Mercy's Dr. R. Mark Ellerkmann Discusses Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) In Women
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.
Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit www.mdmercy.com, MDMercyMedia on Facebook, Twitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.