(BPT) - A urinary tract infection (also called a UTI) is one of the most common infections worldwide and can impact anyone of any age. For some people, infections are easily identified and cleared with treatment from a health care provider. However, for some people, UTIs are an ongoing problem that deeply impacts their quality of life.
What is a UTI?
UTIs happen when bacteria or other microbes get into the urinary tract and cause an infection. According to Mayo Clinic, some of the most common symptoms of a UTI are:
• A strong urge to urinate that doesn't go away
• A burning feeling when urinating
• Urinating often, and passing small amounts of urine
• Urine that looks cloudy, or appears red or pink
UTIs cause more than 8.1 million visits to health care providers each year, according to the Urology Care Foundation. About 60% of women and 12% of men will have at least one UTI during their lifetime.
But for some people, a UTI isn't a once-in-a-lifetime — or even a rare — occurrence. Some people get UTIs regularly and still others have prolonged symptoms that don't clear up despite completion of antibiotic treatment.
It's important to work with your health care provider to learn more about your unique circumstances so you can finally get relief.
Talk to a health care provider
If you continue to suffer from UTIs, speak with a health care provider as soon as possible. It may be helpful to speak with a specialist if you continue to have UTIs or UTI symptoms so you can be appropriately treated.
"If you've had a UTI before, make sure to let your health care provider know," said Dr. Mickey Karram, an internationally renowned urogynecologist and pelvic surgeon. "If you are suffering from recurring UTIs, which means two or more infections in six months or three or more infections in one year, you may need to seek alternative testing and treatments as traditional urinalysis and culture may not be providing accurate information. A specialist will have access to advanced UTI testing which helps with more complex cases and may be appropriate given your specific symptoms and medical history. If you're suffering from recurrent or persistent UTIs, you should avoid empirically taking antibiotics based only on your symptoms."
If you struggle with recurrent or persistent UTIs, you may benefit from a specialized test your doctor can order to help you learn more about your condition. Guidance UTI is Pathnostics’ advanced diagnostic testing for the rapid identification and precise treatment of complicated, recurrent and persistent UTIs.
Advocate for yourself and use the time with your doctor to voice your concerns and determine a plan to help you move beyond treatments that may have failed you in the past. Karram recommends these questions to help guide your conversation:
Although UTIs are common, it doesn't mean they should be a common occurrence in your everyday life. Engage with your health care provider to learn more and find out if advanced UTI testing is right for you.