Video:How to Treat a Urinary Tract Infectionwith Dr. Robert Lahita
A urinary tract infection can be very painful, and could actually be a more serious infection, such as gonorrhea. In this health video from About.com, learn about various treatment options for a UTI.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Treat a Urinary Tract Infection
I'm Dr. Bob Lahita the Chairman of Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Professor of Medicine at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. This segment is about the treatment of urinary tract infections.
Information on Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are among the easiest things to treat, and first of all, one has to rule out a serious infection such as gonorrhea, or another sexually transmitted disease which can be quite serious if allowed to go on unchecked. Most people when they urinate and experience a burning sensation should seek the attention of a doctor.
With women, it's very common to have "honeymoon cystitis". Honeymoon cystitis means infection of the bladder after prolonged intercourse. But anybodey can get a urinary tract infection like urethritis from prolonged intercourse if your mate happens to be infected. A male with gonorrhea can pass that on to a female partner, for example.
Treating a Urinary Tract Infection
It's easy to treat these infections, but I caution you: a culture should be taken- either a sample of urine or a swab of the urethra in the male or female, and then the specimen will be taken to the laboratory to see exactly what organism is causing the infection. Meanwhile, you can be empirically treated, which means you don't need the results of the culture but the doctor will start you on antibiotics to treat the infection. And it doesn't have to be a prolonged treatment, because the good thing about the urinary tract infection is that it it is constantly being flushed with urine, which takes the bacteria and removes it from the urinary tract itself.
These antibiotics can vary from a floxin like Levaquin or Cipro to a drug like a sulfamethoxazole like co-trimoxazole better known as Bactrim or Gantrisin, to a simple drug like a penicillin, although the penicillins today are not preferred for the treatment of urinary tract infections.
Important Things to Remember When Treating a UTI
Now a few caveats: there can be infection of the prostate gland in men which can seed the bladder and itself cause a urinary tract infection. In the case of a female if she has something called pelvic inflammatory disease, that can be a big problem, and one can also get a concurrent infection of the urinary tract. And lastly there are things called kidney stones. Kidney stones can be extruded from the kidney itself, sit in the urether and act as a foreign body. Foreign bodies are commonly infected with bacteria and they get infected and stay unless the kidney stone is passed. For most cases of urinary tract infection, they are easily treated, so you shouldn't be afraid to approach a physician either in the emergency room or your primary care physician for treatment - which, as I said, is very easy.
For more information about this topic, go to About.com.