Why You Shouldn't Ignore a UTI

To say that urinary tract infections are common would be a mild understatement — half of all women will develop a urinary tract infection (UTI) at some point in their lives, and UTIs drive a whopping 8 million health care visits a year in the United States.

At Arizona Urology, our team sees its fair share of urinary tract infections and, unfortunately, we also have some experience treating the complications that can develop on the heels of untreated infections. So that we can reduce these numbers, we thought it would be a good idea to outline the reasons why you shouldn’t ignore a UTI.

Infections spread

The definition of an infection is when a microorganism, which is also called a pathogen, invades your body and then multiplies. Left unchecked, these foreign invaders, which include bacteria, fungi, and viruses, can wreak havoc on your body. In other words, these microorganisms are looking for the perfect host in which to thrive and, when they thrive, your health is jeopardized.

This scenario is true for most infections, including UTIs. Most UTIs occur when bacteria enter your lower urinary tract, namely your urethra, and travel up to your bladder.

If you allow these bacteria to multiply, the infection can spread up to your kidneys, which can lead to irreversible damage in your kidneys. 

Fortunately, this outcome isn’t all that common because most people, sensibly, seek help at the first signs of trouble.

Know the signs

So that you can prevent complications from an untreated UTI, it’s helpful that you recognize the signs of a brewing infection, which typically include:

If the infection is strong, you may also experience fever, chills, and vomiting.

Treating a UTI is simple

If you suspect you have a UTI, we can run a quick urinalysis to determine whether infection-causing bacteria are present.

The good news is that, in a majority of cases, we can typically clear away the infection with a quick course of antibiotics — usually 3-5 days. 

If the infection has traveled to your kidneys, however, we may need to use stronger medications to fight the infection and manage your symptoms. In severe cases, we may recommend hospitalization so that we can administer the antibiotics intravenously.

The bottom line is that prompt treatment of a UTI not only brings you relief more quickly, we can also help prevent serious complications that could leave you with permanently damaged organs.

If you suspect you have a UTI, we urge you to contact one of our locations in Goodyear, Glendale, Gilbert, Surprise, or Phoenix, Arizona, as quickly as possible.

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