UTI symptoms? Urological surgeon reveals symptoms and treatment options for this common infection

Half of women report at least one urinary tract infection before age 30. Consult a urological surgeon. Marco Bolgeri, In Princess Grace Hospital, part of HCA Healthcare UK reveal the symptoms to watch out for and what treatments are being used

Urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common problems affecting patients. UTIs are also the most common cause of infection in hospitalized patients in the UK.

In fact, it is estimated that half of women report having at least one urinary tract infection in their mid-thirties, with a recurrence rate of 25 to 50% within six months. This was even higher in cases of more than one previous urinary tract infection. .

The incidence of UTI symptoms is significantly lower in men than in women, however with an estimated lifetime prevalence of 13.7%.

What are UTIs?

Women under 65 years of age are diagnosed with a urinary tract infection (UTI) if they have two or more major urinary symptoms and there are no other exclusions or warning signs.

Main symptoms include:

  • dysuria (burning pain when urinating)
  • new nocturia (urinating more often than usual at night)
  • cloudy urine (cloudy urine to the naked eye)

Other symptoms may include frequency and urgency, pain above the pubic bone.

Other excluded causes are other urogenital causes that may cause urinary symptoms, such as vaginal discharge, urethritis (urinary symptoms may be due to posterior urethritis). during sex, stimulants or sexually transmitted infections) and genitourinary symptoms of menopause/atrophic vaginitis/vaginal atrophy.

Warning signs are signs of an upper urinary tract infection (pyelonephritis) or sepsis (eg, low back pain, temperature >38°C, chills) and possible signs of cancer like bloody urine.

Urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common problems affecting patients

Recurrent UTIs are defined as repeated infections with a frequency of two or more UTIs in the past six months or three or more UTIs in the past 12 months. Recurrent UTIs can be due to recurrence (with the same organism) or reinfection (with a different strain or species of organism).

Persistent or chronic UTI identifies patients with chronic UTI symptoms despite initial antibiotic therapy.

READ MORE: From Menopause to UTI Symptoms – A Doctor’s Guide to Women’s Everyday Health Problems


Mental Health and UTI

UTIs not only cause physical discomfort and discomfort, but they can also wreak havoc on your mental health.

Lower mental and physical health scores were noted in patients with UTIs when compared with unaffected controls.with negative emotional reactions including anxiety and depression.

Patients often miss work, school, and social commitments, or are unable to function at their best due to symptoms (pain, frequent urination) but also feel embarrassed about frequent defecation or hearing loss. potential accident.

Difficulties in accessing doctors for treatment, including absences from work and long waits, can also add to stress and frustration, and ultimately lead to patients avoiding or delaying seeking treatment. seek medical help.

Patients often miss work, school, and social commitments or are unable to function at their best due to symptoms

Patients with recurrent UTI symptoms who report not feeling heard when discussing management options with physicians may not be familiar with their case and may be able to recommend treatment options. previously ineffective treatment, adding to frustration and avoidance of medical care.

The thing to tell your doctor is that you suspect you have a UTI…

Information provided to the physician should include the specific symptoms experienced, the number and duration of symptoms, and what treatments, if any, have been tried and responded to. .

Medical and surgical history and medication history are also important to establish potential risk factors and causes of infection.

Information provided to the physician should include specific symptoms experienced

Lifestyle habits regarding hygiene practices but mainly sexual and gynecological history should also be discussed. The presence of vaginal discharge or vaginal irritation greatly reduces the chances of UTIs, vaginal infections, and some sexually transmitted diseases that can mimic UTI symptoms.

More worrisome symptoms and signs suggesting a more serious infection or possible cancer (especially hematuria) should be reported as potentially necessitating an urgent referral to secondary care.

Likewise, men with recurrent urinary tract infections and women with unexplained recurrent lower urinary tract infections or recurrent upper urinary tract infections are referred for consultation by their physician. specialist doctor.

READ MORE: Feeling dry down there? Gynecologist reveals why collagen can help cure vaginal dryness


How are UTIs treated?

Non-pharmaceutical management includes behavioral measures such as hygiene practices (wiping from front to back and avoiding strong/fragrant vaginal cleaners), urinating before/after sex, and limiting the use of other contraceptive methods. Contraceptives include spermicide creams.

Adequate hydration and avoiding constipation are also recommended.

There are many non-antibiotic medications available to prevent recurrent UTIs. Some act by preventing the adhesion of bacteria to the urinary tract, like cranberry (both in tablet or juice form) or D-mannose.

Others block bacterial growth directly (Methenamine hippurate) or by enhancing natural defenses (probiotics, topical estrogen). The scientific evidence regarding much of this is limited and often conflicting, and the costs to patients are negligible because the NHS is often not available.

Similar considerations apply to other strategies such as glycosaminoglycan analog drops and the intravenous UTI vaccine, the latter of which stimulates the patient’s immune system against pathogens. the most common urinary tract.

Antibiotics are still the mainstay of UTI treatment

Antibiotics remain the mainstay of UTI treatment. For uncomplicated acute UTI In women, a 3-day course is recommended according to key guidelines, while higher-risk groups such as male patients and pregnant women warrant a 7-day course.

Complicated infections, as well as antibiotic treatment, require diagnosis and management of the underlying cause, common examples being urinary tract obstruction, stones, or foreign bodies.

For recurrent or chronic UTILow-dose antibiotic prophylaxis for 3 to 6 months is the most established regimen, with reported reductions in the risk of infection by up to 95%.

However, the emerging challenge of bacterial multidrug resistance has highlighted the need to limit widespread antibiotic use, thus the need to develop the alternative drugs mentioned above, as well as strategies for alternative strategies such as postcoital prophylaxis (a dose of antibiotics immediately after sexual activity). or intermittent self-initiated therapy.

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