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What Causes Pseudomonas in Urine?

Mary McMahon
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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The presence of the bacteria Pseudomonas in urine occurs when these organisms are able to transfer to the urethra and travel up into the urinary tract. They are found naturally in the feces and may migrate as a result of poor hygiene, sexual activity, or other factors. Treatment for this infection involves taking antibiotics to kill the organisms. The patient may need an evaluation in the future to check for a recurrence, a potential concern with urinary tract infections.

Bacteria can travel from the feces to the urethra, particularly in women. The relatively short length of the urethra in women increases the chances of transferring bacteria, especially for those who are sexually active. Although the body has some defenses to prevent infiltration of the urinary tract, they aren’t always successful. Older men can also be at risk because of obstructions like prostate enlargement that make it difficult to fully empty the bladder, which would normally flush bacterial invaders.

Some patients have traces of Pseudomonas in urine without any outward signs of infection. Others may develop symptoms like painful urination, low back pain, and bloody or cloudy urine. A culture can determine which organisms are present and may narrow down the Pseudomonas to a specific species. This can help medical professionals decide which antibiotics to recommend to address the infection. Medication needs to be taken even after patients feel better to make sure the organisms are completely eradicated.

It is also possible to introduce Pseudomonas in urine during a medical procedure if it is not performed in clean conditions. Inserting a catheter, urinary sound, or endoscopic device could push bacteria into the urinary tract if the patient isn’t prepared beforehand or the instruments are not clean. Maintaining sterile conditions throughout procedures is critical to address concerns about infection. Hospital-acquired infections are a persistent problem in some regions of the world. These may include resistant bacteria that are very difficult to treat and take advantage of immunocompromised hospital patients who may have few natural defenses.

There are some steps people can take to reduce the chance of transfer and limit the risk of Pseudomonas in urine. These can include always wiping from front to back when using the toilet, keeping the genitals and anal area clean, and being careful during sexual activity. Recurrent infections can become a problem for some patients and may be difficult to treat, as the organisms can develop resistance over time, making medications less effective and forcing patients to switch drugs periodically.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a The Health Board researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon997295 — On Dec 10, 2016

You can get these infections through your food! just google mastitis in cows and you'll see 17 different infections caused just by that, and it's in other foods too because of the laxity of the FDA enforcing the 2000 allowed bacteria count after pasteurization.

By anon295202 — On Oct 05, 2012

I have been having different urinary tract infections for the past five months. I have seen a urologist and had a battery of tests all have been clear. Now I have been prescribed ciprofloxacin. Can anyone tell me what is going on?

By Kristee — On Jul 28, 2012

I have polycystic kidney disease, so I am at an increased risk of developing infections. My nephrologist told me to never let anyone put a catheter in me, because the chance that Pseudomonas could get into my kidneys was just too great.

So far, I haven't had to undergo any surgeries, so I haven't needed a catheter. I don't know what will happen if I ever get kidney stones, because everyone I've known who has had them has had to have a catheter inserted so that they could pass them. I have heard that they have sharp spikes that make them painful to pass naturally.

By cloudel — On Jul 28, 2012

Bacteria in your urine is nothing to scoff at. I once ignored my bacterial infection until it became so bad that I had to have medical help.

If you leave those bacteria in your urinary tract, they can travel all the way to your kidneys. This happened to me one time. I had been having symptoms of a bladder infection for about two weeks before it turned into a kidney infection.

When it did, I woke up and vomited. I had lower back pain, and I felt like I just could not muster up the strength to get to the car and go to the doctor. My husband had to help me.

The doctor gave me some antibiotics that are often used to treat kidney infections. I started feeling better in about three days, but I kept taking the pills for the full fourteen days to make sure that all the bacteria were gone.

By shell4life — On Jul 28, 2012

@giddion – Cranberry juice is very effective at preventing bladder infections. If you drink a glass a day of it, then you should stop getting them so often.

I used to get them a lot, too. Then, I learned that cranberry juice can actually keep the pseudomonas from clinging to the urethra. So, if you were about to get an infection and didn't know it, the juice could wash the bacteria on out and keep it from happening.

It also helps to drink plenty of water, and if you take cranberry supplements in pill form, that can increase your resistance even more. I have even cured a few bladder infections by drinking two glasses of cranberry juice and taking two supplements a day until my symptoms disappeared.

By giddion — On Jul 27, 2012

I have very good hygiene, but I seem to get urinary tract infections rather often. It is frustrating, because I don't know what to do to stop them from occurring.

I start having cramps in my bladder, and I begin to urinate every half hour. It feels like I always have to go when I have an infection.

The only way I can seem to get rid of it is to go to the doctor for antibiotics. I really wish that there was a way to prevent them at home so that I didn't have to do this. Does anyone know of a good way to prevent urinary tract infections, other than what was already mentioned in the article?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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