What is a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)?
A UTI is an infection involving any part of the urinary tract which includes the urethra, urinary bladder, ureters and kidneys. Most infections involve the lower tract-the urethra and/or urinary bladder.
What are the symptoms?
- Persistent urge to urinate
- Burning sensation during or after urination
- Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
- Blood in the urine or cloudy, strong smelling urine
- A sense of pressure in the pelvis and lower abdomen
How is it treated?
Your healthcare provider will prescribe an antibiotic to treat a UTI. It is important to finish the entire course of antibiotics. You may also be prescribed a medication to treat the symptoms. This medication may cause your urine to turn orange or blue.
Drinking plenty of water will help flush out bacteria. Avoid coffee, alcohol and soft drinks until infection has resolved as these can irritate your bladder. Apply a warm heating pad to abdomen to minimize bladder pressure and discomfort.
What causes a UTI?
The most common cause of UTIs is bacteria from the bowel such as E.coli. Sexual intercourse is commonly associated with UTIs in women. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) can cause urethritis in men and women. Waiting too long to urinate can also increase the risk for developing a UTI.
Additional risk factors include?
- Enlarged prostate in men or kidney stones
- Diabetes or other chronic illnesses that may impair the immune system
- Medications that lower immunity
- Pregnancy or menopause
- Kidney Stones
How are UTIs prevented?
There are several ways to help prevent a UTI. These include:
- Drink plenty of water
- Don’t hold your urine
- Wipe from front to back after bowel movements
- Urinate before and after sex