3855 Trueman Court | Hilliard, Ohio | 43026
Hilliard Pediatrics, Inc. - Dr. Tim Teller, MD
Urinary tract (bladder) infections are bacterial infections of the bladder, kidneys, or ureters (the connecting tubes between the bladder and kidneys). UTIs include bladder infections, cystitis, and pyelonephritis. Most of the time an infection happens, the bacteria have moved from the outside (on the skin of the private parts) to the inside (in the bladder). If the bacteria have enough time to stick to the side of the bladder, they can make more of themselves and an infection starts. Because they are bacterial infections, UTIs need an antibiotic to get better.
Girls are much more prone than boys to urinary tract infections (UTIs). It is very rare for a circumcised boy to have a urinary tract infection. UTIs can happen at any age, from infancy to adult age.
When young girls have the symptoms of a UTI (painful urination, urinating more often, urgency), about 1 out of 4 times it is a UTI. The other 3 out of 4 times, it is not a bacterial infection and will not need an antibiotic treatment. In most of these cases, it is irritation (but not a true infection) where the urine leaves the body that is causing the symptoms. This can be caused by wiping from back to front, bubble baths, soap that irritated the sensitive areas, hot tubs, or a virus. Sometimes, none of these seem to have caused it and it just passes in a short time.
The only way to tell for sure if there is a UTI is to do a urine dip test and to send the urine off to the lab for a culture test. The first test, the urine dip test, we do here in the office (it takes just a few minutes). If there is a UTI, the test usually shows blood, protein, and leukocyte esterase and/or nitrites. The blood and protein are there because the lining of the bladder is irritated. The leukocyte esterase and nitrites are there when a bacteria is in the urine. Sometimes the test is really convincing that there is an infection and other times it is more of a gray area. Either way, the urine culture, done at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Lab tells us for sure whether a bacterial infection is there and what medicine will be best to kill the bacteria causing the UTI. We get an initial report in 24 hours from the lab then a final report the next day. Anytime we send off the urine for a culture, we will call you when we have the final results whether they show an infection or not.