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Urinary tract infections (UTIs) develop when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the tiny opening that releases urine (the urethra). The body's natural defense system is capable of “fighting off” a small invasion of bacteria, but when many bacteria are present or when the immune system is already weakened, the bacteria can colonize the urinary tract, beginning at the urethra and extending all the way to the bladder and kidneys if treatment is not provided. Once an infection reaches the kidneys, the bacteria can cause significant damage if treatment is not provided right away. Ideally, a UTI should be treated as early as possible to prevent the infection from spreading to the kidneys. UTIs occur much more frequently among women than men, and they're also more common among people with diabetes and those who have kidney stones frequently.
UTIs are associated with these symptoms:
Symptoms become worse as the disease progresses.
Most UTIs can be definitively diagnosed with a urine test using a small sample of urine. In some cases, blood tests or diagnostic imaging may also be ordered, especially when an infection is very difficult to treat with antibiotics or if UTIs recur frequently.
Antibiotics are effective in treating most UTIs. It's very important to take the entire course of antibiotics, even once symptoms have subsided, to ensure all the bacteria are destroyed. Drinking plenty of fluids during treatment will help flush harmful bacteria out of the urinary tract faster. Chronic infections could be an indication of a more serious underlying issue that may require other types of treatment in order to prevent infections from recurring.
At Broadway Gynecology, we accept most major insurance plans, including 1199. Here is a short-list of some of the most popular plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.
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