Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a common type of infection that can affect any part of the urinary system, including the kidneys, bladder, and urethra. UTIs are usually caused by bacteria, such as E. coli, that enter the urinary system through the urethra and begin to multiply in the bladder.
Most UTIs are treated with antibiotics, but some women may be at risk for recurrent infections. Recurrent UTIs are defined as two or more UTIs within six months, or three or more UTIs within one year. Women who have recurrent UTIs may be prescribed a longer course of antibiotics, or they may be advised to take a low-dose antibiotic after sexual intercourse to prevent infection.
UTIs can cause a variety of symptoms, including:
- Burning sensation during urination
- Frequent urination
- Urgent need to urinate
- Cloudy or bloody urine
- Strong smelling urine
- Pelvic pain (in women)
- Low-grade fever
However, you can’t only depend on the symptoms. You can have a proper diagnosis at home or through a medical institute.
Diagnosis at home
There are a few things you can do at home to help diagnose a UTI, including:
- Collecting a urine sample for testing. This can be done by urinating into a clean cup and then taking the sample to your healthcare provider.
- Doing a urine dipstick test. This involves dipping a strip of chemically treated paper into a urine sample. The strip will change color if there is evidence of a UTI.
- Taking your temperature. A fever may be a sign of a more serious UTI, such as a kidney infection.
Home test kits
There are a number of home test kits that can be used to diagnose a UTI. The most common type of kit tests for the presence of nitrites in the urine. Nitrites are produced by some types of bacteria, including those that cause UTIs.
Another type of kit tests for leukocytes, which are white blood cells that fight infection. A positive result on either of these tests indicates the presence of bacteria in the urine and the need to see a healthcare provider for further testing and treatment.
A healthcare provider will usually diagnose a UTI based on the symptoms and signs, as well as a urine sample. The sample will be sent to a lab for testing. A positive result on a urine culture indicates the presence of bacteria in the urine.
If you see a healthcare provider for a UTI, a urine sample will be collected for testing. The sample will be examined for the presence of bacteria, white blood cells, and other signs of infection.
In some cases, the urine sample may be sent to a laboratory for further testing. This can help to identify the type of bacteria that is causing the infection and to determine the best course of treatment.
In some cases, imaging tests may be ordered to look for abnormalities in the urinary system. These tests can help to identify blockages, such as kidney stones, that may be causing UTIs.
UTIs are usually treated with antibiotics. The type of antibiotic used will depend on the type of bacteria causing the infection.
UTIs can often be cleared up within a few days, but it is important to finish the entire course of antibiotics as prescribed. Stopping treatment early can allow the infection to return and may lead to antibiotic resistance.
Some women may be at risk for recurrent UTIs. These women may be prescribed a longer course of antibiotics or advised to take a low-dose antibiotic after sexual intercourse to prevent infection.
Consult a doctor
If you think you may have a UTI, it is important to see a healthcare provider so that the infection can be properly diagnosed and treated. Untreated UTIs can lead to serious health problems, such as kidney damage. A Urologist in Islamabad can help you in this regard or you can find a Urologist in Rawalpindi.