The Brain and Spine Institute is made up of experts in the field of neuroscience in order to bring patients the best healthcare in East Tennessee for a full range of neurological diseases and disorders.
A urinary tract infection, or acute cystitis, is an inflammation of the mucous membrane of the bladder, typically caused by bacteria that enter the urethra and make their way into the bladder. Once inside the bladder, the bacteria stick to the bladder wall, multiply and cause inflammation and irritation to the bladder lining. The irritation leads to urinary urgency, frequency and dysuria (or burning with urination) – the classic signs of a UTI.
Some people appear to be more likely than are others to develop UTIs. Risk factors for developing acute cystitis include:
The hallmark of treating a UTI lies in treating the cause of the UTI. While UTIs are caused by bacteria and, most times, are easily treated with antibiotics, care must be taken to address any cause that may have contributed to the development of the UTI. For instance, if the cause is thought to be sexual activity (“honeymoon cystitis”), a prophylactic dose of antibiotic following intercourse can reduce the chance of infection. Those with vaginal atrophy should have their atrophy corrected using estrogen creams, suppositories or tablets. Continued vaginal atrophy can lead to recurrent urinary tract infections (having 2 infections in 6 months, or 3 in 1 year).
Recurrent urinary tract infections without identifiable risk factors may require additional workup, to include renal and/or abdominal ultrasounds, x-rays, and possibly even CT scans. Additionally, recurrent urinary tract infections may require the need for prolonged, low-dose antibiotic therapy.