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En Fr
December 11, 2023 1 min read

What are silent UTIs?

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By Board Certified Urologist, Dr. Yana Barbalat

A “silent UTI” is probably what a physician would refer to as “asymptomatic bacteriuria.” That means that there is bacteria found in the urine but the patient has no symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI). 

When explaining this to my patients, I usually refer to bacteria that is found on our skin. It may be there, but it does not necessarily cause harm. We used to believe that urine is sterile, but recent studies have shown that “normal” urine may be colonized with many different micro-organisms that do not necessarily cause harm. 

Most patients with asymptomatic bacteriuria will not develop symptomatic UTIs and there will not be any adverse consequences of this bacteria being in the urine. Because of this, we often do not treat asymptomatic infections in many patients. 

Rarely, asymptomatic infections can become symptomatic when the bacteria invade the bladder wall or kidneys and these patients can have sudden onset of pain when urinating, urgency and/or fever.

Cranberry pills containing 36 mg of PACs such as Utiva’s 36 mg PACs supplement work by preventing bacteria that is floating around in the urine from attaching to and invading the bladder wall and causing symptomatic infection. 

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