Urinary Tract Infection

Neeraj Kohli, MD, MBA -  - Urogynecologist

BostonUrogyn

Neeraj Kohli, MD, MBA

Urogynecologist located in Wellesley, MA & South Weymouth, MA

Ignoring urinary tract infections (UTI) can lead to recurring infections and kidney damage. When you’re ready to do something about the painful and inconvenient symptoms of a UTI, visit Neeraj Kohli, MD, MBA at Boston Urogyn in Wellesley, Massachusetts. He’s an experienced physician specializing in urogynecology, and he encourages you to call his office or schedule an appointment online to learn about your treatment options today.

Urinary Tract Infection Q & A

What is a urinary tract infection?

Your urinary tract consists of the ureters, bladder, urethra, and kidneys. A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in any part of this system and usually occurs in the bladder and urethra, which comprise the lower portion of your urinary tract.

You can have a UTI without any symptoms. However, you’re likely to notice one or more of the following:

  • Cloudy or discolored urine
  • Strong-smelling urine
  • A burning sensation during urination
  • A persistent urge to void
  • Pelvic pain
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge

If the infection spreads to your kidneys, you may experience a high fever, shaking and chills, nausea and vomiting, and upper back and side pain.

How can you prevent urinary tract infections?

UTIs are a common health condition, and certain lifestyle behaviors, such as the following, reduce your chances of developing this condition:

  • Wipe from the front to the back after going to the bathroom to reduce the spread of bacteria from your anus to your urethra.
  • Drink plenty fluids to flush bacteria from your urinary tract before an infection can develop.
  • Urinate after sexual intercourse to flush bacteria from the area.
  • Avoid vaginal deodorant sprays, douches, bubble bath, and other products that can irritate the urethra.

However, even with these measures, it’s still possible to contract a UTI.

What causes a urinary tract infection?

Bacteria in the bladder is the typical cause of UTIs. Women typically deal with that problem because of the short distance between their anus, urethra, and their urethral opening to the bladder.

However, there are additional factors that increase your risk. They include:

  • Sexual activity
  • Certain birth control methods like diaphragms and spermicides
  • Menopause
  • Urinary tract abnormalities or blockages
  • Immune system impairments

If untreated, a UTI can cause recurring infections, permanent kidney damage, and sepsis.

How are urinary tract infections diagnosed and treated?

Dr. Kohli can use several tests to diagnose UTIs, including urine cultures and analyzing your urine for blood cells to determine which bacteria is causing your infection.

If you’re experiencing chronic urinary tract infections, Dr. Kohli may also recommend an ultrasound, an MRI, a CT scan, or a cystoscopy to generate an accurate diagnosis.

However, regardless of your condition’s specific cause, a course of antibiotics is probably all you need to treat most UTIs. If you have recurring infections even after using antibiotics, Dr. Kohli will recommend additional treatments to solve your problem.