How to recognize the signs of a UTI

Each year, urinary tract infections ( UTIs ) lawsuit more than 8 million visits to healthcare providers .
A UTI is an contagion in any region of the urinary system, including the urethra, bladder, ureters and kidneys. For most people, a UTI happens in the lower tract, in the urethra and bladder .
When the infection involves the bladder ( besides called cystitis ), it is often caused by E. coli, bacteria found in the gastrointestinal ( GI ) tract. The bacteria enter the urinary tract, make their way into the bladder and lawsuit excitement. intimate sexual intercourse can besides result in cystitis .
Another character of UTI, called urethritis, involves an infection of the urethra. This can happen when bacteria found in the GI tract spread from the anus to the urethra. sexually impart infections, such as herpes, gonorrhea or chlamydia, can besides cause urethritis.

Because women have a shorter urethra than men, they are more at gamble for developing a UTI, as the bacteria has a shorter distance to travel. According to the Urology Care Foundation, approximately 60 percentage of women and 12 percentage of men will experience a UTI during their life .
Certain types of parturition control and menopause are besides considered risk factors specific to women for developing a UTI .
other hazard factors for a UTI include blockages, such as kidney stones, in the urinary tract ; having a suppressed immune system ; and catheter habit. You may besides be at a higher risk for a UTI if you ’ ve recently had a urinary routine, such as surgery or an examination of your urinary nerve pathway .
UTIs don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate constantly campaign symptoms and may be mistaken for early conditions in older adults. Some of the more coarse symptoms of a UTI include :

  • A strong, persistent urge to urinate but only passing small amounts of urine
  • A burning sensation when you urinate, painful urination
  • A cloudy appearance to your urine
  • Urine that has a strong or foul-smelling odor
  • Pelvic pain in women, rectal pain in men
  • Urine that is dark in color or appears bright pink or red — a sign of blood in the urine
  • Lower abdomen discomfort, pelvic pressure

If the UTI spreads to the upper tract and affects the kidneys, you may besides experience :

  • Back or side pain or tenderness
  • Fever, chills, shaking
  • Nausea, vomiting

If you think you have a UTI, contact your doctor of the church. UTIs can become more dangerous the promote they spread.

Your sophisticate may order tests, such as a urine culture, to diagnose a UTI. Most UTIs can be treated with antibiotics .
Left untreated, a UTI can lead to health complications, including perennial infections, kidney damage, urethral constrict in men and an increased risk for fraught women in delivering low birth weight or previous infants. In some cases, a UTI can lead to a serious condition called sepsis, which can be dangerous, peculiarly if the contagion moves from the urethra to the kidneys .
You can take some steps to help prevent getting a UTI :

  • Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated helps you urinate more frequently which helps flush out any bacteria in your system. Limit alcohol, caffeinated drinks and citrus juices, which can irritate your bladder.
  • Don’t hold urine for long periods of time
  • Try to urinate before and shortly after intercourse. This helps flush out any bacteria.
  • Practice good hygiene. Wipe from front to back. This helps prevent bacteria from your anal region from spreading to the vagina and urethra. Women should change pads and tampons frequently during their menstrual cycle.
  • Women should limit the use of certain feminine products. Deodorant sprays, douches or powders can irritate the urethra.
  • Drink unsweetened cranberry juice. Though there is no conclusive evidence that cranberry juice helps prevent UTIs, it is not harmful and many doctors recommend it. Learn what to eat ( and what to avoid ) during a UTI.
  • Consider changing your birth control method. Diaphragms and certain types of condoms can contribute to bacterial growth.
  • Avoid tight-fitting clothing and opt for cotton underwear to help prevent bacteria from growing in the urinary tract.

Be surely to contact your doctor if you are experiencing any symptoms of a UTI or if you have any concerns .
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When your medical needs can’t wait, Edward-Elmhurst Health has board-certified providers ready to care for you. Learn more about our walk-in care services .

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