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What is a urinary tract infection (UTI)?

A UTI is a bacterial infection that could affect any part of your urinary system, including your bladder, ureters, urethra, and even your kidneys. Urinary tract infections are most common in women, due to their shorter urethra, but can affect men, too. Older men are more likely to be hospitalized for a UTI, for instance. Simple, or uncomplicated, UTIs occur in normal, healthy urinary tracts. Complicated UTIs occur in abnormal urinary tracts or are caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Infections that move from the kidneys into the bloodstream are potentially life-threatening, which is why you must treat UTIs promptly.

How can I tell if I have a UTI?

Some UTIs are asymptomatic. Symptoms of a UTI can also vary depending on where it is located. If you experience the following symptoms, you should seek immediate medical care from your specialist at EVU:

  • Persistent urge to urinate
  • Frequent urination in small amounts
  • Burning sensation while urinating
  • Urine that is cloudy, red, dark, or strong-smelling
  • Pelvic pain, pressure, or discomfort
  • Fever, chills, vomiting, or back pain (these may indicate a kidney infection)
  • Discharge from urethra

What causes UTIs?

Some men and women are more prone to UTIs than others, sometimes as a result of genetics, a compromised immune system, or anatomical abnormalities. Other factors that may increase your risk for a UTI include:

  • Constipation
  • Menopause
  • Frequent sexual activity
  • Diabetes or another condition that lowers immunity
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Gut infections with E. coli and other organisms
  • Use of spermicides
  • Recent surgery on urinary tract
  • Recent catheter placement

How are UTIs treated?

Your doctors at East Valley Urology Center will usually treat simple UTIs with a short course of antibiotics. Some infections may require a longer course of treatment or additional therapies. We believe in finding the reason for recurrent UTIs and focusing on prevention of UTIs in the long term.

How can I prevent UTIs?

You may be able to minimize your risk for a UTI by adopting the following habits:

  • Manage underlying constipation proactively
  • Start cranberry extract and D-mannose in select cases
  • Drink more water
  • Fully empty your bladder at urination
  • Urinate after sexual intercourse
  • Find STD protection and birth control that is spermicide-free

Women may also:

  • Seek treatment for vaginal atrophy with local hormone treatment or with the MonaLisa Touch treatments
  • Wipe from front to back after urinating or defecating
  • Change menstrual pads frequently

If you have one or more symptoms of a UTI, don’t delay. Contact your specialist at EVU by phone or with the online booking form.

Do you have a UTI? Urine PCR : A New DNA Test Can Now Help Us Find Out!



In most cases, the test is used either when there are clinical symptoms suggestive of a urinary tract symptoms or if the urinalysis (a preliminary urine test which looks at bacteria byproducts) is positive.

Multiplex PCR-based urine assessment is better and much faster at detecting bacteria in the urine compared to the traditional “Urine Culture”. *

This test is covered by Medicare and some commercial plans (BCBS).