What is Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)? – Symptoms, Cause & Treatment

Tanuja Bisht

, Health A2Z

Urinary tract infections are usually caused by microbes like bacteria overcoming the body’s defenses in the urinary tract. They can affect the bladder, kidneys, and the tubes that run between them.


The urinary tract can be divided into two parts including the upper urinary tract and the lower urinary tract. The upper urinary tract consists of the ureters and the kidneys, and the lower urinary tract consists of the urethra and the bladder.


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What are the Facts Related to Urinary Tract Infections?

Following are some facts related to about urinary tract infection including;

  • Mostly, women have a lifetime risk of 50 percent of developing a urinary tract infection (UTI).
  • Common symptoms of UTI include a frequent urge to urinate and feel pain and burning sensation when urinating.
  • It can be diagnosed based on symptoms and testing urine sample.
  • It can be cured in between 2-3 days of treatment.




What are the Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infections?

Usually, symptoms of UTI depends upon age, gender, the presence of a catheter (a medical device), as well as what part of the urinary tract has been infected.


Following are some of the common symptoms including;

  • A strong and frequent urge to urinate.
  • A bloody, cloudy, or strong-smelling urine.
  • Pain and burning sensation during urination.
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle aches
  • Abdominal pains


Urinary Tract Infections




What are the Causes of Urinary Tract Infections?

The vast majority of urinary tract infections are caused by the bacterium Escherichia coli, normally found in the digestive system. Mycoplasma and chlamydia bacteria can infect the urethra but not the bladder.

Urinary Tract Infections are given different names depending on where they occur including;

  • A urethra infection is called urethritis.
  • A bladder infection is called cystitis.
  • The ureters are very rarely the site of infection.
  • A kidney infection is called pyelonephritis.



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Urinary Tract Infections




What are the Treatments Available for Urinary Tract Infections?

As the infection is normally caused by bacteria, so it is most commonly treated with antimicrobials or antibiotics.


The type of medication and duration of treatment depends on the symptoms and medical history of the patient.


The full course of treatment should always be completed for the infection to make sure that the infection is fully clear as well as to reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance.


Its symptoms can disappear before the infection has completely treated.




What are the Preventions Option Available for Urinary Tract Infections?

There are several options that can be taken to reduce the risk of developing the infection including;

  • Drink lots of water and urinate frequently.
  • Avoid fluids like caffeine and alcohol that can irritate the bladder.
  • Urinate shortly after intercourse.
  • Keep the genital area clean.
  • Wipe from front to back after urinating and bowel movement.
  • Sanitary pads or menstrual cups are preferred to tampons.
  • Avoid using any perfumed products in the genital area.
  • Avoid using a spermicide or diaphragm for birth control.
  • Wear cotton undergarment and loose-fitting clothing to keep the area around the urethra dry.
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