UTI Information Center
From understanding your symptoms to preparing for a doctor's visit, we are here to guide you towards proper treatment, healing and prevention.
UTIs Are Common...Far Too Common!
It is estimated that 50% of women will have at least one UTI during their lifetime with many having repeat infections. UTIs can occur at any age with an increase in risk after intimacy, exercise, travel, etc.
UTIs are often caused by bacteria, with E. coli being the most common source. Other common UTI-causing bacteria are: enterococcus faecalis, staphylococcus, klebsiella, pseudomonas and several others. Without going into the full microbiology studies, these bacteria can be grouped as Gram Negative or Gram Positive bacteria - with different antibiotic susceptibility.
Since UTIs are common they are sometimes treated without the proper attention and testing. For example, busy medical offices and urgent cares do not always send a urine sample for a culture and will prescribe a generic antibiotic, typically targeting the E. Coli bacteria.
It is very important to determine the source of your UTI and treat it with the appropriate antibiotic. Re-occurrence of infection and antibiotic resistance can occur with improper treatment. Not treating an ongoing infection can lead to kidney infections and possibly sepsis.
With proper treatment, diet, and appropriate supplements you can heal and reduce the risk of repeat infections. You want to break the cycle before it becomes harder to recover.
UTI symptoms can be one or a combination of the following:
Strong urge to urinate frequently, even immediately after the bladder is emptied
Painful burning sensation when urinating
Discomfort, pressure, or bloating in the lower abdomen
Pain in the pelvic area or back
Cloudy or bloody urine, which may have a strong smell
Source: University of Maryland Medical Center
If you experience any of these symptoms, drink plenty of water and have your urine cultured as soon as possible. If your regular doctor can't see you right away we suggest going to an urgent care or ED/ER.
UTI Test Types and Reading Results
Once at a medical facility, it is vital to know the different types of tests available to you. Often patients are ill or do not have the knowledge to ensure they are getting the best treatment possible.
We want to share our experience and knowledge to provide an overview of the tests that are available; including the benefits and limitations of each. This is not an exhaustive list of all possible tests, but we strive to represent the common tests that are typically used to determine the cause of the UTI. For in-depth understanding of each test and listing of additional tests, please consult a medical reference source, for example we found the University of Maryland Medical Center (link) site very informative.
Please note that for most tests, it is recommended for best results to use your first or second morning urine. The longer the urine is in the bladder, the better the sample is for test purposes.
You may come across a term labelled "clean catch urine specimen."
This is a process that simply means collecting urine sample mid-stream to avoid contamination by contact with skin or other parts of your body.
Make sure the sample collection jar is sterile, where the lid is attached to the jar and has not been previously opened. This may seem redundant, but there have been cases where open contaminated cups were used for collection samples.
Steps for Clean Catch Urine Sample
Wash yourself prior to providing the sample or if at the doctors office use the sanitary wipe provided.
Open sterile jar making sure you do not touch the inside of the lid or jar.
Place lid face down on clean paper towel so that the inside of the lid is not exposed while you provide the sample.
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