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Recurrent Urinary Track Infections (UTIs)

UTI’s occur when bacteria from the gastrointestinal tract migrate up the urethra and into the bladder. The bacteria irritate the bladder (cystitis)- resulting in frequent urges to urinate small amounts of urine and burning with urination (lower tract symptoms). If the bacteria migrate out of the bladder and up to the kidneys (pyelonephritis) this may result in back pain, fever, chills, nausea and vomiting.

UTIs often occur after sexual intercourse and or they may occur sporadically without associated triggering factors.
Some of the underlying causes of recurrent UTI’s include: incomplete bladder emptying, foreign bodies in the urinary tract (sutures or other surgical materials in the bladder from prior surgery, stones), urethral diverticulum, kidney stones, blockage of kidneys, etc.

A urine CULTURE confirms the diagnosis of a UTI. The culture report will indicate the name of the bacteria causing the infection AND the type of antibiotic(s) that will treat your specific UTI. If your UTI SYMPTOMS do not improve after given a random antibiotic it may mean that you don’t really have a uti (is it INTERSTITIAL CYSTITIS?) or are you taking an antibiotic that will not kill the specific bacteria that is causing your cystitis.

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Here is picture of the inside of a patient’s bladder. The patient had a previous bladder surgery involving the uses of surgical screws. The screw was accidentally placed in the bladder. The patient presented with recurrent UTSs, pain and blood in the urine. Over time a stone formed on the screw.
 

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