Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)Recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) more commonly affect women and, because they come frequently and without warning, can negatively impact your quality of life.
At Hackensack Meridian Health, you receive comprehensive care from internationally known experts who publish studies and present internationally on the management of UTI.
Our specialists have expertise in the diagnosis and ongoing management of UTI. We can identify any underlying causes so we can effectively treat and prevent future infections.
We understand that women have unique needs when it comes to urology care. Hackensack Meridian Health offers expert urologists who specialize in urogynecology and female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery.
Symptoms of a Urinary Tract InfectionA UTI is caused by specific types of bacteria that can enter the urinary tract and bladder and cause inflammation. Urinary tract infections can range from bothersome to painful and cause symptoms including:
- Blood in the urine – appears red, pink or light brown
- Feeling the need to urinate even when you’re finished
- Frequent and urgent need to urinate
- Pain in the pelvis, side or lower back
- Pain or burning when urinating
Are You at Greater Risk for UTI?You may be at an increased risk for developing a UTI due to:
- Abnormal urinary tract structure
- Compromised immune system due to diabetes, pregnancy, multiple sclerosis or another condition
- Impaired urine flow from kidney stones, stroke or spinal cord injury
- Sexual activity
- Use of spermicide jelly birth control
- Vaginal dryness due to menopause
Diagnosing the Cause of Urinary Tract InfectionIf you have frequent UTIs, the urology experts at Hackensack Meridian can diagnose the cause and recommend prevention and treatment. Treatment targeted to the specific bacteria usually results in rapid resolution of symptoms. Our team has access to the latest technologies assisting in diagnosis, including urine PCR.
Urine TestsA sample of your urine is checked for infection, traces of blood and other signs. A urine culture can identify specific bacteria known to cause UTI. Sometimes, when these methods are insufficient, higher level testing is required, such as PCR of the urine.
ImagingWe offer the latest ultrasound and MRI, CT and PET technology to examine the structure of your kidneys and urinary tract. Our cystoscopy suite is equipped with the latest fiber optic technology to offer painless imaging of the urinary tract.
Post-Void Residual Measurement
After you urinate into a container, your doctor may measure the urine left in your bladder using an ultrasound. A large amount of urine left in your bladder may mean a blockage in your urinary tract or a problem with bladder nerves or muscles.
Treatment for Recurrent Urinary Tract Infection
You should see a urologist if you have urinary tract infections that are “recurrent,” meaning you have:
- More than two UTIs in six months
- Three or more in one year
You will receive a personalized and holistic treatment plan that may include changes to your behavior and diet, taking supplements and medication, or using vaginal creams – all designed to reduce the frequency of UTI and make your life better.
We sometimes partner with gynecology and infectious disease specialists to treat an underlying condition causing your UTIs. Hackensack Meridian Health urologists are involved in emerging treatments for recurrent UTI and you may be able to participate as part of a clinical trial.
Preventing Urinary Tract Infection
Our urologists don’t just diagnose and treat UTI, we help you prevent future infections. We recommend strategies including:
- Avoiding foods and beverages that can irritate the urinary tract
- Altering bathroom habits and hygiene
- Avoiding products or birth control that can cause irritation
- Drinking lots of water
- Emptying your bladder frequently and completely
- Estrogen therapy for menopausal women
- Taking supplements such as cranberry, D-Mannose, probiotics and vitamin C