Urinary Tract Infections

By: Anna Myers, MSN, WHNP-BC, CUNP, FNP-BC, RN

What are UTIs?  

You may have never had a urinary tract infection or UTI in your life or you may have been plagued with them since you were 16.  Maybe you are just now discovering UTIs as you come through menopause.

  • A UTI is an infection that affects part of the the urinary tract.  If it occurs in the lower urinary tract it is a bladder infection. If it affects the upper tract it is a kidney infection.  
  • Symptoms women will experience with UTIs include urinary urgency, frequency, hesitancy, getting up frequently at night and burning with urination.  
  • As women age, they may not experience the more typical symptoms such as burning, they might experience increased incontinence and urinary frequency and some even delirium.

How do I know if I actually have a UTI?  There are a few tests that can help determine if you actually have a urinary tract infection.  

  • A urine analysis is a quick, cheap and a useful screening test in predicting urinary tract infection.   A urine analysis tests the urine for many components but most notably related to UTIs are heme, nitrites, and leukocyte esterase.  
  • A urine microscopy is a test that requires the urine to be been spun in a machine to allow the cells to be obtained, placed on a slide and through the microscope, the examiner can evaluate for the types of cells including white blood cells, red blood cells, bacteria, and other cells or crystals that might be seen.
  • A urine culture is a test that grows the urine on dish of growth medium to see what type of bacteria grows and what antibiotics the infection would be sensitive to if in fact it is a bacterial infection.

When should you be concerned if you are experiencing UTIs?  

  • The American Urological Association guidelines recommends evaluation of UTIs if you have 2 in 6 months or 3 in a year.  
  • This evaluation will include testing to rule out any kidney stones, to make sure the kidneys are emptying properly and cancers or tumors in the bladder as possible sources of infection.


Please stay tuned for our next blog that will include ways to prevent urinary tract infections.  I hope you learned more about urinary tract infections. If you have any questions or desire to further discuss your urological concerns, please call our office at (330) 685-9920.  Thank you!


Anna Myers is a women’s health, urology and family board certified nurse practitioner working in our office here in Wooster, Ohio.