Fighting UTIs with diVa®

Getting the occasional UTI, or urinary tract infection is misery. Pain, nausea, urgency, burning – it’s right up there with root canals and food poisoning. Chronic UTIs? Not only “all of the above,” but also a very real danger to your overall health. If you have been living with recurring UTIs, it’s time to stop that nonsense. Quit loading up on antibiotics and consider some longer-term solutions.

Causes of UTIs

A UTI is usually caused when bacteria from the large intestine is transferred to the anus, and then to the urethra. These harmful bacteria can travel through the urethra to the bladder and kidneys, where it can cause a severe infection. Women are twice as likely as men to get a UTI because a woman’s urethra is much shorter than a man’s. It’s easier for the bacteria that enter the urethra to progress to the bladder. This transfer of bacteria may be the result of improper bathroom hygiene or even normal sexual activity.

UTIs can also be caused by vaginal atrophy and other vaginal health issues. For older women, low estrogen,  pelvic organ prolapse, and other pelvic floor disorders can all contribute to a higher risk of a UTI.

UTI Symptoms

Women who have had a UTI can attest to how miserable it feels and how it can bring your whole life to a screeching halt. The symptoms are often painful and difficult to manage.

Symptoms can include:

  • Pelvic pain 
  • Feelings of shakiness and exhaustion
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Passing small amounts of urine frequently
  • Cloudy urine
  • Burning or pain when urinating
  • Urine that smells strong or atypical
  • Urine that appears red, bright pink or cola-colored

When you feel those unmistakable symptoms, drink plenty of water and call your urogynecologist.

UTI Risk Factors

If not correctly treated, older women are more likely to experience recurring or chronic UTIs. In older women, UTIs are often a symptom of vaginal atrophy. As the tissues of the vaginal walls thin and weaken, they offer less support to the bladder and urethra. It's easier for urine to get trapped in the urethra and more difficult to empty the bladder fully when urinating. These can both encourage the growth of bacteria and cause more frequent and severe UTIs.

Other risk factors for older or post-menopausal women include: 

  • Pelvic organ prolapse or other pelvic floor disorders which can cause urinary blockage
  • Low estrogen levels
  • Sexual activity
  • Urinary system issues such as bladder lesions or kidney stones
  • A weakened immune system
  • Urinary catheter use
  • Recent urinary surgery or cystoscopy procedure
  • Using a diaphragm or spermicidal agents for birth control

Treating Vaginal Atrophy and UTIs

In the short term, it's important to call your urogynecologist as soon as you experience symptoms. Don't rely on over-the-counter medications or home remedies such as cranberry juice. Only a prescription can quickly and entirely eradicate all of the bacteria that are causing a UTI.

UTI treatment will, of course, depend on each woman; and while many women's health conditions may require a pelvic exam to diagnose accurately, a urogynecologist can readily recognize UTI symptoms without the need for complicated tests.

Women who experience recurrent and chronic UTIs are looking for long-term relief. Vaginal atrophy often causes UTIs. Women suffering from vaginal atrophy can significantly benefit from diVa® laser vaginal therapy, a specially designed vaginal rejuvenation laser therapy. diVa®’s BBL (broadband light) technology delivers both ablative and non-ablative energy to stimulate new cell growth on the inner surface of the vaginal walls and to trigger collagen growth in the deeper tissue layers. This new tissue growth helps to help strengthen the vaginal structure, offering more support to the bladder and urethra.

Each diVa® session requires as little as three to five minutes to complete during an in-office procedure and does not require the use of anesthesia. Women can resume their normal activities immediately following treatment, however, they must abstain from intercourse for 5 days.

The team at Coyle Institute can help you determine the causes of your recurring UTIs. We understand that they are not only painful and inconvenient, but they can also put your whole life on hold. After a thorough examination and consultation, we'll be able to determine if diVa® laser vaginal therapy will help solve your UTI issues.

Contact us today to set up your appointment and stop living with the agony of UTIs.