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A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in any part of your urinary system. That can include your kidneys, ureters, bladder and/or your urethra. Most infections involve the lower urinary tract — the bladder and the urethra.
There are many different causes of urinary tract infection and they happen in both men and women. In general however, they are more common in women and many women experience more than one infection during their lifetimes. Most infections result from the bacteria around the urethra ascending into the bladder.
Infections limited to your bladder can be painful and annoying. However, serious consequences can occur if a UTI spreads to your kidneys, so it is important to diagnose and treat a urinary tract infection correctly. Infections can also be the result of stones, foreign bodies, hormonal changes, and poor bladder emptying.
Urinary tract infections are common in women. Risk factors specific to women for UTIs include:
Other risk factors for UTIs include:
How are urinary tract infections evaluated?
The mainstay in diagnosing and properly treating a UTI is a urinalysis and urine culture. The urinalysis in a patient with a UTI often shows white blood cells or leukocytes, red blood cells, and on dipstick examination, can be nitrite positive which is a sign of infection. The urine culture will identify the specific organism and the lab will then test several antibiotics to determine which ones will work to treat the infection.
In patients with recurrent or severe infections, abdominal imaging of the kidneys, ureters, and bladder is often also performed to look for stones or other sources of infection in the urinary tract.
11100 Warner Ave, Ste 206
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Monday – Friday 8:00a-5:00p
Saturday and Sunday – CLOSED
If this is an emergency, please call 911 immediately. Appointments can be made, or changed, by calling us at (714) 546-1121.