Brandywine Urology Consultants is proud to offer our patients the opportunity to get all urologic UTIs. If you’ve had one, you know how disruptive they can be to life. If you haven’t had one, you still could get one.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the most common reasons for patients to see their providers. UTIs are the cause of more than 8.1 million visits to health care providers each year. About 60 percent of women will get one UTI within their lifetime with approximately 20 to 30 percent of women experiencing recurrent UTIs. 12 percent of men will have at least one UTI during their lifetime.
A UTI develops when bacteria gets into the urine and travels up to your bladder. Large numbers of bacteria live in and around the genital area and can often get into the urine easily––allowing them to travel to the bladder or kidneys. When you have a UTI, the lining of your bladder and urethra become red and irritated just as your throat does when you have a throat infection. This irritation causes symptoms. Most often the symptoms of a UTI are burning with urination, urinary frequency and urinary urgency. Some may experience lower back pain, blood in the urine, cloudy urine or a change in the odor of the urine. If the infection travels up to the kidney, it is termed a kidney infection or pyelonephritis which includes symptoms like fever, nausea, vomiting, severe back pain. Regardless of how far the bacteria go, they can cause problems.
Women are more likely to get UTIs due to the length of their urethras. A shorter urethra means less distance to travel to reach the bladder. However, people of any age and sex can develop a UTI. The likelihood of developing a UTI is increased if you have diabetes, frequent intercourse, bladder or bowel changes, BPH, kidney stones, menopause, poor hydration, difficulty emptying the bladder, pregnancy, immunocompromised conditions or a urinary catheter.
UTIs are diagnosed by analyzing a sample of your urine. There are three methods to diagnose a UTI using a urine sample. Traditionally, a urinalysis and urine culture have been the most common ways to detect a UTI. However, within the last two to three years multiplex PCR-based urine assessment is increasingly being used. The three methods for diagnosing a UTI are:
The PCR urine test exhibits greater accuracy for the detection of bacteria, identifying bacteria in the urine samples of 36% of patients who had a negative urine culture. Additionally, the PCR urine test has a fast turnaround time; typically results are available in a day, whereas, a urine culture can take up to seven days for results to return.
The explanation for the more accurate and precise results from PCR test versus a urine culture is due to the fact that some bacteria/organisms that can cause a UTI may be slow growing or may require specific growth conditions that may not be available in a lab when attempting to grow bacteria from a urine culture. The sensitivity, accuracy and quick turnaround time of the urine PCR tests allows us to diagnose the exact bacteria causing your infection, providing you with the correct antibiotic that will effectively rid your infection. PCR is performed in our own state of the art, high complexity CLIA certified laboratory.
If you have concerns that you have UTI, have been treated for a UTI that has not resolved, have UTI-like symptoms or have frequent/chronic UTIs– schedule a visit with a provider to discuss testing.
We are providing you with the following descriptions of common urological conditions to aid you in your understanding. This information is not intended to be a substitute for speaking with your physician or medical care, but a source of reliable information for your consideration.