Mercy's Dr. R. Mark Ellerkmann Discusses Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) In Women

May 8, 2018
Urogynecology Center at Mercy - Baltimore

People who have ever had a urinary tract infection know how miserable it can be. They are more common in women than in men, especially women of a certain age.

Lynne Coven went to see Dr. R. Mark Ellerkmann, Director of The Urogynecology Center, part of The Institute for Gynecologic Care at Mercy Medical Center, after suffering from recurring urinary tract infections, or UTIs.

"You feel like you need to urinate 24-7, even if you don't. It's just the feeling, and it's very painful. It's like a stabbing that won't go away," Coven said.

According to Dr. Ellerkmann, UTIs are common, especially in older women.

"Being older, being post-menopausal, lack of estrogen allows the vaginal pH to rise to become a more alkaline environment and more enticing, more inviting, more hospitable for uropathogens," Dr. Ellerkmann said.

Symptoms include urinary frequency, urgency and bladder pain.

"And if bacteria happen to ascend higher in the urinary tract from the bladder to the kidney, one can experience flank pain, fever, chills, or in the worst case scenario, actually have an infection in the blood from a kidney infection and that can be quite serious," Dr. Ellerkmann said.

UTIs are typically cleared up with antibiotics. If you're prone to them, there are preventative measures you can try, like taking supplements and emptying your bladder more frequently.

That's something Coven does now, and she said it really helps keep her bladder feeling better.

View Mercy urogynecologist Dr. R. Mark Ellerkmann’s interview regarding urinary tract infections (UTIs) in older women.

Dan Collins - Senior Director of Media Relations at Mercy Medical Center

Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations

Email: Office: 410-332-9714 Cell: 410-375-7342

About Mercy

Founded in 1874, Mercy Medical Center is a university-affiliated medical facility named one of the top 100 hospitals in the U.S. by Thomson-Reuters with a national reputation for women’s health. Mercy is home to the nationally acclaimed Weinberg Center for Women’s Health and Medicine as well as the $400+ million, 20-story Mary Catherine Bunting Center. For more information visit Mercy online at, Facebook, Twitter or call 1-800-MD-MERCY.

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