causing your UTI symptoms and get fast relief, call San Antonio Premier Internal Medicine today or book an appointment online.