Urinary tract infections are so common that almost every female will have it at least once in their lifetime. The causes can include medical conditions like diabetes or autoimmune-related processes. As many as 42% of urinary tract infections don't require medical attention. However when infections become recurrent, they often indicate additional medical concerns. Infections in the bladder can also spread to the kidneys and bloodstream if the immune system is not healthy, or if there is an anatomic defect. If a patient has more than two or three infections within 12 months, we recommend a full evaluation.
It is important to evaluate the urinary system when a patient has recurrent urinary tract infections. This includes the evaluation of kidneys, the bladder and the pelvic floor anatomy. Normally, we image the kidneys with X-rays, perform a comprehensive pelvic examination, and directly look at the inside of the bladder with a cystoscope.
Around 42% of urinary tract infections resolve without treatment, but they can be painful, recurrent, and can cause other problems if left untreated. When treatment is required, we select the appropriate antibiotic based on current guidelines, the patient’s medications, and personal history.
We understand that urinary tract infections can cause significant discomfort, and can lead to further issues. So we put importance on educating patients about urinary voiding patterns, fluid intake, bowel habits, and ways to improve the immune system in order to help prevent infections. We also set up plans for patients who have recurrent infections so that they are not left without treatment when needed, such as during weekends or when they’re traveling.