Staphylococcus saprophyticus is a strain of Staphylococcus bacteria. Approximately 25 percent of individuals carry this bacteria in the anal area, genitals, nose and mouth. People who walk barefoot are prone to acquire the bacteria from the floor. Staphylococcus may cause an infection when the bacteria enter a cut in any area of the body. These staph infections can range from boils to flesh-eating infections. The most common staph infection is Staphylococcus saprophyticus which commonly occurs in women. This staph is one of two bacteria which can invade the urinary tract. Approximately 20 percent of women who suffer from a urinary tract infection (UTI) will have another infection.
Although Staphylococcus saprophyticus is found in the genital region, it’s not supposed to be in the urinary tract. However, the staph can travel through the urethra and enter the bladder, causing cystitis. Cystitis is the most common form of UTI. If the Staphylococcus saprophyticus reaches the kidneys a woman can develop pyelonephritis.
With cystitis, there is pain around and in the lower back and pelvis. In addition, women can feel a burning sensation when urinating and may have to urinate frequently. The urine can become bloody, foul-smelling or cloudy. Once the infection travels to the kidney or bladder, symptoms can include fever, pain in the middle of the back and chills.
A doctor will require a “clean catch” urine sample to test for bacteria. This sample will be taken after the genital area has been cleaned and you briefly begin to urinate. You then must place a sterile container to collect a midstream sample. This collection method will prohibit the bacteria from entering the sample and skewing the results. The test sample is then sent to the laboratory. The urinalysis test will examine the urine for red blood cells, bacteria and white blood cells.
The Staphylococcus saprophyticus infection is treated with antibiotics. The course of treatment and drugs will depend on your urine test and medical history. A drug commonly used to treat Staphylococcus saprophyticus infections is ciprofloxacin. If the treatment is not complicated by other infections, the UTI can be cleared in 1-2 days. However, doctors may prescribe up to a two week treatment to make sure the bacteria is totally eliminated.
To avoid a Staphylococcus saprophyticus infection in the urinary tract, women should wipe from front to back after urinating or bowel movements. Also, women should wash their genitals daily, before and after sexual intercourse, with soap and water. They should take showers instead of baths. Most importantly, women should urinate when they need to and avoid holding back their urine. This will limit the bacteria from moving from the urethra to the bladder.