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Urinary Tract Infection

Chicago - Millennium Park Medical Associates

Internal Medicine located in The Loop & Lakeview, Chicago, IL

Anyone who has had a urinary tract infection, or UTI, can tell you how painful they can be. If you’re suffering with the symptoms of a UTI, don’t wait until they get worse, but instead book an appointment at Millennium Park Associates at either of its two Chicago, Illinois, locations in the Loop or the Lakeview neighborhood. Led by Farah Khan, MD, FACP, the practice offers rapid testing at its in-house testing lab and effective treatment plans to get you feeling better in no time. Book your appointment over the phone or online today.

Urinary Tract Infection Q & A

What is a urinary tract infection?

A urinary tract infection, or UTI, is an infection that can develop in any area of your urinary system, including the kidneys, urethra, bladder, or ureters.

Most UTIs, however, occur in the bladder and urethra.

What are common urinary tract infection symptoms?

Not every UTI presents symptoms, but those that do usually include symptoms such as: 

  • Cloudy urine
  • Pelvic pain in women
  • Frequent urge to “go”
  • Urine that has a strong odor
  • Burning sensation during urination

If you have a UTI, you may also notice that you have blood in your urine. Blood in the urine turns it red or discolored.

What causes urinary tract infections?

In short, bacteria in the urinary tract causes urinary tract infections. If bacteria manages to get past your body’s defenses, it sets up camp, typically in the bladder, and multiplies, making the infection worse and worse.

The bacteria most often responsible for bladder infections is Escherichia coli, or E. coli, which is found in the gastrointestinal tract. Sometimes, you can accidentally transport E. coli bacteria from the anus to the urethra.

It’s more common for women to get UTIs than men, as women have shorter urethras, shortening the distance the bacteria has to travel to enter the urinary tract.

You’re also at a higher risk for getting UTIs if you:

  • Are past menopause
  • Use a diaphragm or spermicide for birth control
  • Are a sexually active woman

Your risk for a UTI also increases if you have a compromised immune system.

Can urinary tract infections develop complications?

If you don’t treat a UTI, the infection can spread to the kidneys and wreak havoc with complications such as:

  • Frequent infections
  • Irreversible kidney damage
  • Sepsis
  • Immune system chemical production, leading to widespread inflammation in your body
  • Urethritis (inflammation of the urethra) and narrowing of the urethra

Pregnant women with unchecked UTIs are at risk for premature birth.

How do you treat a urinary tract infection?

If you think you might have a UTI, Dr. Khan and her team can perform a urinalysis in-house and get you almost instant results. If you do have a UTI, the team designs a treatment plan that works for you.

For example, for a simple UTI, the team may prescribe an antibiotic such as Fosfomycin or

Trimethoprim. For pain, they may also prescribe pain relievers or anti-inflammatory drugs. For frequent UTIs, they may prescribe a long-term course of low-dose antibiotics.

No matter the severity of your pain, Millennium Park Medical Associates can treat your UTI. To schedule an appointment, call the practice online or over the phone right now.