What are the complications of a UTI?
UTI complications often occur as result of either an untreated or undertreated infection. The risk is also high in people with an underlying kidney disorder, diabetes, or diseases that cause immune impairment (such as HIV).
Complications of a UTI may include:
- Recurrent infections.
- Permanent kidney damage or kidney failure from an acute or chronic kidney infection (pyelonephritis) due to an untreated UTI.
- Increased risk in pregnant women of delivering low birth weight or premature infants.
- Urethral narrowing (stricture) in men from recurrent urethritis, previously seen with gonococcal urethritis.
- Inflamed prostate in men.
- Sepsis (blood poisoning): a serious infection that can develop when the UTI spreads from the kidneys to the blood.
When to See a Doctor:
While milder UTIs will often go away on their own without treatment, you shouldn’t avoid seeing a doctor if the symptoms persist for more than a couple of days.
If you are being treated for a UTI and are not getting better, or you have symptoms of a UTI along with upset stomach, diarrhea, pain in your sides or back, fever, chills or nausea, then you should call your health care provider. If you ever see blood in your urine, you should call your health care provider right away.
If you are pregnant, you should never take a chance with UTIs, especially if you have diabetes, HIV, or have had previous infections. Even mild symptoms should be looked at, treated, and monitored to ensure that the infection is fully cleared. Without exception, any symptoms of sepsis should be treated as a medical emergency. This is especially true in babies or the elderly.
UTI Prevention: Anyone who has ever had a urinary tract infection (UTI) knows full well how frustrating and uncomfortable they can be. Getting ahead of UTIs, with these UTI prevention tips, can help you prevent UTIs.
Antibiotic Resistance: The growing concern over the risk of antibiotic resistance is the primary reasons most healthcare practitioners are now turning towards non-antibiotic approaches to prevent recurrent UTIs. Learn more about using antibiotics wisely!