Urinary Tract Infection (UTI’s)
What is a Urinary Tract Infection?
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in your urinary system (tract). The urinary tract is made of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra; a UTI can happen in any part of the urinary tract.
Women vs Men
Women are far more likely to get a UTI than men, due to their shorter urethra, and the closer proximity to the anus, where stool comes out. The urethra is also close to the vagina, where bacteria can collect during sex, making it easier for infection to occur.
Symptoms can also differ between men and women.
However common UTI symptoms include:
- A burning sensation when peeing
- Frequent or intense urge to pee, even if little pee actually comes out
- Cloudy, dark, or bloody urine
- Strange smelling urine
- Fatigue or feeling shaky
- Fever or chills
- Pain or pressure of the lower abdomen
- Pelvic pain (women)
- Rectal pain (men)
Common causes of UTIs include:
- Being older in age
- History of having UTIs
- Prolonged bed rest
- Reduced mobility (like after surgery)
- Extended use of catheters
- Weakened immune system
- Kidney stones
- Having an enlarged prostate (men)
- Having a shorter urethra (women)
- Condoms during sex (women)
- Decrease in estrogen level (women)
Common UTI prevention methods are:
- Drink plenty of water
- Don’t hold urine in for long periods of time when you need to pee
- For some people, daily cranberry supplements may be helpful
Antibiotics are the most common method for treating UTIs. The exact type of antibiotic depends on the area of the urinary tract that is infected.
When to See a Medical Doctor
If you are experiencing symptoms of a UTI, whether for the first time or have had one before, speak to a doctor. Only a doctor can properly diagnose and prescribe the antibiotic needed to treat UTIs.
When it comes to UTIs, the sooner you speak to a doctor the better. Untreated UTIs can spread and become worse, making it harder to treat down the road.