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Lyon Primary Care

Primary Care Physician located in Midtown, New York, NY

Prompt treatment of a urinary tract infection (UTI) can relieve the urinary frequency and other symptoms you may experience with this common problem. It can also help prevent serious complications related to an untreated UTI. At Lyon Primary Care in Midtown, New York, NY, our family medicine specialist, Valerie Lyon, M.D., can treat your UTI and design a treatment strategy that may help prevent future infections. Call our office to schedule your appointment.


What is a urinary tract infection (UTI)?

Most UTIs affect your lower urinary tract (bladder and urethra) but can involve any part of your urinary system, which includes your:

  • Kidneys
  • Ureters
  • Bladder
  • Urethra

Women are at greater risk than men of developing a UTI due to differences in their anatomy.

In women, bacteria have an easier time traveling up the tiny tube (urethra) that carries urine away from the bladder and out of the body because it’s much shorter than the male urethra. The female urethra is also much closer to the rectum and more prone to bacterial infection from the anal and vaginal area.

What are the symptoms of a UTI?

UTIs can sometimes occur without producing symptoms, but they typically cause:

  • A persistent urge to urinate that produces only small amounts of urine
  • Burning with urination
  • Urine that’s red, bright pink, or cola-colored, indicating blood in your urine
  • Cloudy, strong-smelling urine
  • Pelvic pain in women that’s typically located in the center of your pelvis

Your symptoms can change subtly or dramatically depending on which portion of your urinary tract is infected.

A kidney infection, for instance, is frequently accompanied by:

  • Upper back and side pain
  • High fever with shaking and chills
  • Nausea and vomiting

A bladder infection (cystitis) may cause:

  • Pelvic pressure
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Frequent, painful urine
  • Blood in your urine

An infection of the urethra (urethritis) can cause:

  • Burning with urination
  • Urethral discharge

What complications can a UTI cause?

When treated promptly — typically with antibiotics — UTIs rarely lead to serious complications. When left untreated, however, you may experience:

  • Recurring infections
  • Permanent kidney damage
  • Urethral narrowing and possible reduced urinary flow in men due to recurrent urethritis
  • Sepsis, which is a potentially life-threatening complication

How can you prevent UTIs?

Men and women can help prevent UTIs by drinking plenty of fluids, especially water. This helps dilute your urine and causes you to urinate more frequently, which can flush bacteria from your urinary tract.

Women can also significantly reduce their risks of developing a UTI by:

  • Wiping from front to back after urination or a bowel movement helps prevent bacteria in the anal area from spreading to the urethra
  • Emptying your bladder after intercourse
  • Avoiding use of deodorant sprays and other irritating feminine products
  • Choosing showers over bubble baths

Call our office today to make an appointment.