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MeMD Health Brief: Urinary Tract Infections


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Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are a common problem for men and women of all ages. Some groups are more susceptible to getting UTIs, such as women and the elderly. Whether you fall into these at-risk categories or not, it’s important to recognize UTI symptoms, as severe infections can cause kidney damage and compromise other organ systems. Although mild UTIs can be treated with over-the-counter remedies, most will require antibiotics and other medical intervention. If you think you have a urinary tract infection, you can always see a doctor online or over the phone through MeMD.

Learn more about UTIs, including their causes, symptoms, and treatments, with MeMD's Urinary Tract Infection Health Guide. You can also see this information on MeMD's website:

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MeMD Health Brief: Urinary Tract Infections

  1. 1. Guide to Urinary Tract Infections from
  2. 2. What Does the Urinary Tract System Do? 2 §  The urinary tract system carries liquid waste out of the body §  The system includes: §  Kidneys, remove toxins from ingested liquids §  Bladder, stores urine until release §  Urethra, passes urine out of the body §  Ureter, connect the system
  3. 3. What is a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)? 3 §  A urinary tract infection occurs when any of the 4 system components becomes infected §  The medical term varies by location: §  Bladder infection = Cystitis §  Urethra infection = Urethritis §  Kidney infection = Pyelonephritis
  4. 4. Which is the Most Common Type of UTI? 4 §  Bladder infections (cystitis) are the most common, and occur when the bladder becomes obstructed or exposed to bacteria §  Cystitis is fairly mild, but if left untreated, can spread to the kidneys §  Kidney infections (pyelonephritis) are much more serious and can do permanent damage Bladder
  5. 5. UTI = STD Is a UTI the Same as an STD or a Prostate Disorder?5 §  No, urinary tract infections are not the same as infections of sexual organs or enlarged prostates §  The symptoms are sometimes the same, but these conditions have different root causes and require different treatments
  6. 6. What Causes a UTI? 6 §  Most UTIs are bacterial, beginning when fecal bacteria from the anus enters the urethra and travels up to the bladder and kidneys §  Fecal bacteria can enter the urinary tract through: §  Poor bathroom hygiene §  Chronic diarrhea §  Sex acts involving the anus §  Long stretches without urinating §  Blockages in the urinary tract, such as kidney stones §  Exposure to unsanitary water, such as ponds or rivers §  Suppressed or compromised immune systems, especially in the elderly
  7. 7. What Causes a UTI? (continued) 7 §  Sexually transmitted diseases mimic the effects of urinary tract infections §  However, certain STDs can also cause UTIs §  Have your urine tested to determine if you have an STD, UTI, or both
  8. 8. Are Certain Groups At-Risk for a UTI?8 §  Women are more prone to urinary tract infections than men, due to their short urethras and the close proximity of the vagina, anus, and urethra §  Elderly and those with compromised immune systems are also at-risk
  9. 9. Signs of a Urinary Tract Infection in Women9 §  Frequent urges to urinate, with only small amounts of urine §  Cloudy or dark urine §  Blood in urine §  Foul-smelling urine §  Burning sensation while urinating §  Pain in the pelvis or lower abdomen §  Pain in the back just below the ribs
  10. 10. Signs of a Urinary Tract Infection in Men10 §  Frequent urges to urinate, with only small amounts of urine §  Cloudy or dark urine §  Blood in urine §  Urine with a strong, foul odor §  Burning sensation while urinating §  Penis pain or discharge §  Pain in the back just below the ribs
  11. 11. UTI Diagnosis 11 §  Speak with a physician to receive a proper diagnosis §  During the consultation, be sure to tell the doctor if you have a history of UTIs, as this may affect the diagnosis and treatment
  12. 12. UTI Treatment 12 §  Most UTIs are treated with antibiotics §  Amoxicillin, Bactrim, and Ciprofloxacin are the most commonly prescribed meds §  In addition to antibiotics, the doctor may also recommend AZO or Uristat, over-the-counter drugs that relieve UTI discomfort §  If UTI has spread to the kidneys, hospitalization may be required
  13. 13. When Should I Seek Professional Treatment for a UTI?13 §  Connect with a doctor if symptoms persist §  If you develop lower back pain along with a fever or nausea, seek medical assistance immediately, as the infection has worsened and spread to the kidneys §  Pregnant women, the elderly, and those with kidney disease should always seek professional care
  14. 14. Preventative Tips 14 §  Stay hydrated to flush out the urinary tract §  Drink pure, undiluted cranberry juice to make your bladder less vulnerable to bacteria §  Eat blueberries and pineapples for their anti- inflammatory properties §  Take vitamin C to boost your immune system §  Maintain good hygiene before and after sex
  15. 15. H e a l t h c a r e V i r t u a l l y A n y w h e r e Create a free account with MeMD and receive monthly health updates plus access to low-cost online consultations with medical providers. 1-855-MEMD-NOW (1-855-636-3669)
  16. 16. Information Provided By: 16 We hope you found this information useful! And remember - if you think you have a urinary tract infection, you can always see a doctor online or over the phone through
  17. 17. MeMD – HEALTHCARE VIRTUALLY ANYWHERE 17 §  Founded  in  2010  by  Dr.  John  Shufeldt,  founder,     former  CEO  and  Chairman  of  one  of  the  na=on’s   largest  urgent  care  organiza=ons     §  Headquartered  in  ScoEsdale,  AZ   §  Na=onal  health  care  service  provider  leveraging  telehealth   and  a  na=onal  urgent  care  provider  network  to  streamline   care  delivery   §  Lowers  medical  costs;  improves  outcomes  and   convenience     §  Management  team  possesses  unmatched   experience  with  the  na=on’s  largest  urgent  care   chains,  health  plans  and  mental  health  ins=tu=ons.