It’s a common medical condition that affects more than 3 million people each year. Dr. Jonathan Brisson, a family medicine physician with Lee Health, says urinary tract infections can happen at any age. “It’s probably the most common bacterial infections that we diagnose in medicine.”
Urinary tract infections, or UTI’s, are most common in women. “They are more common in post-menopausal women, but it can also be more common in younger women that are becoming more sexual active,” said Dr. Brisson.
UTI is an infection of the urinary system. “Typically either the urethra, which is the tube where urine comes out, or the bladder, or going all the way up to the kidneys,” said Dr. Brisson.
It’s usually caused by bacteria. “Sometimes new sexual activity can be a cause, if you have poor hygiene, sometimes like our elderly patients may get it more frequently because they’re not cleaning well,” said Dr. Brisson.
The symptoms can vary from minor irritation with urination, to fevers, chills, even vomiting. Patients may urinate more frequently, and if the infection is severe, patients may experience back pain. “If it goes untreated it can affect the kidneys,” said Dr. Brisson.
One way to prevent a UTI is to make sure you’re drinking plenty of water. “One of the ways the bladder helps to protect itself is to urinate and to clean itself out,” said Dr. Brisson.
If a patient has symptoms, doctors can prescribe antibiotics. It’s important to pay attention to your body, and to not let the infection go too long without treatment.
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