URINARY TRACT INFECTION
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a very common urological problem affecting women more than men and it is estimated that approximately half of all women in the UK will have a UTI at least once in their life. The symptoms of a UTI are typically that of cystitis including frequent urination, bladder pain, blood in the urine and painful urination. Other symptoms may also include fever, back or loin pain, feeling unwell or confusion. A simple urine dipstick test is sufficient to confirm diagnosis in the majority of cases in women; however, for repeated infections or for UTIs in men, urine cultures are often necessary to confirm the diagnosis and to identify the specific type of bacteria causing the infection.
There are many risk factors that can increase the risk of UTIs including diabetes, lack of adequate fluid intake, sexual intercourse in women, atrophic vaginitis after menopause, having a bladder catheter, problems emptying the bladder, stone disease and bladder cancer.
Men with a confirmed UTI and women with recurrent UTIs should have a full assessment to rule out the above mentioned underlying conditions. Assessment involves a full medical history, examination and certain tests which may include assessment of urinary flow, ultrasound scan and flexible cystoscopy.
Prevention of UTIs includes lifestyle changes, treatment of any underlying condition if present and possibly taking preventative products or antibiotics.