What might a urogynecologist near me in Chicago or Woodstock know about UTIs?
Millions of women, at some point, experience that urgency and discomfort known as a UTI. Urinary tract infections are the #2 infection that affects women, accounting for more than 8 million doctor visits annually, according to the National Institutes of Health. Recurring infection can be distressing. Data shows that 20 percent of patients experience a second occurrence, with 30 percent of this group developing yet another infection in the bladder or urethra.
We know that urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria. Thousands of types of bacteria occur naturally in the human body. The average urinary tract infection develops when E. coli bacteria reach the urethral opening from the anal area. Bacteria may be transported by wiping back to front , by sexual intercourse, and even by holding urine too long.
In addition to infection-causing bacteria, however, there are also legions of good bacteria in the body. In the vaginal area, in particular, as well as the gut, are lactobacilli, bacteria that aid in the protection against infection. When the E. coli bacteria enter the vaginal and urethral opening, they seem to disrupt vaginal lactobacilli, gaining entry and causing uncomfortable symptoms.
Obtaining treatment for an existing urinary tract infection is important to improve comfort and minimize the risk of further complications such as kidney infection. If you wonder, “Why should I see a urogynecologist near me in the Chicago area?” the answer is that you need treatment designed around your unique needs. In our offices in Woodstock, Lake Forest, and Park City, IL, we seek to uncover why a patient may have developed a urinary tract infection, especially when this seems to be a recurring problem.
Because we know that bacteria are behind urinary tract infections, we carefully consider research that may identify potential methods of prevention. In one recent study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, researchers investigated the potential benefits of probiotics for UTI prevention.
At the conclusion of the study, only seven of the 50 participants who had been given suppository probiotics developed a recurring UTI. Of those given a placebo in the 10-week study, 13 developed recurring UTIs.
Using probiotics to replenish naturally occurring, beneficial bacteria in the gut and vaginal area make sense for many reasons even if the instances of prevention are relatively low. Considering that most UTIs come from unhealthy gut bacteria, maintaining a healthy gastrointestinal tract with probiotic use may be a great lifestyle change for the woman who wants to decrease her risk of recurring infections.
Teaming with the experienced team at Partners in Pelvic Health at North Shore Urogynecology, you can gain better control of urinary tract infections and other health concerns. Call for your consultation in one of our Chicago area offices.