Urinary Tract Infection

Thomas J. Purgason, MD, FACP, PA

Internal Medicine located in Arlington, TX

In Arlington, Texas, Internal Medicine doctor, Thomas J. Purgason, MD, knows that Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) can be painful and problematic, even leading to serious complications if left untreated. Dr. Purgason offers effective testing and treatment methods for UTIs to help you protect your urinary system. Don’t just hope for the best or deal with your uncomfortable symptoms.

Urinary Tract Infection Q & A

What is a Urinary Tract Infection?

A Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) can occur in any part of your urinary system: urethra, kidneys, bladder, or ureters. Most UTIs involve the bladder and the urethra.

You might not experience any symptoms of a UTI. If you do have symptoms, they might include:

  • Cloudy urine
  • Pelvic pain in women
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Urine with a strong odor
  • Burning sensation during urination

You might also notice that your urine is discolored or red. This usually means you have blood present in your urine.

What complications can occur with a Urinary Tract Infection?

UTIs can cause complications. If the infection spreads to your kidneys, complications can occur, such as:

  • Frequent infections
  • Permanent kidney damage
  • Sepsis
  • Chemicals from your immune system that lead to widespread inflammation in your body
  • Inflammation of the urethra (urethritis) and a narrowing of the urethra.

In pregnant women, UTIs present a heightened risk of premature birth.

What causes a Urinary Tract Infection?

When your body’s defense system fails, bacteria can enter and stay in your urinary tract, typically the bladder. The bacteria multiply, worsening the infection.

A bladder infection is often caused by or Escherichia coli, or E. coli — a bacterium present in the gastrointestinal tract. In some instances, gastrointestinal bacteria can go from the anus to the urethra and result in an infection in the urethra. Sexual intercourse can also result in a UTI.

The decrease in estrogen levels that takes place in women following menopause can make the urinary tract more likely to get infected. Some methods of birth control, such as diaphragms, can increase your risk of getting a UTI.

A suppressed immune system can weaken your body’s defense against infections and make you more susceptible to getting a UTI. Some babies are born with abnormalities in their urinary tract that leads to a backup of urine in the urethra and a heightened risk of a UTI.

If you have symptoms or questions about a UTI, Dr. Purgason offers testing and treatments to get your health back on track, such as medications and healthy lifestyle changes to improve your health, so you’re less likely to contract an infection in the future. Visit Dr. Purgason and call the office to schedule your appointment.