Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections are extremely common in females, but very uncommon in men. In women, if there are 3 or more infections in a year, further investigation is recommended. Even a single infection in a male warrants investigation.

An abnormality in the urinary tract may be the cause of a urinary tract infection, including stones, bladder abnormalities and in men, prostate problems. Whilst a serious underlying abnormality is not always found, during your consultation and assessment, Professor Shergill will try to exclude or establish a reversible cause. A simple ultrasound scan (jelly scan of the kidneys) is performed initially, followed by a cystoscopy (camera inspection of the waterpipe and bladder with a tiny camera) if required. If there is associated blood in the urine or female problems (in ladies) a CT scan may be needed sometimes.

If the assessment, and investigations, establishes an underlying cause, treatment of that cause will result in resolution of the infections and improvement in overall health. Crucially, there are some excellent treatments available and these can be explored during your consultation with Professor Shergill, to see which one may benefit you. If no cause is found, then the focus of treatment will be with simple preventative (so called prophylactic) antibiotics and sometimes treatments into the bladder, as an outpatient procedure. These are all very well tolerated and generally will improve your quality of life.

Patient case history 1: Housewife with cystitis and recurrent urinary infections

Mrs RH, a busy housewife, presented with recurrent episodes of cystitis (urinary tract infections) over the past few months. They would respond to antibiotics, but then would recur shortly after stopping the treatment course. RH was getting extremely upset and down, as it started affecting her every day quality of life. She arranged an appointment to see Professor Shergill, who assessed her and recommended a scan and a simple examination of the bladder, which were both normal. Professor Shergill recommended preventative (prophylactic) antibiotics and RH improved such, that she did not develop any more infections again. She was able to continue with her everyday activities in good health.