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Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)


Infection of the urinary tract (kidney, ureter, bladder, or urethra) is one of the most commonly encountered infections in gynecology. Women are especially at risk for these infections since their urethra (the tube from bladder which carries urine out of the body) is much shorter than that of men. Most UTIs start in the lower urinary tract from the urethra, and then ascend to the bladder or even the kidney. The most common risk factors for UTIs other than female gender include sex, any blockage in the urinary tract, menopause, diabetes, obesity, or history of previous UTIs. The symptoms may range from no symptoms to a full-blown kidney infection with fever, chills, back pain, nausea, vomiting, and changes in the urine. Diagnosis is made with history and physical exam, urine test, and culture. Additional imaging study may be required, especially if a urinary tract blockage or abnormality is suspected. Antibiotics are used to treat UTIs. The type, dose, and length of the antibiotic treatment depend on the type of bacteria causing the infection and on your medical history. The key is quick diagnosis and treatment. Depending on the severity of infection, hospital admission may be necessary. To decrease your chance of getting UTIs you can drink plenty fluids, avoid using a douche, wiping from front to back after defecation, and empty your bladder before and after sex.


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