Urinary Tract Infections OBGYN – Brockton, MA
As many as one of every two women will experience one or more urinary tract infections (UTIs) in their lifetime – with many women having repeat infections, sometimes for years on end. Characterized by an intense burning sensation “down there” that is made worse when urinating – any woman who has had a UTI will tell you that it can be excruciatingly painful. Other symptoms of a UTI can include frequent or intense urges to urinate (even though little urine comes out), pain in the back or abdomen, and fever or chills.
And while drinking large amounts of water or cranberry juice can ease the symptoms of a UTI, prescription antibiotics are the only way to kill the bacteria responsible for the infection. For this reason it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible after symptoms of the urinary tract infection appear. If treated right away, a UTI is easily cured. But if a UTI is left untreated, the infection can spread to the kidneys and other parts of the body. In rare cases a life threatening infection can even move into the bloodstream.
At ESP Medical we have helped hundreds of women get free of the pain and discomfort of urinary tract infections with rapid diagnosis and effective medications. If you are experience the painful symptoms of a UTI call us right away and we will get you in immediately so you can get relief.
Causes of Frequent Urinary Tract Infections
Some women are genetically predisposed to Urinary Tract Infections, while others have abnormalities in the structure of their urinary tract that make them more susceptible to getting UTIs. Underlying medical conditions like diabetes or immune disorders may also put a woman at higher risk for recurring UTIs.
Pregnancy, multiple sclerosis, and any other medical condition that affects urine flow (kidney stones, stroke, tilted bladder, spinal cord injury) can also increase the occurrence of frequent urinary tract infections.
Sexual activity can also move the bacteria that causes UTIs from the vagina or rectum to the urethra where it causes infection. Spermicides (creams that kill sperm used with condoms or diaphragms) can also kill the good bacteria that protect the body from UTIs. And pregnancy hormones can also change the bacteria in the urinary tract, making infections more likely.
And, UTIs can also increase after menopause, when the decrease in estrogen production causes the vaginal tissue to become thin and dry – making it easier for bacteria to thrive.
Women who experience 2 or more UTIs within 6 months, or 3 or more UTIs per year, are considered to have frequent urinary tract infections, and typically require the expert diagnosis of a urogynecologist to determine the source or cause(s) of the recurring infections. Once the underlying reason for the repeated UTIs is determined, a special treatment plan can be put in place to address the both the cause and the symptoms of the UTIs.
Treatment for Frequent UTIs
Our expert urogynecologists offer the most advanced diagnostic equipment for identifying the cause of frequently recurring UTIs. We can examine the urine culture to identify the type of bacteria that is causing the UTI. In more serious cases we can use cystoscopy to visually examine the bladder and urethra with a lighted scope, to look for problems such as blockage, an abnormal urinary tract shape, or other structural defect causing the urine to not fully eliminate. We can also perform a computerized tomography (CT) scan of the urinary tract.
We can also identify and treat other underlying causes of frequent UTIs such as kidney or bladder stones. And, if changes in estrogen levels during pregnancy or menopause are the culprit, we can help you get your hormones back in balance. Vaginal estrogen therapy, for example, can treat the vaginal dryness (atrophic vaginitis) that occurs after menopause and leads to frequent UTIs.
Once the source of the frequent UTIs is discovered we will put a plan in place for you. This may include a long-term, low-dose antibiotic for as long as six months to two years to completely eradicate the bacteria causing the infections. In cases where intercourse is the culprit we may also supply a single dose antibiotic to be taken after intercourse.
The bottom line is that you do not have to suffer with frequent urinary tract infections. Our compassionate and experienced urogynecologists will get to the root of the problem and develop a customized treatment plan so can live your life without the pain and inconvenience of frequent UTIs.