Our Houston area urologists treat a variety of conditions and illnesses

Urinary Tract Infections

Get relief from urinary tract infections

Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are painful, irritating and disruptive. About 60% of women and about 12% of men will experience a UTI during their lifetimes. A UTI can occur in any part of the urinary system or tract. The urinary tract consists of the kidneys, bladder, ureters and urethra. Our Houston urologists diagnose and treat UTIs, providing symptom relief for our patients.

Causes and risk factors for urinary tract infections

Normally, urine does not contain bacteria. However, bacteria can enter the urine through the urethra and move up into the bladder or other areas of the urinary tract, causing inflammation and infection. Usually, the bladder or urethra becomes infected, but the bacteria can travel farther up the urinary tract through the ureters into the kidneys, causing a more complicated infection.

Men and women have different risk factors for infections

Certain factors can increase the risk of developing urinary tract infections. Men and women have an increased risk for infection if they have a compromised immune system caused by things like diabetes. Abnormal anatomy in their urinary tracts, use of catheters, kidney stones, or recent surgery involving the urinary system also increase patients’ risk for infection.

Risk factors for women include having gone through menopause; sexual activity; and using certain forms of birth control, such as spermicidal foam, condoms that contain spermicides, or diaphragms. Women’s anatomy makes them more prone to UTIs than men. Women’s urethras are shorter than men’s, so bacteria can travel a shorter distance to get to the bladder and cause infection.

An enlarged prostate is a risk factor for men.

Symptoms of UTIs

UTIs may not cause symptoms, but when they do, many patients experience urinary discomfort and other tell-tale signs of infection.

  • A strong, constant urge to urinate
  • Burning or pain during urination
  • Frequent urination that only passes small amounts of urine each time
  • Cloudy or strong-smelling urine
  • Bright pink, red or brownish color urine can indicate that blood is present in the urine
  • For women, pelvic pain is a symptom

Most of the time, antibiotic medications relieve the symptoms.

Preventing infections in the urinary system

Our Houston urologists advise patients to take the following steps to help prevent infections in the urinary system.

  • Drink lots of water and other liquids, including cranberry juice.
  • After urinating or having a bowel movement, always wipe from front to back.
  • Women should empty their bladder as soon as possible after sexual intercourse. Drinking a glass of water can also be helpful.
  • Women should avoid contraceptives that increase their risk for UTIs, including diaphragms, spermicides, condoms treated with spermicides, or unlubricated condoms.
  • Women should also avoid powders, douches and sprays that irritate the genital area and can lead to irritation in the urethra

Our Houston urologists help men and women get relief from urinary tract infections and other problems in the urinary tract. Contact us for an appointment.