20430 Health Library | Health and Wellness | Wellmont Health System
  • Conditions InDepth: Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

    The urinary tract refers to the connected system of organs through which urine flows on its way out of the body. This includes the two kidneys, the two ureters (tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder), the bladder, and the urethra (the tube from the bladder through which urine leaves the body). A urinary tract infection can affect any or all of these structures, although a kidney infection (pyelonephritis) is generally discussed as a separate condition.
    The Urinary Tract
    IMAGE
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
    A urinary tract infection usually occurs when bacteria on the skin or in the genital or rectal area enter the urinary tract via the urethra. If conditions are right, these bacteria can multiply within the urethra and bladder, causing infection. Sometimes infections begin during a medical procedure that requires placement of a catheter, a thin flexible tube that is inserted through the urethra and into the bladder, to drain urine. Organisms can “climb” up the catheter into the bladder, resulting in a urinary tract infection. Sexual intercourse is another common trigger of urinary tract infections.
    Many different kinds of bacteria can cause urinary tract infections, including:
    • Escherichia coli
    • Staphylococcus saprophyticus
    • Enterococci
    • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
    On rare occasions, fungi may cause urinary tract infections.
    Twenty percent of all women will have a UTI at some point in their lives. Men, throughout most of their adult lives, have a very low rate of urinary tract infections. Over the age of 50, however, their rate of infection reaches approximately that of women because prostate enlargement predisposes men to infection. This is due to incomplete emptying of the bladder that results in urine sitting in the bladder and bacteria growing. Researchers estimate that about 8 to 10 million visits to the doctor each year are for diagnosis and treatment of urinary tract infections.
    What are the risk factors for a urinary tract infection?What are the symptoms of a urinary tract infection?How is a urinary tract infection diagnosed?What are the treatments for a urinary tract infection?Are there screening tests for a urinary tract infection?How can I reduce my risk of getting a urinary tract infection?What questions should I ask my doctor?What is it like to live with chronic urinary tract infections?Where can I get more information about urinary tract infections?

    References

    American Urological Association Foundation website. Available at: http://www.urologyhealth.org .

    Dambro MR. Griffith’s 5-Minute Clinical Consult. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2001.

    National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: http://www2.niddk.nih.gov/ .

    Urinary Tract Infections in Adults. American Urological Association Foundation website. Available at: http://www.urologyhealth.org/adult/index.cfm?cat=07&topic=147 . Accessed July 31, 2010.

    Urinary tract infections in adults. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/utiadult/ . Published December 2005. Accessed July 31, 2010.

    Revision Information

  • Join WellZones today.

    Make a Change For LifeLearn more

    Wellmont LiveWell is creating a new tradition of wellness in the mountains by providing individuals with tools and encouragement to live healthier lifestyles.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    At risk for a heart attack? Learn more

    Fight heart disease early and prevent heart attacks with HeartSHAPE® - a painless, non-invasive test that takes pictures of your heart to scan for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.


  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.